After a day tour through the fabled temples, old palaces & museums, and other places to visit in Cambodia, would you like to sleep early? Think again! Cambodia is another place altogether during the night. And if you sit this one out, you will only get a slice of the Khmer culture.
Ditch that duvet and head out into this gorgeously maddening place. And we assure you a memorable night. Follow this Cambodia nightlife guide for a dip into the wild western sensibilities. Don’t worry fam, we’ve got you covered.
Nightlife in Phnom Penh
A good old party town, Phnom Penh sure knows how to kick off things in style. From your morning coffee to late night tango, Phnom Penh offers the best nightlife in Cambodia.
Eat, drink, and rave: The best nightclubs, rooftop bars, and restaurants in Phnom Penh
1. Eclipse Sky Bar
The highest rooftop bar in the capital, Eclipse Sky Bar is the best place to get a taste of the Cambodia nightlife. Surrounded by glass panels, this rooftop bar offers a panoramic view of the Independence monument, the Royal Palace, and the converging Mekong and Bassac rivers.
Timings: 5 pm – 2 am | Facebook
Located on Street 172, Pontoon is where you should be headed if you are still mulling over the night. Their music includes hip-hop, dubstep, techno, and deep house depending on the day. A cabaret and live drag show called Shameless is also organized on Wednesdays. Also, there is a smaller nightclub within Pontoon called Pontoon Pulse which mainly plays house and techno music. The best nightlife in Cambodia is undoubtedly here.
Timings: 9 pm – 4 am | Website
3. FCC Restaurant and Bar
Suggested Read: 10 Temples In Cambodia That Stand As Epitome Of Antiquity
The affluent nightlife in Cambodia is centred around a few top-notch places and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Restaurant & Bar is definitely one of them. Head here for the fusion cuisine, live music, and, of course, the alcohol – because, sometimes, a pint of beer is all the therapy you need.
Timings: 6 am – midnight | Website
Street 104, Street 130, and Street 136: The hub of Hostess bars in Phnom Penh
Certainly the most commercial, nightlife in Phnom Penh city is concentrated in these areas. Many high end atmospheric bars and clubs are located on these streets. The popular ones that dominate the scene include 69 Bar, Candy Bar, Zanzi Bar, and Soft Spot Bar. Most of these bars are open until 2 am.
Itsy Bitsy Art: Shadow theatre and traditional dances in Phnom Penh
1. Apsara Dance in Phnom Penh
Suggested Read: 15 Places To Visit In Cambodia – The Erstwhile Khmer Empire
This Cambodia nightlife guide would be immaterial if we don’t cover the traditional arts and culture of the Khmer empire. The Apsara dance performance is an essential component of the Cambodian way of life and offers an alternate performance space to classical dancers. The dance has been developed from the mythological courts of kings & Gods and the unique storyline is narrated through vibrant costumes, flexible movements, & soulful music.
Note: You can also watch the Apsara Dance in most cafes and restaurants in Siem Reap.
2. Folk Dance in Phnom Penh
Apsara Dance might be the more popular dance performance among tourists, but Cambodia also boasts of rich folk dances. The Robam Nesat or the fishing dance is a traditional form that will captivate you through its beauty and poise. Another traditional performing arts show, the Plae Pakaa is a series of folk performances. There are three rotational shows from Monday to Saturday at 7 pm in the National Museum. Passage of life and other Khmer rituals are shown through folk dance.
3. Shadow Theatre and Puppet Shows
Along with the traditional and the folk dances, shadow puppet performances and drum shows are other performing arts in Cambodia. The Sovanna Phum Arts Association organizes these shows at 7.30 pm every Friday and Saturday. So, if you are in town, you can adjust your schedule accordingly and explore this side of nightlife in Phnom Penh city as well. Audience members are also invited to try their hand at the shadow puppets after the performance.
Note: You can also visit the Java cafe and the art gallery near the Independence monument that is open till 10 pm.
The cheap thrills : Night shopping in Phnom Penh
Among the night markets in Cambodia, the one in Phnom Penh is popular for its clothes, accessories, curios, handicrafts, and cutting-edge food scene. Kravan House, Mulberry Boutique, Wanderlust, and Silk & Pepper are a few shops selling chic souvenirs. Street 240, behind the Royal Palace, is considered to be an artsy shopping street. Most of these places are open until 11 pm every day.
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Nightlife in Siem Reap
Siem Reap, also known as the gateway to the ruins of Angkor, is a definite nightlife hub. The evening entertainment is diverse and varied, which makes Siem Reap an ideal space for bar-hopping.
Pubs, Lounges, and Rooftop Bars in Siem Reap: Because Beer first
1. Pub Street
Got no reason for hanging at the bar? Then Pub Street is your affirmative answer. Budget bars & nightclubs, special offers on drinks, and the pulsating music make it one of the best places for nightlife in Cambodia. The popular Cambodia bars in Pub Street include the Angkor What? Bar, Easy Speaking, Soul Train Reggae Bar, and Mezze Lounge & Nightclub. Nights here can be long and raucous. Most of these places are open until 4 am.
2. Miss Wong Cocktail Bar
Known for its extensive range of cocktails, Miss Wong is popular among the lounge music lovers. Not in the swing of things yet? Head to Miss Wong to begin your night with the Miss Wong Punch and Lemon Grass Collins. A five minute walk from Angkor Night Market, this bar is an irresistible urban space that enhances the Cambodia nightlife experience.
Timings: 6 pm – 1 am | Website
3. Elephant Bar
The Elephant Bar at Raffles is ideal for your sophisticated sipping. This is where the affluent travelers can enjoy the traditional Khmer cuisine along with imported wine and liquor. Revel in the conglomerate culture at Raffles with other nocturnal clubbers and make the most of your Cambodia nightlife experience.
Timings: 4 pm – midnight | Website
Phare, the Cambodian Circus: For those who crave a different buzz
This is undoubtedly Siem Reap’s most authentic evening entertainment and ensures a thrilling experience of the Cambodia nightlife. With emphasis on performing arts and a social message behind each production, this modern form of circus uniquely uses Cambodian history & folk to entertain tourists.
Timings: 8 pm | Website
Note: You can also watch the circus of Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang.
The vibrant Cambodian Angkor night market
The first night market in Cambodia, the Angkor Night Market boasts of over 200 shops and is open till midnight everyday. Where on one hand, shops such as Sala House & Kroma House offer tourists an interesting option of Khmer artefacts, places such as Brick House & Island Bar help tourists relax after the tedious task of picking up souvenirs from their Cambodia vacation.
Nightlife in Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s beach capital, is famous for its seafood and casinos. A typical night in Sihanoukville ranges from visiting different beaches to probably passing out on one of them.
1. La Rhumerie
A popular rum bar in the heart of the town, La Rhumerie is where most of the nightlife in Sihanoukville is concentrated. The smooth mellow flavor of your preferred beachside drink should be enough to drag you here. The coffee-infused rum at La Rhumerie is a must try.
Timings: 6 pm – 2 am | Facebook
2. JJ’s Playground
Looking for a wild, kickass night? Then JJ’s Playground is your arena. Perhaps offering the best nightlife in Cambodia, JJ’s is known for its loud techno music, uproar, and fire shows. The mad scene here can be summed up in their tagline, “Let’s get wasted”.
Timings: 6 pm – 6 am | Website
Located on the Ochheuteal Beach, Sessions is popular for its music and beach parties. The drinks are moderately priced and both locals & foreigners stop by for a drink if they are around.
Bonus experiences of the nightlife in Cambodia
Casinos in Poipet
Ranging from casinos to karaoke bars, fun ways to destress in Poipet are plenty. Grand Diamond City Hotel & Casino and Tropicana Casino Resort are the famous casinos in this area. These casinos are open 24×7 and are extremely popular among the foreigners. So, if you’ve enough money to spare, this is where you should be. Afterall, you don’t owe anyone a thang!
Lotus Bar & Gallery in Battambang
Infamous for the four-year-long massacre that began in 1975, Battambang is an upcoming town in Western Cambodia. The town, however, holds a good reputation for its vibrant art spaces. The Lotus Bar & Gallery is one such place.
Popular among local expats and tourists alike, the art gallery is open until late. It sells and showcases unique art, clothes, and souvenirs. They also serve a range of cocktails, wine, beer, and cider.
Other popular restaurants and bars: Smokin’ Pot on the Rooftop, Here Be Dragons, and Buffalo Alley.
Cambodia Nightlife Tips: Exploring the nightlife at Cambodia is definitely a lifetime experience but make sure you travel safe and secure.
Too many places, too little time. Right? Start wandering and see where the night takes you on your Cambodia holiday. Comment to share your crazy nightlife experiences with us.
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