Classy and gay-friendly
Siem Reap’s first gay bar opened 10 years ago, and swiftly made a name for itself for its superb cocktails, late-night partying and supreme people-watching potential. The Saturday night ladyboy revues were a howling crowd-pleaser too. But times move on. Linga was also one of the first foreign bars to open around Pub Street, and has now become one of the first to fall victim of the steep rent hikes that are sweeping the area. And so Linga Bar has moved on too. All the way across to the other side of The Passage, directly opposite the old venue.
Proving that you can’t keep a good man, or bar, down, Linga has re-opened in what was once the lobby of Hotel Be, in far cooler surrounds and it’s not just the air conditioning. The stellar cocktails (average price $3.50, beers $2.50) and friendly service have remained the same, but the venue is smaller, much smaller, and classier. Much classier. Christian Develter’s stunning graphic portraits look down on a bar that is lit in soft greys, with sleek, contemporary urban furnishings. The music is in the same vein, with contemporary lounge setting the tone. Sadly the drag show has strutted its last.
As before, Linga Bar may have been serving the gay community as its focus for years, but this place is for everyone, especially those seeking a little more sophistication than is the Pub Street area norm.
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.
Our top 10 places to eat and drink around Siem Reap