Phnom Penh’s adult nightlife scene is rapidly evolving beyond a few scattered spots to entertainment “zones” where travelers can jump from venue to venue in safety. For now, beer bars are the rule, with plenty of friendly and informal hostesses. Unlike the adult bar scene in Bangkok, there are no Stage Shows, and ladyboy culture is underground. Although oriented toward males, Western women are always welcome in beer bars, to have a drink and enjoy the fun. Beer bars do have informal hostesses, who always love to chat with single men and couples.
Some of Phnom Penh’s best known beer/hostess bars are:
Street 51 (Pasteur Street). On this street running one block north of 172 Street, you’ll find a number of beer bars with hostesses, including the cute and well-appointed Shanghai Bar on the corner of Streets 51 and 172, and the friendly Pit Stop bar, at #48EO. GPS Coordinates: N11 degrees, 34.255′, E104 degrees, 55.553′
Street 104. On this street, for one block west of Sisowath Quai, beginning at GPS Coordinates: N11 degrees, 34.392′, E104 degrees, 55.628′, you’ll find a number of bars with friendly hostesses, including One Zero Four, Rose Bar, and Zanzibar. The latter two feature lively dancers atop the bar.
Street 108. For one block, starting west from Norodom Boulevard at GPS Coordinates: N11 degrees, 34.382′, E104 degrees, 55.343′ , you’ll find several friendly bars, including the well-liked Golden Vine, Zapata, and La Marmile.
13, Street 49 @ Street 130
In this extraordinarily friendly club, host Monsieur Hasan offers a nice ambience, populated by enthusiastic hostesses. GPS Coordinates: N11 degrees, 34.191′, E104 degrees, 55.406‘
45, Street 95 at Street 350
Writer Dean Barrett describes Martini as a living version of Dante’s Inferno, where low lights, multiple levels, and brooding music create an environment unlike any other in Southeast Asia. Here, a loosely-connected series of bars offers everything from pool, to disco, to cinema, to Chinese food. Now in its third location, Martini has been a favorite of expats in Phnom Penh for years, and retains it low-lit ambiance, with hostesses seemingly appearing out of nowhere, then sidling off to yet another corner of this unique maze of bars. GPS Coordinates: N11 degrees, 32.925′, E104 degrees, 55.254‘
21, Street 136 @ Street 49
Just around the corner from the Cyrcee Club, the Mikado is a friendly hostess bar of easy ambience. GPS Coordinates: N11 degrees, 34.168′, E104 degrees, 55.422‘
124, Street 130, across from Kennedy Hair Cut
Despite being around seemingly forever, Sharky has remaining fresh and lively, due to its combination of Khmer and Vietnamese hostesses. This legendary Phnom Penh watering hole has a small verandah that’s a neat place to watch the street action below. GPS Coordinates: N11 degrees, 33.924′ E104 degrees, 55.418′