Siem Reap’s Cambodian Pub Street

Siem Reap’s Cambodian Pub Street

Go local

More on Siem Reap

I was talking to an Irish nurse recently who was describing her two years spent volunteering in a provincial Cambodian hospital, living in a building beside the hospital with no television, electricity or fridge, no pizza, wine or cheese, no internet, pub quizzes or bags of Kettle Chips from the supermarket. No cappuccinos! As we listened, simultaneously thrilled and aghast, a friend of mine commented “Oh, I see! See, you live in Cambodia. We live in Siem Reap, it’s somewhere else entirely.” Which just about sums it up really.

Travelfish says:

Siem Reap town isn’t really Cambodia anymore. At least, downtown Siem Reap isn’t. It’s full of foreign restaurants that are full of foreigners eating foreign food (even the ‘local’ food in the restaurants catering to foreigners is foreign, as it’s prepared with ingredients from Thailand and Vietnam), and drinking foreign drinks (apart from Cambodia’s beers, on which I really must do some extensive research for professional purposes very soon). It’s comforting in a way when Cambodia still, undeservedly, carries the mantle of being a little bit of an edgy, scary place to go, and you can’t really blame people for taking refuge in it.

Cambodia's Pub Street

Cambodia’s Pub Street. See the bright lights!

That will pass with time, and the sooner the better. But it’s not necessary to step onto a bus and head off for the wild hills in order to experience a little more of Cambodia as it’s lived by Cambodians. In fact, the most fun way to do that is to find a Cambodian beer garden of which there are more than many once you start to head for the city’s perimeters.

And why not head for Siem Reap’s own Cambodian Pub Street, a long road teeming with bars and restaurants, with bright lights, shockingly bad music, insanely cheap beer, and lots of young Cambodians out for a laugh. The options range from small, bamboo cabins to modern, almost American style open-plan restaurants with booths and table service.

To get there, just ask your tuk tuk driver to take you up along Sivatha Boulevard to Route 6, then turn towards the airport. Then, at the first set of traffic lights, turn right and you’re there. It’s 10 minutes from Pub Street, allowing for traffic jams.

From small bamboo lean tos to big neon-lit Karaoke bars

From small bamboo lean-tos to big neon-lit karaoke bars.

Selecting one is a matter of feel at the end of the day. Since almost all the names are in Khmer, I can’t tell you a great deal. The Triangle Club, however, is always easy to find, and most tuk tuk drivers will know what you’re talking about if you ask for it. It’s an open-plan restaurant and bar, with tables in the centre of the room and booths lining the edges. Cambodia beer costs $1.75 per jug. Yes, you read that right. A jug costs a tiny bit more, and in many cases a little bit less, than a bottle does on Pub Street. A bottle is 3,500, riel while a can is 3,000 riel.

The table service includes endless top-ups of your glass and one thing you’ll learn is that Cambodians tend to drink their beer with lots of ice. It’s actually very nice, and helps to mitigate the morning horrors of course.

And speaking of cures, the nurse loved her time here.

Contact details for Siem Reap’s Cambodian Pub Street

Reviewed by

Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.

Browse hotels on Agoda


Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda. Prefer Booking? Click here.


Our top 10 places to eat and drink around Siem Reap

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Abacus

A real treat

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Angkor Cafe

Flash Angkor option

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Angkor What?

The original bar

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Best coffee joints

Go for hot and steamy

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Best happy hours

Sip in affordable style

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Breakfasts

Start the day like a king

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Cafe Central

Classy for a meal or chill-out

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Cafe Indochine

Romance and great food

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Cambodian food basics

A primer

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Chamkar

Cosy and friendly

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Champey

Fine Khmer food

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Cuisine Wat Damnak

Amazing

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Fancy Cambodian food

Upmarket local fare

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
FCC Angkor

Refreshing escape

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
French restaurants

Wine, cheese and more

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Garden restaurants

Food with a view of sorts

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Gelato Lab

Can't beat it

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Haven Training Restaurant

An outstanding meal for a good cause

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Hawaii Pizza House

More than pizza

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Il Forno

Superstar Italiano

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
International food

A wrap

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Italian restaurants

Fantastic

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Ivy 2

Vegetarians and tapas lovers' delight

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Joe to Go

Generous proportions, reasonable prices

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Khmer Kitchen

Always tasty

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
La Boulangerie

Great breakfasts and salads

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
La Cabane La Cuisine des Filles

Honest French food

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Laundry Bar

Get all washed up

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Le Triskell d'Angkor

For a little Gallic twist

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Linga Bar

Classy and gay-friendly

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Maharajah

Typical Indian fare

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Marum

A worthy splurge

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Mexican food

You're a long way from Matzalan

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Miss Wong

Funky

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Mr Grill

Sizzling

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
NGO restaurants

Fill up and help out

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Peace Cafe

Vegetarian hit

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Picasso

Tapas

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Pub quiz mania

Exercise your noodle

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Rooftop bars

Plenty to see

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Sister Srey Cafe

Superb coffee

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Street food

Great value eats

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Supermarkets

The practical stuff

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Tapas

Finger-lickin' good

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
The Hive

Cool respite, Western food

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
The Indian

Cracking Indian food

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
The Old House

Good value Khmer food with class

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
The Sugar Palm

Best amok in town

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Vegetarian food

A bit of a challenge

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Wine

The bucket is for the ice

 

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
X-Bar

Great rooftop