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Footprint Café in Wat Bo Village, Siem Reap
Photograph: Footprint Cafés

This is Asia’s coolest neighbourhood – and you’ve probably never been

With its recent glow-up bringing a huge range of stuff to see and do, this Cambodian ‘village’ takes top spot

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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Every year, we go to tens of thousands of city-dwellers with the Time Out Index to get to grips with the nuts and bolts of city life around the world. And this year was no different – 20,000 survey responses came back to us detailing all that’s good and not-so-good about cities right now.  We then combined those surveys with the expertise of our global network of writers and contributors to rank the world’s coolest neighbourhoods in 2022.

One standout was Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which came third overall in the overall ranking and took the crown of being coolest neighbourhood in Asia.

If you’re not yet aware of the joys of Wat Bo, then there’s no better time to get acquainted. The area surrounding Siem Reap’s Wat Bo pagoda has has enjoyed a fabulous glow-up in the last couple of years, while international travel has been limited.

These days Wat Bo Village boasts spectacular bars like Laundry and Miss Wong, scenic and innovative restaurants like Banlle and Pou Restaurant & Bar, swish internationally-renowned hotels like Viroth’s and Treeline Urban Resort and bougie coffee joints like Paris Bakery, Footprint and Snack & Relax

Wat Bo Village is also home to organic cooking institution Tevy’s Place, a social enterprise that empowers local women, and the curated hand-crafted trinket collection of Oko Gallery.

In fact, this bit of the Siem Reap riverside is now one of the city’s chic-est and most happening areas. So next time you’re in SR gulping down all those famous temples, be sure to leave a little time for the pleasures of Wat Bo Village.

Now, read the full ranking of the world’s 51 coolest neighbourhoods, according to us.

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