If you’re more interested in meeting young women than talking to people about the global socio economic policies of large countries. Then a hostess bar is what you’re looking for. Firstly remember that Cambodia is not Thailand, people that have been in Thailand often say that Cambodia is like Thailand 20 years ago but it’s still not Thailand. Same as in Thailand prostitution is illegal so be aware you maybe breaking the law.
A hostess bar in Phnom Penh is not like in Thailand, there are no naked women dancing on the bar performing feats of magic with ping pong balls. It’s more relaxed and about having fun with your clothes on. Don’t assume that every woman that works in a hostess bar is a working girl. The western media often quotes figures like you can have sex for as little a $5 or sometimes less, hell you can get it for free if you’re nice and they think you have a long term potential as a return customer/future boyfriend. Don’t be stingy with money but don’t be stupid either.
There are 2 main streets of hostess bars and 2 smaller but up and coming streets. The major streets are street 104 and street 136 both with about 20 bars on them. The secondary streets are street 110 and 130 street. There are other areas with the odd bar but not the selection of these main streets. On street 104 there is the long running Rose Bar, Zanzibar, One Zero Four, The Cavern, Starex, Smile Girl, Channary, Bunny, Big Mamas, Matilda, Top Ten, Hedonism, Vortex, Air Force Bar, Oscars and Colonial bar all of which are hostess bars.
There is also a guesthouse on the street called the Tonle Sap/Pickled Parrot. Pickled Parrot is the name of the restaurant below the Tonle Sap guesthouse but they are on and the same.
On 136 Street the hostess bars include; Oasis, Lemon, Cavalry, 69 Bar, the best 136 bar, Xanadu, VVIP, mr Butterfly, The Corner 136, Candy bar, Spiderman, Helicopter, Moon Shine and several others whos’ names elude me at this time.
My recommended bars are, in no particular order, The Cavern, One Zero Four, Zanzibar, Lemon, Xanadu, Oasis. Bars I generally avoid include Mr Butterfly, 69 Bar and Candy bar. Although I’ve never had any problems with being over charged several of my friends and other customers I know have had problems. Pay as you go is my choice when I’m there.
Learn some Khmer language
General Complimentary Vocabulary & Pleasantries
This section of vocabulary is good for coming, going, and making a good impressions. When you speak Khmer with Cambodian bar girls, as with anyone, being nice goes a long way, so it pays to make the effort.
Nice Girl: Srei La-oh
Hair (on the head): Saw
Hello: Soo-ah Sa-Die
Goodbye: Knee Howie
See You Next Time: Joop K-nea Pail Kra-wee
Thank You: Ah-keun
I Would Like A Beer Please: K-n-yome Soom Sra Bee-ah
Would You Like A Drink?: Jong Puk Avai-avai?
Speak Khmer With Cambodian Bar Girls When Playing Pool
It seems as though almost every bar in Phnom Penh has a pool table. Even if you are not a fan of 8 ball, you’ll no doubt find yourself in a pool game with a girl at some point if you are here long enough. It always makes it a bit more interesting to make a few comments to your female pool opponent when you play. You may even understand some of what she is saying to you; a super bonus if your girl of choice does not speak a lick of English.
I/You Win: K-n-yome/Neck Che-nay-ah
I/You Loose: K-n-yome/Neck Jeun
The Ball Went In The Pocket: Bawl Cho Low
The Ball Will Go In That Pocket: Bawl Cho Low Aie New (point at the pocket)
I/You Go First: K-n-yome/Neck Tao Tee Moo-ee
Two Shots For Me/You: Pee Dong K-n-yome/Neck
Very Good!: La-oh Na!
Unlucky: Ot Samnang
I/You Play Small Balls: K-n-yome/Neck Tow-it
I/You Play Big Balls: K-n-yome/Neck Tom
Speak Khmer With Cambodian Bar Girls About Sexual Stuff
Choi: Sex (vulgar, also an expletive)
Choi Kneah: Sex together
Twer Knea: Have sex (literally, do together)
Would you like to go have sex?: Jong T-wer K-nea?
Would you like to go to my house now?: Jong Tao P-teh K-n-yome?
Koo-ah: Bum (someone’s behind)
Cum: Gin Took
Eat (swallow): Nam
Negotiation and Numbers
If you plan to take a girl out of a hostess bar on a barfine, it is well advised to talk money in advance. Prices, and expectations vary wildly and you could wind up in a sticky situation at the end of the evening if you and your lady have different ideas about how much she should be paid. Be sure to speak Khmer with Cambodian bar girls to make sure they understand.
How Much (Money)?: Poon-man?
I Like You/Her But…: K-n-yome Jol-jut Neck/Koh-at Boon-tie…
That Is Expensive: T-lai Na
I Will Give (Pay)…: K-n-yome Ah-wee… (add number here)
Sorry, I’ll Leave (the negotiation) Now: Soom Tooh, K-n-yome Tao (walk away)
No Problem: Ot Pan-yah-ha
Let’s Go Together: Tao Jee-moo-ee K-neah
Numbers: CLick here to link to a site that teaches numbers. For a quick lesson from a foreigner on how to count in Khmer click here. Some of the pronunciation is questionable, but it is definitely good enough to get by with.
Khmer Backwards Slang
If you find rhyming cockney slang confusing and generally annoying, then brace yourself for this wacky Khmer variant. Cambodian people believe that it is incredibly clever, and amusing, to re-arrange the syllables of common phrases. Accordingly, when a foreigner does it, it is all the more entertaining. It is highly recommended to use this slang when you try to speak with Cambodian bar girls as it may likely result in confusion at first, then rolls of giggles once they figure out what you are saying. They really don’t expect it (with good reason). The bold is the backwards slang, the translation is the forwards words, and the brackets are the English meaning.
Sai-sa-bok: Suk-sa-buy (hello greeting)
Cha-pee-noi: Choi Pee Neck (sex with two people)
Chea Knoi: Choi Knea (sex together)
Hopefully the vocabulary, phrases and slang provided in this article will make your evening venture more fun and eventful. Commit everything to memory, or print out the article and take it along.
Please note, these phrases are shortened, and are not necessarily grammatically perfect. Wherever possible, they have been modified to be easier and shorter, and closer to the way the Cambodian girls actually speak than to proper Khmer. The Khmer language in this post can be learned and understood more easily so that our readers are able to speak with Cambodian bar girls with minimal effort.