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Trip Report Good Bars and Night Life in Phnom Penh

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I was looking for an informative post about bars and clubs in Phnom Penh prior to travel but did not find any so promised to post one about it after I had been in Phnom Penh for a few days. Any further feedback or information about the decent bars and clubs in Phnom Penh is welcome - Here is my post>

Firstly I know many people are nervous about Phnom Penh as a city but its really pretty safe. 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 or just want to avoid the sleazy aspect of the city.

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. The BKK1 area is actually quite a good place to stay - it is in a very safe area with more high class bars but still only two minutes from the Riverside and Street 51 where all of the area is a wise option.

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 an Australian bar on Street 51 and a few bars on the main road near the Casino. The Casino also has a very upmarket bar called Darhling Darhling although beer prices are the same as a swanky London club.

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. 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 travelers and expats. You can find Love Bar at the end of Street 51 on the same side as the New World Institute. Stay away from the Tol Kork area at this time of night and away from the Wat Phnom Area as this is where a lot of the bag snatches occur from drunken tourists. Another option apart from love is Sait Tropez bar off of street 51 but its mainly a Khmer crowd and again pricey. I hope this helps - any comments to pad out this post would be helpful.

Any other ideas or input welcome, thanks!