Coffee shops have been sprouting left, right and centre in the capital, but Zoo Cafe aims to bring an experience that is a little different than your typical corner java joint.
Following its namesake, Zoo Cafe is designed like a small zoo in the centre of Phnom Penh. On the first floor, you may run into a few stoic lizards while you order your drinks. Head upstairs and the scope of the menagerie truly becomes apparent.
“Guests not only can come to taste the coffee and other beverages, they can also play with 10 different types of animals which are docile and accustomed to humans,” says the 25-year-old founder Nay Sokonra.
He says that most of the animals hail from overseas and do not exist in the wild in Cambodia such as marmosets, fennecs, jerboas and guinea pigs.
Sokonra has always had a love for animals and wanted to learn about foreign species.
“Four years ago I went to Thailand and saw a shop called Little Zoo, but their shop smelled bad and their design was messy,” Sokonra says.
He says he wanted to improve the theme by creating a clean and organised space that lets customers come into contact with animals safely.
Despite receiving some criticism for the concept, Sokonra claims he has kept the conditions of his animals as comfortable as possible.
Zoo Cafe is located on the corner of streets 135 and 432 and is open every day from 7 am to 8pm.