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Thread: Phnom Penh Nightlife discussion thread

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Phnom Penh Nightlife discussion thread

    EDIT ::: This is a discussion thread split out from this guide.

    Cambodia - Phnom Penh - Nightlife guide.

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    Wow 104 looks like an awesome street! Maybe apples and oranges but would you equate it to Bangla? Just to get an idea of size and number of bars.
    Last edited by LivinLOS; 8th June 2013 at 19:23.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    Wow 104 looks like an awesome street! Maybe apples and oranges but would you equate it to Bangla? Just to get an idea of size and number of bars.
    No far from it.. It's maybe 150m long and more like a sub soi off bangla..

    But it is fun, and spread around pp is a lot to do..

    BTW I am going to edit out these to a discussion thread.. Keeping the initial posts in this as a guide..

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    Looks like it has grown some since I was there last. Phnom Penh seems to be developing at quite a rate, might be time for a visit...

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    No far from it.. It's maybe 150m long and more like a sub soi off bangla..

    But it is fun, and spread around pp is a lot to do..
    That's fine, I'm still trying to picture what the nightlife is like (I imagine people will be more familiar with Thailand so will obviously make comparisons).

    Are the bars similar to typical Thai soi bars in terms of size? For that many bars shown in the map if can't be far off?

    Honestly my first impressions from what's been mentioned previously was very small scale bars, so it's good to get something to compare to (I'm sure people like me are considering it an alternative to Thailand so try to compare).

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    I will try to carry a camera more and document what I see, places I eat, etc.. I can be a bit self conscious snapping away like a tourist, or photographing meals like an Asian gf.. But if I am going to work on these guides, for the cities and places I hang out its going to be important.

    And it gives me a valid reason to run through Laos / luam prabang / vien chang etc again on the bike in the next month or so to gather guide info or hop to visit Nels in samui.. See how selfless I am ??

    Really.. I like the idea of collectively gathering up Asia guide info, working some meta faqs to link everyone's data.. I think that's a key aspect of what this site can be good for.. I hope others do to and can enjoy adding to it.

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    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    the main bar streets are 104, 136 and the area around 51...as LiL suggested the number of bars on a street are more like a soi eric or Gonzo....but the main difference is that they are all behind closed doors (by regulation) and more the size of say suzie's than a soi bar.....of course there are other loads of less densley populated streets with a couple of bars or a bar here and there...takes a bit of scouting about to sort these out for yourself though...I have never managed it in about 10 visits

    each bar will have between a handful and 30-40 girls in them...bar fines range from $7 up and beers can go from $1 up with LDs usually around $3-$5....price to the girl is usually between $20-$50 depending upon where they see themselves in the scheme of things..upmarket freelancers in the upmarket nightclubs may ask for $100 up

    Beware...not all of the girls in the bars go with customers...some only work for drinks, some are quite picky and will only go with a guy they really like and some (maybe less than but about half) are there to do business with most reasonable guys

    the bar experience is very hands on in PP...as in you may find you have about 5 girls massaging you at any one time...its kinda funny and kinda monkey like all at once..but once you let yourself go its a bit of a giggle

    here's a few shots of some of my fave gals in PP making a spectacle of themselves...pics are maybe 18 months oldish though...didn't take any photos last outing
    Attached Images Attached Images
    PadMC likes this.

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    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    and a few more....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Steve@thaib and Gary09 like this.

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Not sure they pull off the glasses look, but cute anyway!

    Reading the TRs honestly makes me think of PP as my first impressions of Phuket before I kinda got used to it, but most of Asia is probably like that to a newbie (variety is the spice of life?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    Not sure they pull off the glasses look, but cute anyway!

    Reading the TRs honestly makes me think of PP as my first impressions of Phuket before I kinda got used to it, but most of Asia is probably like that to a newbie (variety is the spice of life?)
    It's the same kind of learning curve. I would think a better comparison would be Bangkok, the nightlife is a bit more scattered around the city rather than all in one place like it is in Patong.

    A bit of local knowledge really helps, this mapping project is great info.

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    Senior Member briofoz's Avatar
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    Your maps need a distance scale.

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    Thanks for the Cambo threads LiL and top pic's Nels.

    Definitely interested in learning more about Cambodia. I think I'll be spending some time in Cambo in my next trip... But that wont be until next year as I've got my American trip in Oct.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briofoz View Post
    Your maps need a distance scale.
    Click the link

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Just discovered that clicking the link (map links) didnt do what I expected it to.. I am experimenting with a new (beta) version of google maps, which has layers and the ability to embed into a site easier.. But the linking process behaves differently to how regular google maps works. Normally you link to a map and it respects the level of zoom and location you have set it at, this one does not, so my links, while all being different, all come out pointing the same.. Also it doesnt keep layers on or off per the link so the tickboxes for 104 or 110 st layers need to be set by the user looking at the map.

    I will try to spend some time in the google help files and forums to see how the best way to do this mapping really is.. I think its got loads of potential if I can craft it the way I want it.

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    @ Sef
    What is the cost of a bar in a good soi?? Are we talking leases like in Phuket, or can you actually buy one??? Would you make a decent living from a bar there?? Know the last question is a bit up to the person running it, but what is your thoughts?

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonone View Post
    and a few more....
    Did you bring all your glasses Nels???

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geir View Post
    @ Sef
    What is the cost of a bar in a good soi?? Are we talking leases like in Phuket, or can you actually buy one??? Would you make a decent living from a bar there?? Know the last question is a bit up to the person running it, but what is your thoughts?
    OK this is all going to be kinda vague.. and also my perception.. Remember I havent done this, I have watched a Khmer do this, so its possible the reality may be different had I tried it..

    First off yes you could 'buy' a building (company ownership, nominee ownership etc) but property in PP has sky rocketed many 100% in the last 5 - 10 years and so valuation does not seem so appealing as it has come off the boil in the last 3 and direction is very uncertain.. A building (with bar) that I know for sale at 400k rented for 700 a month.

    When you 'buy' a bar.. Its more like what we expect, in that you buy the ongoing or new bar lease, its contents, lock stock and barrel etc, and the goodwill / location / customer base / if any.. You will take over the lease (often it seems the landlord is happy to rewrite a new 3 or 5 year one) and that will consist of a deposit (damages, returning the building in decent condition) for the landlord and monthly rent. So in effect theres 3 variables, goodwill then building rent and deposit. The landlord usualy doesnt benefit from the 'buy price' landlords are just landlords, not key money win win partners in your business.

    Sp there is no key money lump, that goes to the landlord and depreciates over the duration. Its fully expected that if you go the full term of the lease, you simply renegotiate with the landlord a new one, which may have a rent rise or adjustment, but has no big lump sum needed. The risk of course here is that the landlord will wish to sell or repurpose the building at the end of your lease and simply not wish to extend, or ask crazy money. I am sure this happens, I am sure this happens more to westerners than khmers who have an ongoing discussion and relationship with the landlord. Either way the purchase of the bar includes all inside it, all fixtures and fittings, which goes a VERY long way to offsetting the cost should you need to move on. Bars here seem to often (outside of the main 136 / 104 streets) be valued at the cost of their decor.

    When looking for a bar it was obvious that it was possible to buy an existing bar, or simply take on a the lease of a shop house and build a bar inside it.. The latter is cheaper and given time and a local to help you would work well for any of the streets 130 to 108 etc... I would not be surprised to see that happen at 10k usd and with a 500 a month rent to start from scratch. A good way to go IMO.

    Some ballpark prices. These are from memory may be wrong and I may edit them once I get reminded..

    St 104 small bar, would want to make some minor changes IMO (2k perhaps). Upside busy soi and year round traffic, downside crazy deposit.
    Purchase of bar / new lease / contents 15k (nego !! very nego)
    Rent 900 ??
    Deposit 12k !! If we could have got that to 6k or so we might have taken this. Of course you get the deposit back at end of term but if I was to pay it, I didnt expect to see the end of term. Also despite being a good location there was history for her with her old partner in the same st and she wasnt keen on the place. Plus the deal was strange, we were not direct with the landlord, and I got the impression the current owners may be trying to add investment they had made to the building into what was called the 'deposit'..

    10m from st 136.. Large bar.. pool table.. Bigish space potential to be large and busy also could be an empty big space !! Downside owner that had never leased, strange ideas about her rights to control after 'selling' and a warning that a powerful guy made problems about noise, girls sat outside, used the front for his personal parking. Those worrys aside, I liked this one. Think 2x hells bells with a pool table room out back 10 paces from st 136.
    20k purchase
    700 rent
    5k deposit (cant remember what the balance was between deposit and purchase as it was one and the same person).

    Smallish bar 300m from 136 lowish foot traffic but ok location and street coming up.
    12k purchase
    700 rent
    4200 (6 months) deposit

    Mid size smack on st 136
    60k asking
    2k a month
    Deposit unknown... this really is 'dream asking price' its basically for sale to anyone mad enough to spend that.

    2 years ago.. Mid size on 104
    Purchase and deposit combined 18500
    Rent 1000 ish..
    this place was making 15k to 18k plus turnover a month, call maybe half that profit.. this is what Amey got screwed out of!!

    Nightclub.. Fully fitted out, music lights everything.. Dont know the full script as not my target but I heard
    40k purchase
    2k a month rent
    A place thats never been made to work, catered to a japanese market one time, but cheap potential for an aspiring DJ promoter to turn around. A small to mid size nightclub, run right this could make big bucks.

    I have seen a few new openings, things change hands this low season for minimal money.. Hooters bar is under new ownership (this week) and I think the new people picked that up for practically the refit cost. Bars outside of 136 / 104 and busy areas really do go for not much more than the cost of whats inside to those patient enough to wait.. I will have a sniff at what lips bar cost to set up or the new (large 2 shophouse) Zanzi Pub which I expect to do well over the long term (Viy from ZanziBar the owner). Both these opened in last 2 or so months.

    I think in PP location (within reason) is not the huge determining factor that it is in say Patong.. Bars like Garage (expat K440 hangout, great mex / s american food and good music collection) on 110 probably cost 1/5th as much to set up as a st136 bar, but pull in the same kind of money over the year.. Like anywhere a bar is its owner (and staff) but just another girly bar doesnt add much here. Theres room for well run expat / local / drinking bars here IMO but the value must be offered.

    I will also add, that while I have no idea on any real world prices, I suspect the 278 street area bars are right at the low end, are non girly bars, and seem to do good solid trade.. Cambodias tourist market includes an awful lot of culture vultures, here for temples, river trips, solemn visits to S21, and parading about in birkenstocks, banana republicans etc... Plus theres the new breed expat chasing real estate speculation and big money SME investment and or NGO money.. This segment are cashed up, wouldnt want to be in a girly bar, and are the ones drinking top shelf spirits where the girly bar expats are arguing over if happy hour draft should be 1 dollar or 75 cents. St 240, St 278, the villas and restaurants of BKK1 area get this trade and it would seem to be doing well from my casual look. PP really is a place where you can have 1 dollar beers or 20 dollar cocktails and theres lots of people who are out and about spending money that never set foot in a hostess bar.

  17. #17
    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Cheers......interesting if I one day want to relocate. I loved PP 7 years ago and it's one of the more tempting places for a next venture.

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    Senior Member steve w's Avatar
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    you talking $us in your figures ?

    or local ,cannot compute
    Last edited by steve w; 10th June 2013 at 05:15.

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Yeah, everything is handled in USD in Camboland...

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    ןooʇsɹɐq ʎɯ uo ʞɔɐq eɯ ʇnd esɐeןd sıɥʇ pɐeɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

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