Travel Advice: 4 Strangest Phnom Penh Local Delicacies to Try Before You Die

Food at kandal Market in Phnom Penh

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When flipping through Asian travel magazines or browsing through travel blogs, you’ll find that Cambodia has a lot in store for both local and international tourists – magnificent temples, sandy beaches, a royal palace that houses national treasures like Buddha statues, and diverse culture and history, among others. For instance, the largest and the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh , has a great number of exotic tourist places and holiday destinations that evoke feelings of nostalgia. Try visiting travel websites or reading magazines for a few Phnom Penh travel advice and you’ll see that every city laneway, street, and market exudes life-long tradition and rich history. Phnom Penh is also a city where the old meets the new. You’ll find a wide array of hip cafes, bars, and restaurants – and be introduced to one of the most bizarre local cuisines in Asia.

You’re probably wondering why an article that offers travel advice and travel tips and features local foods that are the stuff of nightmare should be taken seriously. But if you’re the type of traveller who is always up for an adventure and exciting (or terrifying) treat, read on.

  1. Tarantulas

If you’re thinking of local delicacies, the eight-legged giant spider might be the farthest thing on your mind. Although the hairy creatures represent everything that is remotely disturbing to eat, the locals think otherwise. Fried tarantulas are introduced into the mainstream cuisine during the Khmer Rouge. Locals eat the abdominal part as it contains the egg, which is said to have aphrodisiac properties.

  1. Crickets

Don’t be deceived by its daunting appearance as crickets are said to contain more protein than beef, and easier to harvest than cattle. This bizarre, crunchy dish was popularized during the Khmer Rouge, and said to have helped fight hunger and malnutrition in the nation during the hard times.

  1. Tiger penis

One piece of travel advice for tourists who want to tap into their adventurous sides: when you’re done exploring Phnom Penh’s diverse cultural heritage, sample a dish called tiger penis, which is believed to have therapeutic properties. It can be served in a soup or with a bowl of rice.

  1. Duck fetus or Balut

Commonly sold by street vendors, Balut is a fertilized duct embryo that is boiled and eaten in a shell. It is often served with lime extract, salt, pepper, and herbs. Locals consider balut as a hearty snack as it is rich in protein and has aphrodisiac properties.


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