Although strict Cambodian Buddhists do have a vegetarian meal once every two weeks on offering days, Cambodians in general can’t understand why anyone who can afford meat or fish would not want to eat it.

The best way to get a vegetarian dish is to ask for your order to be cooked without meat (ot dak sait) or fish (ot dak trei); in principle, most stir-fries and soups can be done this way. You might be told that the dish is “not delicious” without meat, and the waiter may also come back a couple of times just to check he’s got it straight. However, to be sure that prawns, chicken, duck or even intestines aren’t substituted, or that a meat stock or fish sauce isn’t used, you’ll need to specify a whole list of things to avoid. Vegans will need to make sure that no eggs are included (ot yoh pong mowan) as these are widely used, but should have few problems avoiding dairy products, which are unlikely to be found outside Western restaurants.

In tourist centres one or two vegetarian restaurants have opened, while restaurants catering for foreigners will also have more choice and a better idea of what being a vegetarian means.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Cambodia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Modern Bangkok, historical Hanoi and tourism-boom town Siem Reap — home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples — are some of Southeast Asia's best drawcards…

21 Nov 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

This beguiling country in Southeast Asia has captured the hearts and imaginations of travellers from all over the world. Travel photographer Fiona Campbell is …

23 Aug 2017 • Fiona Campbell insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right