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Food & Drinks
Travellers up country will generally find themselves limited to Cambodian cuisine or to the fairly ubiquitous baguette and paté. In towns of any size- all provincial capitals, for example--Chinese food is widely available, generally reflecting the southern coastal origin of most of Cambodia's Overseas Chinese migrants. Expect, therefore, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochou and Hailam fare, but don't waste your time looking for Szechuan or Yunnanese cuisine. In the west of the country, notably at Poipet, Sisophon, Battambang and Siem Reap, Thai cuisine is widespread. Similarly in the east, at Kampot, Takeo, Kompong Cham and Svay Rieng, Vietnamese culinary influence is common. Sihanoukville excels at seafood cooked in every conceivable way, and also has a fast growing smattering of Western food outlets--French, Italian, British, German and Australian.

Phnom Penh has, naturally enough, the widest range of restaurants in the city. Here the visitor can find everything listed above as well as Greek, Turkish, North Indian, South Indian, Malay and-increasingly--'Fast Food' restaurants. The capital also serves some of the best French food available in Indochina, as well as some unexpected colonial hangovers from the Middle East and North Africa, notably cous-cous and merguez spicy Moroccan sausage. Pizza is increasingly popular, but the 'Pizza Hut' restaurant near the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument is, at time of writing, a copycat operation.

It's always best to drink bottled water in Cambodia. The traveller should also beware of ice of unknown provenance, particularly up country or at street stalls. Soft drinks like cola and lemonade manufactured by internationally known companies are available everywhere, as is canned and bottled beer. International beers to look for are Carlsberg, Heineken, Tiger, ABC, Victoria Bitter, Fosters, San Miguel and Singha; local brands include Angkor, Angkor Stout and Bayon. Draft Angkor is available in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. Imported wine--shades of Cambodia's colonial past--is similarly available in major towns, whilst domestic varieties promising strength and virility are widespread. Caution should be exercised with fresh fruit juices and sugar cane juice, but cartons and cans of fruit juice, milk and drinking yoghurt are available on supermarket shelves in the capital and at Sihanoukville. Coffee--often very good--and tea are generally available throughout the country.

There is an abundance of fruit in Cambodia. In the appropriate seasons--especially towards the end of the hot season in May--the markets overflow with a wide variety of exotic fruits. There's fruit to be had the year round, though, and it's generally both reasonably priced and (if carefully washed) healthy and safe. Amongst the most popular and widespread fruits are mango, coconut, rambutan, durian, mangosteen, starfruit, pineapple, watermelon and a wide variety of bananas.