How to Enjoy Nightlife in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Bassac Lane can get lively at weekends
Bassac Lane can get lively at weekends | © Kampuchea Party Republic
Photo of Marissa
3 March 2017

The compact Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh is a hive of activity from dusk through to dawn. There really is something for everyone when it comes to after-hours entertainment in Phnom Penh, from the seedier side of the city right up to its more sophisticated scene, and everything in between.

Starting off the night early is all too tempting, as Phnom Penh is awash with happy hours. For super cheap beer, Street 51 and the riverside area—Sisowath Quay and the roads that lead off it—are full of offers of draft beer for around 50 cents, usually between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Happy Hour at Raffle's Elephant Bar is a good way to start the night | © Raffles le Royal

Many guesthouses and bars will also drop their prices at around this time to lure punters in early. For something a little more upmarket, the capital’s longest-running and most famous happy hour is at Raffles le Royal Hotel.

From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day, the hotel’s swanky Elephant Bar is alive with people taking advantage of their half price cocktails—a great deal when the cheapest starts at $12. Try the Femme Fatale, which was created by the Cambodian royal household’s barman for former American First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy during her time at the hotel.

Address and Phone Number:

92 Rukhak Vithei, +855 (0)23 981 888

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, affectionately known as FCC, hosts another iconic happy hour. Between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily, the riverside hotel, bar, and restaurant’s top floor has people grappling for seats with its buy-one-get-one-free deals on cocktails.

Address and Phone Number:

363 Sisowath Quay, +023 724 014

Bassac Lane can get lively at weekends | © Kampuchea Party Republic

To start your night with the capital’s hip crowd, then head to Bassac Lane, a vibrant alley located off Street 308 that is home to a cute collection of boutique bars and diners. Hangar 44 is a great hangout for motorbike enthusiasts. Acting as the showroom for the custom motorbike company Moto Cambodge, it is full of slick bikes and gear. Neighboring Harry’s is also worth a stop off at for its vintage vibe. Happy hour runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Street 278, near Wat Langka, is popular with the backpacking crew, with Top Banana usually pulling in the crowds at weekends with live music, DJs, an upbeat atmosphere, and super-friendly staff. Tusk is another energetic venue that puts on evening entertainment throughout the week, with a small swimming pool to cool off in.

Another backpacker haunt is Street 172, which is full of guesthouses, cheap bars, and restaurants, all vying for punters’ attention.

Top Banana is a popular guesthouse and rooftop bar | © Top Banana

While many of the capital’s bars will call last orders at about 1 a.m., there are plenty of late night spots for those wanting to keep the party going until the early hours.

Pontoon is one of the capital’s most popular after-hours venues. Despite its semi-salubrious reputation, the dancefloor fills up after 1am and the tunes often carry on until the sun comes up. With a huge main room and two side rooms, music takes in hip hop, RnB, house, electro and 90s hits, with a mix of resident and international DJs hitting the decks.

Address and Phone Number:

80 Street 172, +855 (0)10 300 400

The nearby stretch of Street 51 and its swathe of dive bars is also alive until the early morning. If you fancy hanging out with the capital’s “characters” and ladies of the night drinking Angkor and whiskey, then this is the place to go.

Dusk till Dawn goes until the early hours | © Dusk till Dawn

Dusk till Dawn Rooftop Reggae Bar, opposite Pontoon, keeps up the pace until dusk—the clue is in the name. Offering sweeping views of the city from its open-air rooftop, drum ‘n’ bass, hip-hop, and reggae are blasted from a small podium that looks down onto the dancefloor.

Address and Phone Number:

Street 172, +855 (0)11 715 900

After dancing the night away, Street 51 and the stretch of Street 172 outside Pontoon are full of food carts, serving burgers, fries, rice dishes, and other food to soak up the booze before you hit your bed.