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The Bars of Phnom Penh

Where to go and where not to go for drinks in Phnom Penh

sunny -33 °C

Arriving in Phnom Penh on the 18th of February I spent three days checking out the cities night life. There are a number of good bars in Phnom Penh that are “Lady Friendly” that is to say they are devoid of Taxi Girls and keen ladies that will try to chat up your men. Here is my suggestion for where to go drinking and partying if you are a female in Phnom Penh. If you are a male then you have no problems unless you dont want to get constant hassle from the Taxi Girls - although Phnom Penh does not have a go-go scene it can still be pretty grotty - so if you are looking for some classy places to go this may help you.

Early Drinks

The area around the Riverside is nice with lots of restaurants and bars for you to frequent, however don’t stray onto roads 136 or 104, which are girly bar roads. A drop into one of these bars will almost certainly make you feel uncomfortable. On the actual riverside you have some nice bars like River House and Paddy Rice which are good for early drinks, another option is the BKK1 area which is the main backpacker area. Here you will find nice bars and restaurants like The Mad Monkey on Street 302 and Equinox on Street 278 which do not attract the same type of sexpat crowd and are full of cool expats and travelers mixing over a drink. Also bars like Metro and FCC are good for early drinks but beware they are pricey!

Late Drinks

There are a number of bars for you to hit between 10pm and 1am which is the optimum time prior to clubbing, my suggestion is Howies bar on street 51 or the popular Top Banana Bar which is located in the BKK1 area on the roof top level. Stay away from the back of the Riverside between these times as many of the street action for dirty old men will be around at this time. Street 278 in the BKK1 area has a good mix of little bars and pubs including Liquid, Top Banana, Equinox, Setsara, Score Sports bar and the rooftop bar in the Mad Monkey. There is normally decent live music on at one of the following bars, Garage Bar, Equinox or the Cavern which is based on a very dodgy road (104) although it is not a girl bar.

Night Bars and Clubs

This is where it can get tricky, you have essentially four or five western friendly clubs available to you. Heart of Darkness on street 51 gets full of undesirables around 10pm and I wouldn’t suggest it as a single female unless its for a “Look in”, you have two main clubs Pontoon which is a big dance club with ok music but still with its fair share of un-dead night walkers and The Cotton Club – I cant really comment on The Cotton Club because the three of four times I have been there it has been dead and only really seems to get busy when there is a decent event on. Probably the best option for girls is The Love Bar – Forget the name as this is a swanky New York Style bar with cool music and great cocktails but keep in mind that its not cheap. You will not find ladies of the night in this bar and there is a small dance floor at the back, the three or four times I have been there it has always been busy with travellers and expats. You can find Love Bar at the end of Street 51 on the same side as the New World Institute. Another good option is Saint Tropez but again this one can be expensive and its got its fair share of girls in it. My suggestion would be go to Love Bar around 12am and hope you get a good crowd. Next post is regarding Siem Reap nightlife and pub street.

Posted by SteveV 19:08 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia party bars out nightlife going phnom penh Comments (0)

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