Phnom Penh

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The Silver Pagoda, on the grounds of the Royal Palace.

Phnom Penh Sex Guide advises where to find sex, working girls, prostitution, street hookers, brothels, red-light districts, prostitutes, erotic massage parlors, strip clubs and escorts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia, located at the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap rivers.

Sex Scene and Prostitution

Prostitution in Cambodia is illegal, but prevalent.

Phnom Penh’s sex industry is world famous, though far less glamorous than the likes of Pattaya or the Philippine's Angeles City. There are numerous businesses in the city center that ever-obliging tuk-tuk drivers will be happy to take you to. These are more tailored to Asian customers that prefer Vietnamese women, who dominate Phnom Penh’s regulated sex scene.

Pricing Policy

Pricing policy of Khmer (Cambodian) prostitutes is quite clear. Prices are basically determined by the nationality of the customer. Minimal, basic service cost - twenty dollars for a date. There is a lot of countries, and Cambodia is not an exception, where it is possible to negotiate with the girl and try to go with her for less money, but it is considered as a mauvais ton, and to get paid less than twenty mean now to lose the face and respect. Usually, twenty dollars price is only for Khmer people and the foreigners, long time living in Cambodia. It has been said that local men can sometimes get it much cheaper (for example less than $5). Fee for travelers is a little bit different. For the barangs - the white tourists - 20 - 30 dollars to pay, the Chinese and Japanese - are even more expensive - up to $50. Finally, the highest fee is established for black skin tourists - a hundred dollars and not a cent less. This is due to the fact that for some reason Negros causes Khmer woman absolutely sincere, undisguised disgust. To go with a black man for less than a hundred dollars and all the girlfriends will be laughing! Incidentally, Negros is blaming Khmer prostitutes for racist behavior.

Red Light District

There is no centralised red light district in Phnom Penh, but the area around Street 130, Street 136 and Street 51 (also 104) is where the majority of bar girls can be found, at any time of the day or night. Most of the "bars" are little more than brothels with beer, although some run a clean, friendly operation. All of the girls that work there are available to takeaway, at around US$15-25 for a ‘short time’ or up to US$50 for the whole night, depending on your bargaining skills. A bar fine(10$) will also need to be paid to take merchandise off the premise, although make sure your hotel accommodates such visitors to avoid a scene on your return.

  • Street 51 was originally known for the Walkabout hotel and bar and is in the meantime the busiest redlight nightlife area in Phnom Penh with it's clubs Heart of darkness and the in 2010 opened Pontoon. 51 has several hostess and other bars and the Golden Sorya entertainment complex with around 30 restaurants, shops and bars and restaurants makes it the place to go at nights.
  • Phnom Penh's street 104 is the busiest touristic area right on riverfront with plenty of bars and guesthouses. 104 is one of the hostess bar areas in city.
  • Phnom Penh's street 136 is the busiest touristic area right on riverfront with plenty of bars and guesthouses. 136 is one of the hostess bar areas in city. Right at riverfront are girlie bars lining up. A bit further behind on the street is the for it's live music events famous sharky's bar, which is as well known for having plenty of freelance girlies hanging out.

Prostitutes

Pricing policy of Khmer prostitutes is quite clear. It has been explained by a professional massage therapist, working at one of the Phnom Penh hotels. Prices are basically determined by the nationality of the customer. Minimal, basic service cost - twenty dollars for a date.

Many of the freelance girlies are drug addicted as no one else taking no drugs would make a happy powerface daily 5am in the morning. Those which are on drugs would not really care about making any checks and you have a high risk to get any presents when going with freelances for funny hours. Those who wanna reduce the risk a bit better pick up their girlies from a western run bar and hope the owner is at least a bit serious about it.

Street hookers / Prostitution

You can find street walkers in Phnom Penh from these areas:

  • Places where to find streetwalkers in Phnom Penh are Wat Phnom, 154 between 63 & Monivong.

Girlie bars

There are lots of girlie bars near to the riverfront. In some of the bars you can buy a beer or a drink for a lady and then you can chat and probably kiss with her if you want. Girls get comission of those drinks. From some places you can also ask to take a working girl to your hotel. That would cost about $5 for the bar and then you usually can negotiate the final price with the girl. Usually after the girl has left your hotel, the receptionist comes to your room and ask if everything is OK. Hotels want to keep their customers safe. Many of these girls come to work to the capital city from country side. You can find different type of girls there: some of them are very attractive and some of them are not. When you go inside lot of girls come to talk with you if they don't have "clients" at the moment. You can first just drink a beer by yourself and watch how does everything work in the bar. You can also ask politely the girls to leave your table if they are too aggressive and later ask that girl to sit next to you who you'll find interesting. It's common to play pool or just having fun conversations with them. Most of them are very smiley and funny. Of course if you spend all evening with the same girl and buy her drinks, she might get tipsy. That is sometimes more fun for you both or sometimes it can be depressing if the girl don't like her job.

The real action doesn’t heat up until after 23:00, when travellers and working girls become open season. Independent working girls (i.e. not staff, therefore no bar fine), also known as freelancers or streetwalkers, ply their trade from bar to bar looking for customers. These girls are not tied to a bar and pocket most of their earnings.

The biggest girlie heaven in Cambodia is Pontoon. And here the girlies can dress the way they like and get a decent chair surrounded by ambience. When the show is over in the big clubs 4am, they all move into Golden Sorya around the corner where the parties go on until the next day starts.

First of all, with your first acquaintance with a template go-go bar somewhere in the middle of Phnom Penh, be prepared for the fact that you can easily be refused. Khmer women are very willful, stubborn, and often can be a bitch. If suddenly you have something not pleasant for the girl nearly the bar, it is the cause for she to deny you without any hesitation or doubt, sometimes referring to some suggested reason.

List of some girlie bars in Phnom Penh:

  • Walkabout (24 hours), One of the best places to find freelance workers, the 24hr kitchen and guesthouse means you may never leave. Open: 24 hour; Corner of Street 51 & 174, tel: +855 23 211 715.
  • Martini Pub, Made famous in the 90s by visiting UNTAC workers, this bar advertises for the hungry, bored and lonely. Good drinks and lots of ladies, it also features an outdoor cinema and gaming room. Open: 19:00-03:00; #110, Street 173, tel: (011) +855 11 874 416.
  • Sharky Bar, The original Phnom Penh club bar, with plenty of space indoors and out, is a popular mainstream institution with a huge dancing area that is always packed with girls. Open: 17:00-02:00; tel: +855 12 228 045.
  • Heart of Darkness (after midnight), Cambodia’s most well-known nocturnal party bar. The modern version is far more stylish than its notorious predecessor; the game table on the dance floor sees more negotiating than pool. Full to the Khmer rafters on Friday and Saturday nights. Open: 20:00-04:00 (Sunday-Thursday), 20:00-05:00 (Friday-Saturday); #38 Street 51, tel: +855 23 222 415.
  • Pontoon (after midnight), Walkabout area @ Sorya night mall. Pontoon is next to Riverhouse and Heart of Darkness one of the best clubs in Phnom Penh. It's daily a full house and the place where all freelance girlies are going.
  • 69 Bar, Small, lively hostess bar in the heart of the red light area, back from the riverfront. The girls like to drink, dance and play games. Open: 18:00-06:00; #25 Street 136, tel: +855 13 413 413.
  • Dream Bar, A more relaxing atmosphere than its neighbours, offering music that is not at volume 11 and chatty staff. Open: 16:00-02:00; #38Eo, Street 118, corner of Street 5, tel: +855 23 991 369, mobile: +855 12 947 555.
  • Flora Bar, A cosy hostess bar with hands-on staff. The couches in the back are for the open minded and adventurous. Open: 16:00 to late; #5, Street 136, tel: +855 16 366 610, mobile: +855 12 366 610.
  • Nay Nay Star Bar, A stylish hostess bar with the usual girls, sports and alcohol. The upstairs guesthouse can be convenient. Open: 19:00-02:00; #5Eo, Street 102, tel: +855 12 769 536.
  • Oasis Bar, A great location in the middle of the nightlife circuit, with decent drink prices and reasonable music. Oasis is a good place for a drink with the ever-thirsty staff. Open: 16:00-03:00; #35Eo, Street 136, tel: +855 92 409 177.
  • Candy Bar, One of the bigger complexes, with the 24hr sports-friendly venue offering plenty of hostesses in addition to comfortable seating, music at conversation volume and an upstairs guesthouse. Open: 24 hour, Happy hour 09:00-21:00; #24-26, Street 136, tel: +855 15 691 969, mobile: +855 12 963 639.
  • Oscar's, Oscar's is a charming hostess bar @ Phnom Penh's 104 street. The owner and his friends play live rock music from wednesday to sunday from 10pm 5 times a week. +855 (0)89 48 28 27.
  • Riverhouse is one of the best running clubs in Phnom Penh located right on the touristic riverfront. Address: #157 E1, Sisowath Quay. Phone: +855 (0)23 220 180. Location: Riverfront.
  • You can find also other Hostess Bar Girls from Street 104, Street 136, Street 51 (near golden sorya).

Strip clubs

Erotic massage parlors

There is one area of town where you cannot go wrong. It is on Sotheros Blv just south of Sihanuk Blv. The area is called Bassac and it is easily found by its landmark 1960s building (which is now in a state of near ruin, but filled with people). If you ask a moto driver to take you to \"Building\", pronounced \"Bo-dang\" by the locals, you will end up in front of it. A stone\'s throw further south you will see a row of newly constructed townhouses, most of which are now massage parlors. Go in and order an oil massage. The girls are on site 24/7 and if you find a favorite and she\'s not there they will call her to come.

The oil massages are $8 and the standard tip is $10. Of course, some girls will try to get more (who can blame them?). Just smile and stay at ten bucks. She\'s on the clock with them and will stay with you for the whole hour, it only takes a minute or so of bargaining for her to realize that $10 bucks is better than $0.

One word of warning, these places are not for sex. Police charge places to overlook their acts, and these places are not paying the kind of money that gives police the incentive to overlook it.

No worry though, all the drivers and guys on the street will likely ask you if you would like a girl on your way in (and again on the way out). They will bring one or two on a moto in a few minutes and you can go to a guesthouse with her down the street. Should be $5 for the room. Girls charge $14 and up for ST.

Alternatively, the girls in Cyceree are up for pretty much anything. Negotiate what you want in the bar before barfining them.

Transsexuals / Ladyboys

There are some bars where are almost only ladyboys inside. You can ask tuktuk or moto drives more or you can notice it pretty soon if you enter that kind of bar. Some of these shemales are very attractive and not too easy to notice the difference between natural born girls and them.

You should be more careful if you are with a trannie prostitute. They often are more likely the ones who might steel your valuables.

Gay & Lesbian Scene

Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Cambodia when it involves non-commercial acts between consenting adults in private. While traditional cultural mores tend to be tolerant in this area, even expressly providing support for people of an intermediate or third gender, LGBT rights legislation has not yet been enacted by the ruling government.

Gay Saunas and Bathhouses in Phnom Penh:

  • Galaxy Khmer, 18 Street 246
  • Romantic Sauna-Spa & Fitness, 59, Street 350
  • Love Spa, 103, rue 105
  • Amam Cafe & Spa, 20A rue 390

Bars for mixed Gay and Lesbian guests:

  • Blue Chilli Bar, 36, Street 172

Gay Massages:

  • Hero, #111 rue 470
  • Hatha Khmer Phnom Penh, 32B, rue 368

Sexual Services for Women in Phnom Penh

If you are open to local men, your chances of dating are not much worse than in other countries. To be fair: It’s true that a western woman will have it a bit more difficult than her western counterpart. Cambodian guys don’t throw yourself at you – and those that do are usually no good. But there is definitely an interest and curiosity from the side of Cambodian men that is often challenged by shyness and a lack of English skills. Plus many Cambodian men approach women in a very subtle way. Maybe you’ve been approached and didn’t even notice it.

Sex Shops & Adult Stores

There are few street hustlers that are selling viagra, cialis and kamagra. Some vendors also sell sex toys.

Escort services

Sleeping

In Phnom Penh almost every hotel accepts to bring company to hotel room. Not a big deal. Sometimes hotels can ask for some extra cash, so you can ask before booking the room to be sure.

There are also options for a short time room where you can bring company. All the prostitutes know the closest short time rooms around.

Girl Friendly Hotels

  • Eureka Villas
  • Circa 51 Boutique Residence (there is prostitutes in nearby areas)
  • Paddy Rice
  • Manor House
  • Mittapheap Hotel
  • Aqua Boutique Guesthouse
  • Indochine 2 Hotel
  • Circuit Hotel - Nana Hotel
  • Royal Inn Hotel

See also: Global list of girl friendly hotels

Stay safe

As in any big city, be wary walking alone at night. Daytime bag-snatching is common.

There are dozens of girlie bars catering to foreigners in the cross-streets back from the river. Freelance girls are picked up at establishments like Heart of Darkness, Sharkys Bar, Riverhouse Lounge and Martini Pub.

HIV is carried by about one in eight of Cambodia's female sex workers. NGOs have got the HIV rate in the general population down from around 2% to around 1% over the past decade but emerging liberal behaviour coupled with ignorance of safe practices may reverse this gain. Condoms are strongly advised.

Cambodia is a safe and friendly country, with the usual exception for large cities late at night, particularly Phnom Penh, and unobserved luggage or wallets. Bag snatching, even from those on bicycles and motorcycles, is a problem in Phnom Penh. Be discreet with your possessions, especially cash and cameras, and as always, take extra care in all poorly lit or more remote areas. If you are renting a motorcycle it has been advised to purchase and use your own lock for securing it as some of the less scrupulous staff at rental companies have been known to use their copy of the key to steal bikes and leave the traveler paying the exceptionally high value estimation. Police assistance in many cases requires some "facilitation" money in a sort of bidding war between the victim and the criminal with "connections" complicating things further making recovery of the motorcycle difficult.

Crime and corruption

Intending visitors should be aware that the rule of law in Cambodia is inconsistently applied. Crimes usually require bribes to be investigated, and if perpetrators are wealthy or connected to the government they will often be untouchable by police and courts. You should also be aware that the courts are corrupt, so contracts are hard to enforce without some political leverage. All this being said, the violent crime rate is fairly low (especially to foreign visitors), the police are generally friendly and non-threatening, and those with common sense have little to fear.

Land mines

Cambodia suffers from a legacy of millions of land mines left during the war years. However, to tourists, land mines present a minimal to nonexistent threat, as most areas near touristed areas have been thoroughly de-mined. Many tourists mistake electric or sewage warning signs along national highways for land mine signs. HALO Trust, a leading mine removal organization in Cambodia asserts that you would have to drive through the jungle for at least an hour north of Angkor Wat to come across any mines. The threat is to locals in extremely rural areas who rely on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.

Nevertheless, in remote areas such as Preah Vihear (near the border) and Pailin (a former Khmer Rouge stronghold), exercise caution: ask for local advice and heed warning signs, red paint and red rope, which may indicate mined areas. Do not venture beyond well established roads and paths.

Prostitution

Prostitutes of both sexes can carry many STDs. The official HIV rate among prostitutes is 34%.

The age of consent in Cambodia is 15, however there are strict laws against prostitution of 15-18 year olds. Prostitution is theoretically illegal but widespread, although generally not overtly aimed at tourists, with the exception of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Many bars and clubs have taxi girls wandering the premises. Bear in mind that Southeast Asia has a fast-growing HIV infection rate, and among Cambodian sex workers this is about 1 in 8. So safe sex is a must in all cases. Cambodia had gained notoriety as a destination for pedophiles in the past. This is not the case anymore as prostitution of girls under 18 has all but disappeared from traditional venues. Certain local NGOs like the ChildSafe Network and its 24-hour hotline are vigilant in watching for and soliciting reports on pedophiles, whom they report to police, though they can at times be over zealous and accuse any caucasian man they see with a young Asian child. NGOs such as APLE are known to stalk and harass people they suspect to be pedophiles. Fearmongering and providing false statistics is a common way for NGOs to increase their funding. Also, many foreign visitors coming to Cambodia mistake the age of young women, given that they often look 3-5 years younger then their Western counterparts, it is not uncommon for a foreigner to mistake a 20 year old for a child prostitute.

Public health

Cambodia has a high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, being one of the worst affected countries in Asia. By 1995 there were between 50,000 and 90,000 Cambodians affected by AIDS, according to a WHO estimate. Transmission is mainly through heterosexual contact. Factors contributing to this include poverty, the presence of other STIs which facilitate HIV transmission, and a highly mobile workforce. This pattern is also seen in the sex worker population. Improvement has been seen in the last decade with condom promotion. Since 2001, there has been a "100% condom program" in place, which promoted safe sex.

See Also