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Entertainment

Cinemas

Since the encouragement from the Ministry of Fine Arts and Culture and the Cambodian people strongly support to the Khmer films, most abandoned cinemas have been re-open. Recently, the Khmer films is very popular for Cambodian people not only in city but also provinces. The Khmer movies can be seen around the city at the main street - such as Kirirom Cinema - Sihanouk blvd., Luxe Cinema - Norodom blvd., Vimean Tip - Monivong blvd... 

Movie Houses

English language movies shown in private viewing rooms at Movie Street Video Center, #116, Sihanouk blvd., The French Cultural Center (Street 184) hosts French films at 6:30PM every few days. The Russian Market (Toul Tom Pong) carries the most recent movies CDs.

Nightclubs, Pub and Bars

Phnom Penh is a surprisingly good little party town, offering a dusk till dawn nightlife and a variety of places from which to choose - from dance clubs and sports bars to neighborhood pubs and upscale clubs. Bars and clubs are scattered across the town but as the city is not all that large, 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 stroll easily from one to the next.

The riverfront area has the greatest number and variety of places with dozens of bars and restaurants stretching along Sisowath Quay and up the side streets from the riverfront. Street 104 at the north end of the riverfront area and Street 136 mid-riverfront both harbor a goodly collection of sports and hostess bars and western restaurants. More than enough places to bar hop they night away. Though most of the bars right on the riverfront tend to close around midnight, almost all of the the bars (especially the hostess bars) on Street 104 and Street 136 are serving until at least 3:00AM, some even later.

Another little huddle of hostess bars sits at the corner of Street 108 and Norodom Blvd. Late night, Street 51 between Streets 154 and 174 is a happening place to be. A varied collection of more than a dozen bars including the Walkabout, Zeppelin Café, Howies and Heart of Darkness are squeezed along a couple of blocks. The street’s busiest after midnight with some places open past 4:00AM. Street 51 is also a good place to place to get a midnight snack. The Walkabout kitchen is open 24 hours and there are a couple of food wagons serving burgers, skewers and hot dogs that sit in front of Howie Bar and stay open till 4:30AM.

For live music check out the Bayon Pearnik magazine and the back page of the Friday Cambodia Daily. Regular venues include Memphis Pub delivering up live rock & roll and blues every evening Monday through Saturday, the lobby bars at the major hotels with Cambodian and Filipino bands playing popular music, The Winking Frog with a live band playing into the evening Fridays and Saturdays and the Bopha Phnom Penh Titanic offering a mix of live popular music and open mike. Though not a regular event, Sharky Bar hosts occasional live rock on Friday and Saturday nights.

Phnom Penh is the place for disco nightlife. There are several clubs that see a good mix of locals and foreigners, like Rock, Spark, U2... Nightlife in Phnom Penh tends to begin fairly late - an 9 pm start is usual, after a leisurely meal and some drinks at a bar. Drink prices can be steep, but you can always pop outside and get a swift half from a street seller.

Siem Reap’s nightlife stretches to near dawn these days with Pub Street coming to life around dusk and the last bars and clubs in town closing as late as 4:00AM. Nightlife venues are scattered across the town but many are clustered in the Old Market area, especially along Pub Street. The bars in the Pub Street area offer amazing early evening happy hour deals and some places stay open well into the wee hours. But the action is not limited to Pub Street. Less crowded, less touristy, more individual places can be found in the Wat Bo and Old Market areas, along the river road and Sivatha Blvd. And for something completely different, the Cambodian discos such as Zone One and Sok San get going around 10:00PM and close by 2:00 or 3:00AM. There's more live music in Siem Reap nowadays with Angkor Palace Resort and Sokha Angkor Resort offering Filipino bands playing live popular music every evening. Listings in dark blue offer a nightlife venue in addition to other services such as restaurant services.

Dining Out in Siem Reap and Traditional Dance

Public performances of Khmer traditional dance are few and far between. The places to find are at few hotel in Phnom Penh and most local restaurants in Siem Reap. The best Khmer Traditional Dance show with dinner can be seen at Kulen II restaurant in Siem Reap city center. Check the local English-language newspapers for news of upcoming events.

For a comparatively small town, Siem Reap offers an amazing range of cuisines and dining venues. The emphasis is, of course, on Khmer food, which can be found at restaurants across town, but European and other Asian cuisines are also well represented, including Italian, Thai, German, Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and, of course, French. Given Cambodia's long relationship with France and France's gastronomic traditions, it is no surprise some of the town’s finest venues offer French cuisine. Also of interest to the gastronome, some finer venues are offering Khmer-Asian-western fusion and contemporary cuisines quite unique to Cambodia. Restaurants are scattered across the town but none is more than a 5-minute tuk-tuk ride away.

Many restaurants, including several specializing in Khmer food, are concentrated into the Old Market area, especially around ‘Pub Street.’ Make sure to set aside one dinner to attend a traditional 'Apsara' dance performance. Listings in maroon offer traditional performances. See Traditional Performances for more details.

Dining Out in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh (map) offers an excellent selection of dining venues ranging from fine Khmer and French dining to American style bar & grills and budget noodle & rice shops. But the emphasis is of course on Khmer (Cambodian) food. Khmer cuisine shares many similarities with other Southeast Asian foods, including dishes such as curries, sates and fish-based meals, but Khmer cookery tends to be much more delicately spiced than other regional cuisines and is rarely spicy hot. Cambodian breakfast consists of noodle soup (kui-teo) or fried meat with rice and pickled vegetables and dinner is made up of courses of salads, a soup and a main dish with rice. Meats are served bite-size and the table is set with fork, spoon and chop sticks, but no knife. Perhaps the most popular first Khmer dish for foreigners is Amok, a yellow coconut curry, usually made with fish and traditionally cooked and served in a fresh coconut.

Chinese food is also very popular and the city sports a goodly number and range of Chinese places from budget-priced dumpling shops strung along Street 136 near Phsar Thmey to top-end restaurants such as Xiang Palace at the InterContinental Phnom Penh Hotel and Yi Sang.

Most western cuisines are well-represented in Phnom Penh - pizzerias, home-cooked British and American food, contemporary delis and cafés, fine German, Italian and especially French restaurants. Given Cambodia's long relationship with France and Gallic gastronomic traditions, it is no surprise some of Phnom Penh’s finest and most interesting dining venues are French.
Many of the restaurants are clustered into certain areas of town. Dozens of restaurants and bars line the riverfront dining and shopping area near the Royal Palace and Boeung Keng Kang 1 is dotted with local and foreign restaurants, especially along Street 278. Budget eateries and bars can be found along Street 93 next to the Boeung Kak Lake, an area popular with backpackers. For very late night munchies. For home delivery.