Cambodia Town is a business district based in Long Beach that is full of cultural treasures. If you know where to visit, you’re in for a real treat!
In my opinion, the best bet is to pair up with a local or native to Long Beach who is familiar with the Cambodia Town district to point you in the right direction.
But lucky for you, this brief article on the history and unique spots to visit in Cambodia Town is the next best thing!
Located on Anaheim Street between Atlantic Ave and Junipero Ave in Long Beach, Calif., this town and district thrives on its mom-and-pop businesses and community organizations. Driving down Anaheim Street, you will notice various cultural food markets and small businesses ranging from the best of Cambodian/Thai restaurants to art centers and community gardens.
This district is widely popular and a must for Cambodians and Cambodian-Americans who reside in Long Beach. They visit the business corridor often for their services and shopping needs. Long Beach contains the 2nd largest population of Cambodians outside of the Southeast Asian country on the world map, so this local corridor is a big deal in the preservation of the Cambodian cultural heritage, businesses, and growth for next generations.
History of Cambodia Town
A large part of the history of Cambodia Town does not come without revisiting the dark reality of how Cambodians touched down in Long Beach in the first place. Leading up to the late 70s, the country of Cambodia went under Communist control by the Communist Party of Kampuchea while also experiencing war from neighboring countries. Much of the Khmer cities had to evacuate and families soon became displaced and separated from their homes, resorting to unspeakable ways to escape the regime, with some finding temporary solace in refugee camps in Thailand. Eventually, in the late 70s, three waves of Cambodians who were sponsored arrived and settled into the country as refugees of their homeland.
Long Beach became one of the main locations in America for these Cambodian refugees, the largest of its landing destinations. In the 90s, it became apparent that Long Beach needed programs for these refugees to integrate into American culture, simultaneously discovering the need for these families to heal from their post-traumatic stress disorders of having experienced their time under the regime.
Fast forward, the district of Cambodian Town emerged and became a solid and positive foundation for Cambodian refugees to begin rebuilding a new life. The district became home to many family-owned mom-and-pops that consisted of grocery markets, clothing boutiques and services, jewelry shops, photography businesses, arts and culture centers, festivals, and more. Although the district is continuing to slowly grow and progress, the community of Cambodians and Cambodian-Americans today are focused on the future of the district by preserving its cultural heritage and supporting the youth. To learn more on how you can support Cambodia Town, visit https://www.cambodiatown.com/.
Cambodia Town’s Unique Spots
- Phnom Penh Noodle Shack – 1644 Cherry Ave Long Beach, CA 90813
- Little La Lune – 2054 E Pacific Coast Hwy
- Monorom Cambodian Restaurant – 2150 E Anaheim St Long Beach, CA 90804
- Sophy’s Cambodian Thai Food & Music – 3240 E Pacific Coast Hwy Long Beach, CA 90804
- Hak Heang Restaurant – 2041 E Anaheim St Long Beach, CA 90804
- Khmer Sarmey Jewelry – 836 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90813
- Sovann Phoum Jewelry – 2295 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804
Cambodian Community & Arts
- Khmer Arts Academy – 1364 Obispo Ave, Long Beach, CA 90804
- United Cambodian Community – 2201 E Anaheim St #200, Long Beach, CA 90804
Cambodian Grocery Markets
- Don Mai Market – 1241 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90813
- Kim Long Market – 324 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90813
- Keo Neighborhood Market – 1224 E South St, Long Beach, CA 90805
Community Garden + Wellness
- The Maye Wellness Center – 2153 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804