Cambodia is a lively country, and the cities that house most of its population have their own trendy nightspots and recognizable pubs to enjoy.

While a night out in the Sisowath tourist strip in Phnom Penh (also known as the Riverside) might seem inviting, with its waterside location and up market bars, even well trodden and busy places like these can be the haunts of some of Cambodia’s cities less salubrious clientele.

Tourism is big business for the country, but take care that you’re not supporting the local economy by inadvertently funding crime every time you step outside your hotel room for a night on the town.


Cambodia after dark

After dark, many of the tourist areas in Cambodia’s cities come alive with a plethora of Asian beauties plying their trade on an open market.

These love-you-long-time girls are the stuff of legends, but a night with one of these lovelies may leave you with more than just a lasting memory.

Cambodia has a startlingly high HIV rate, and with sex one of its best forms of income, that figure is set to rise.  The practice is so common that is actually harder to find a street that doesn’t have a few call girls propping up the local buildings. And with pimps in the background waiting to force a sale, even approaching one of these girls is likely to cost you, so it’s best to stay away in general. More often than not, a polite ‘no’ is all it takes to get rid of them, but if you that isn’t enough, just head into the nearest westernized bar where, generally speaking, local Cambodians won’t venture.

Phnom Penh is a surprisingly good little party town, offering a dusk till dawn nightlife and a variety of places from which to choose – dance clubs, sports bars, neighborhood pubs, karaoke, upscale clubs and more.

Bars and clubs are scattered across the town but as the city is fairly compact it’s never more than a five or ten minute ride between places, usually less. And there are several little clusters of bars and nightspots around town allowing you to hop easily from one to the next.

The riverfront area sports the greatest number of places with dozens of bars and restaurants stretching along Sisowath Quay and up the side streets. Radiating off the riverfront road, Street 104 and Street 136 both harbor goodly collections of sports and hostess bars open late into the night. Another little huddle of hostess bars sits at the corner of Streets 108 and 51.

Late night, the clubs are the place to be. In the couple of blocks between Streets 154 and 174, Street 51 near the Heart is lined with a varied collection bars, busy into the early morn – Walkabout, Zeppelin, and Howies are but a few of the Street 51 places. The street is busiest after midnight with some bars open past 4AM. Street 51 is also a good place to place to get a midnight snack. The Walkabout is open 24/7, Zeppelin Café serves food until at least 4AM and there are a couple of late night restaurants in the Golden Sorya Mall opposite the Heart.