Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap

I should probably start this post by saying that I am not big into marijuana, and it is something I’ve barely touched since my school days. As this post comes out of interest as a food tourist, and it is little more than some flippant research into marijuana and its ‘traditional’ use in Khmer cuisine. Something I don’t consider as being true, as it appears to be more of a loophole in legislation, allowing locals to grow and season food with marijuana. How pizza fits with the proud traditions of Cambodia is beyond me.

So we started our search for Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap, which proves to be a simple task, where a quick tuk-tuk ride from anywhere in Siem Reap finds Pub Street and the nearby Hospital Street. A road lined with happy pizza parlours, one after another. And Hospital Street appears to be the hub for Happy Pizzas, although they are dotted throughout the city, almost like franchising. As the established organisation of Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap can be seen in their online presence, their websites, as well as advertising on Tuk-Tuks. Happy Pizzas are in no way trying to hide themselves.

Inside Happy Special Pizza, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap Happy Special Pizza, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap Cambodia Beer Waiting, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap


Happy Special Pizza

So I go for the local recommendation of ‘Happy Special Pizza’, one of the better-rated pizza parlours on the Hospital Road stretch, where I walk to the counter and order a medium-sized ham pizza for takeaway. I then order one-half happy, with marijuana, leaving the other half plane in case the ganja tastes like dirt. The final price came to $6.50. Which is the same with or without marijuana, as the prices don’t change. Which just shows how cheap this ‘seasoning’ is to supply.

I then pulled out my SLR camera and started to snap photos of the pizza shop, including the proprietors who are of an older generation, dressed in pyjama-like clothing. They don’t bat an eyelid. There was no wrongdoing in their eyes, nothing out of the ordinary, it’s just another humble day selling pizzas. Either way, I am still a little unnerved by this somewhat unlikely experience, so I order a beer for my wait, and take a seat. I was still a bit sceptical at this time, “they’re not really going to give me marijuana on my pizza are they???” So when it arrives I was pleasantly surprised to see it laced half with generous chunks of “Happy”.

We then took the pizza back to the hotel, to share two slices of happy pizza with my wife, under revolving ceiling fans and a chorus of lizards, frogs and insects. What do Happy Pizzas taste like? They taste like pizza topped with marijuana. Not quite oregano, but it’s not horrible either. And while the herb is in no doubt marijuana, it is of low potency, and for a good 30 plus minutes we sit… bored. As the effects of marijuana take longer when ingesting them, over smoking them. And by the time we feel a minor buzz, I wished we’d opted for a bottle of wine. It wasn’t the most exciting of experiences.

Half Marijuana Half Munchies, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem ReapMarijuana Pizza Slice, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap Happy Special Pizza Card, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap


The Happy Herbs

The legality of marijuana in Cambodia is said to be little more than a face against international pressures (UN and DEA) and, on the ground, the laws are rarely enforced. In the Netherlands (e.g. Amsterdam) marijuana is also illegal, but through tolerance policies, it can exist in grey areas. So I guess the situation is not so different. That being said, I would never recommend testing the laws, as corrupt policemen could easily wangle bribes, and if you don’t pay up, the Cambodian jails never come highly recommended.

Anyway, for the sake of ‘research’ I did call into the Happy Pizza parlours again, in search of ingredients, this time with cigarettes. Which I am fairly sure is illegal, and people look confused as if to say “you want to smoke it??” Although this may be due to my clean-cut, narc-like demeanour. So it isn’t until the 4th Happy Pizza parlour that the proprietor offers to sell me ingredients on its own, with a $15 a bag. And having come thus far, I did reluctantly hand it over. The lady then turned to the fridge, and pulled out a cool bag of marijuana, to hand it over to me.

I am clueless when it comes to marijuana prices… but this bag looks huge (pictured below). And with a flight the following morning we found ourselves stuck with a rather huge bag of marijuana. So $14 worth of marijuana was literally flushed down our hotel toilet. Anyway, again I should stress that in no way do I aim to promote smoking or buying marijuana. All this comes simply from personal curiosity. And like most long-time travellers, I do generally avoid the somewhat parasitical drug cultures of Asia (like in Vang Vieng). However, they do exist, and highlighting them just makes them easier to find, or avoid. Which can only make everyone happier.

Siem Reap Pub Street, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap Ecstatic Pizza Joint, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap Bag of Cannabis, Marijuana Happy Pizzas in Siem Reap

21 Comments

    • Thanks Souvik. We did consider it but it wouldn’t be as comprehensive as many out there. Instead we took individual topics and will piece it together with Angkor Wat in our monthly Newsletter. I’m sure we’ll be back though to complete it at sometime. A

  • If you haven’t been to Vang Vien you should consider it. I’m not into drugs or big on partying either but we had a lot of fun doing some caves while we were there. Especially the water cave- it was a fun day.

  • I’m sure ‘stoners’ as you refer to them find you equally as annoying as well. As far as I’m aware no one ever died from smoking marijuana. The same cannot be said for smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. Both of which are freely available globally and legal. Stick to writing something you know about and lose the judgement.

  • Wow you sound exactly like the kind of person I hope to avoid while travelling. As would the ‘stoner’ doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers etc that I’ve met on my travels. Signed, the ‘stoner’ engineer.

  • I’ve actually reread your post for the second time, and what I draw from it is this:-

    1. You go for a happy pizza, get half because you’re either alone, or a pussy. If there’s more than 1 person, they want a slice.

    2. After the pizza, you in search of proper weed, and buy at the fourth spot that offers (fair play, you can find value. Me, personally, due to the laws involved I’ll happily pay over the odds just to get it done as quickly as possible).

    3. You then stress that stoners are irritating.

    You’re a cunt pal. Have a look at yourself and figure it out.

      • Mostly food. But also local culture, sightseeing, and just feeling alien in unfamiliar surroundings. I’ve never really been seduced by the generic backpacker bars and the played out traveller tales of randoms I could easily just meet in the bar of my hometown.

  • I like that you reread my post 😀 There were two of us, but I am generally a pussy. Otherwise I don’t get the relevance of the half pizza. Is this some macho stoner thing where people aren’t allowed half ‘n’ half pizzas? If I got half peperoni, half pineapple would that still make me a pussy? (note pizzas have 6 slices). Go, read it a third time.

  • Hey man, not sure your beef with stoners, but don’t be rude. Bummer you didn’t enjoy your happy pizza or big bag of weed.

  • So, is the pizza great with or without the happy ingredient? Does the pizza taste better with beer?
    Did you tried other food/s in that restaurant?

    Did the happy pizza taste the same with other restaurants serving the stuff?

  • There is almost no good weed in Siem Reap. On the main Pub Street some tuk tuk dudes sells dry, seedy shit. Almost no effect. All tuk tukers across Pub Street sells the same shit. Ecstatic Happy Pizza sells the same real shitty weed but with better prices then tuk tukers. There in city only 1 Happy Pizza who sell average-normal buds weed, and its around 15-20 minutes from Pub Street. But if they are closed at the moment – that means you simply can not find good weed around the city sellers. SHIT, CAMBODIA GOES DOWN, VERY SAD =(

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