With so many relaxing places where hanging hammocks by the river wait for you, or empty kilometers of white sand ask you to sit down, no wonder Cambodia is a great country to catch up with your readings.
In case you haven’t bring enough books from home, don’t worry, this article is for you. Here we list some of our favorite bookshops along the kingdom!
Reading room at Petra café in Battambang.
In Phnom Penh you can head to Monument Books, which has one of the widest selection of titles available in the country. From fiction to non-fiction, books in different languages as well as about Southeast Asian region. In town they have shops on Norodom Boulevard and Phnom Penh International Airport, besides others in Cambodia, as well as Laos and Myanmar. Also to purchase new books, Royal Bookstore, on street 454, is a great option, as well as to check out their collection of CDs, DVDs and magazines.
To buy second hand books, a valuable option is Boston Books, on street 240, with a lot of old books and the bonus of having a nice café to start your new book right away. Have a look as well at Bookshouse Cambodia on the corner of 390 and 113. Also for used books, on street 240, D’s Books is an endless hole for bookworms, with so many titles for you to search and get lost. If you still have not found the book you want, try Bohr’s Books on Sothearos Boulevard, with a wide range of new and used books at reasonable prices.
If you are in Siem Reap, there are two shops of the chain Monument Books, one in the ground floor of the Taprohm Hotel and other on the departures lounge of the Siem Real Angkor International Airport. Closer to the city centre there is another shop of the chain D’s Books (near the Pub street), the La Siev Phov bookshop on Wat Bo road. The New Leaf Eatery has not only a lot of used books, but also a comfortable restaurant/café and they donate part of their profit to charity. Not far away you can also have a look at the Peace Café, on the river road 172. They have a book exchange policy, delicious food and interesting workshops and classes (yoga, meditation, etc).
Being probably the most chilled town in the country, Kampot has lot of great places to read. Believe us when we say that even the least interested person will become a reader! Hammocks in comfy guesthouses near a river, fresh breeze and beautiful sunsets..Unbeatable!
So, in case you don’t have a book yet, check the Bookish Bazaar near the old market area, with lots of crowded book shelves (supposedly with more than 7000 titles!) and choose your companion for the next days. They accept exchanges as well (you deliver two books to receive one for free) and have an art gallery, top-quality pastries and Italian delicacies. Other option is the Kepler’s Bookshop, on the other side of the old market, with a lot to choices as well.
If you are more a beach person, and we highly advise you to be while traveling the Khmer coast, you can also find the Q&A Book Café on Mithona Street in Sihanoukville. It has thousands of different books in a great variety of languages and you can buy, sell or exchange them. They also have a restaurant with Khmer, Vietnamese and Western food! Don’t forget to pass by Casablanca books, the first bookshop that opened in town, with a huge variety of genres and languages. Find them in the Mick & Craig guesthouse, on the road to Serendipity beach nearby the golden lions. Try also the Idle Hour Bookshop and Library on the Greenhouse Effect, Otres 1, with a great beach to lie down and enjoy your book.
Another town in Cambodia where you will be able to visit some bookshops with English titles is Battambang. Our favorite is probably Petra café, near the Borey Thmei mall, the first library café in town and with a very local-feeling, not touristic at all. On street 3, near the Chhaya hotel, check the books at the Smiling Sky bookshop, to buy or exchange. There you also find from souvenirs to DVDs, from postcards to a great cup of coffee.
Hope we convince you to dig in some readings while traveling in Cambodia. It’s definitely a country with many places worth stopping for a while to chill, browse a bookshop for a new book or finish that one you started already but couldn’t finish yet. Happy readings!