The BARANG Drinks 2 Much – Part One of Two

Anonymous Hotel, Phnom Penh
Day One, 18:30

“Yeah, that’s fine”, said The Heckler.

There were no windows. Just the door through which the three of us peered, along with the awkward, smiling concierge. A plastic door led into a minimalist bathroom, on which more later, and there was a small television set at the end of the double bed. A bedside table, a fitted wardrobe, a desk and chair, and a tired pair of flip-flops completed the fixtures. Not luxury, but perfectly acceptable for $18.

“So we’ll take this room, and we’ll need two more like this one”, I said to the concierge.

“Two more? You want three rooms?!”

I’m not sure whether the concierge’s incredulous reaction to the fact that these three barangs (Thai: farangs, Eng: western barbarians) would not, in fact, be sharing a double bed said more about him, or the quality of guests attracted by the hotel, but the poor chap looked shell-shocked when he realised he’d have to dig out another couple of keys.

I actually upgraded to a $23 room, which had a window with a nice view onto the river. Through iron bars, naturally, but this was Phnom Penh after all. My two companions actually preferred the windowless rooms, being conducive as they were to quiet, and to dark. Two things we wouldn’t be experiencing much of.

Nice Riverside Cafe, Phnom Penh
Day One, 20:00


We were drinking Tiger, I think. Or Heineken. Or possibly Asahi. We weren’t drinking Anchor or Angkor though – the two local beers are pleasant enough, but if Cambodians are not to be trusted to operate an Etch-a-Sketch, then there’s really no reason to trust one’s digestive tract to the output of their breweries.

Cambodian kitchens, on the other hand, are another matter entirely. The chicken cordon bleu was excellent, The Heckler informed me. The Merguez sausages were pretty awesome too. The third member of our party was “on a diet, y’know? Uhhh, liquid diet. I’m in training, y’know? I’m kind of like… Uhhh, I’m an athlete.”

He is an athlete. Once described as being “like Tony Stark without that gay metal suit”, he is The Athlete.

666 Bar, Street 136
Day One, 21:30

“I’m an athlete. I’m the tri-state foosball champion,” beamed The Athlete at the eight hostesses currently in his vicinity. All were gratefully clutching lady drinks.

I was busy canoodling with a cutie in the corner, but The Heckler was fading fast. Jet lag, he said. Pussy. Before long, he barfined a fat chick and headed back to our hotel. Haha.

The Athlete and I continued drinking, flirting (with the girls, not each other), dancing (him, not me), buying too many drinks, and enjoying the attentions of pretty much all of the staff. Which was nice.

My cutie was certainly cute, but I wasn’t ready to barfine yet. I took her number, we got the bill ($120 or so – the owner looked positively orgasmic as we paid), and moved on to…

Sharky’s Bar, Street 130
Day One, 23:00

A few years ago, Sharky’s bar was simply the place to pick freelancers in Phnom Penh. At times a 50/50 split between Cambodian and Vietnamese talent, the morals were low and the prices were lower. $10 short times were commonplace, and the girls were of a quality that I would actually want to have sex with.

Today, the drinks are still cheap enough, but that’s about it.

As the Pattaya Ghost reported in his Songkran piece, the Vietnamese girls have largely disappeared. In fact, I saw precisely one definite Vietnamese girl during the whole trip, and she wasn’t very appealing. I didn’t ask every girl I saw, so perhaps there were a few Cambodian-looking girls who happened to be from Vietnam, but I can’t see it myself.

Anyway, we took seats at the bar and ordered. A bottle of Heineken for me, and a Heineken, a vodka red bull, two Jägerbombs, a Kamikaze, two B-52s and a white Sambuca for The Athlete. He’s in training. Liquid diet.

By the time I was half-way through my first bottle of beer, he’d also drunk half a Heineken, as well as the vodka red bull, one Jägerbomb, one of the B-52s and the Sambuca. Some people set Sambuca on fire while it’s still in the shot glass. The Athlete sets it on fire when it’s in his mouth.

The mute hooker mentioned in my last PP report was still there, and sat (optimistally, I thought) next to The Athlete. “She can’t talk? Fucking awesome”, was his response. Five minutes later, they’d left together, after he paid the $30 drinks bill with a $100 note and told the barmaid to keep the change. Pretty much all the other Western drinkers in the bar were nursing $1.50 draught beers. And shooting us daggers.

I finished my Heineken alone, decided that there wasn’t a single girl in Sharky’s with whom I would even have had sex for free, let alone paid for, and wandered back down to further investigate the hostess bars on St 136. On Nutter had recommended the 69 Bar as probably the closest thing to a gogo bar in Phnom Penh. I’d been told to expect girls wearing skimpy (by Cambodian standards) outfits, dancing on the bar and on tables, and a party atmosphere…

69 Bar, Street 136
Day One, 00:00

Now this was a lively place. Not the prettiest girls, once more, but they were doing their best to make up for it with sheer, unbridled enthusiasm. I still wasn’t ready to barfine though, and was preparing to leave for another bar when I saw her.

Wearing a miniscule crop top and hotpants, she was by far the hottest girl in the bar. I called her over, to discover that she spoke nary a lick of English. Using another hostess as a translator, we were able to communicate after a fashion – the only Khmer phrase I could recall with any degree of certainly at this point in the evening was “gadoor tom tom”, which means “massive wang”. Barfine was paid.

Hope and Anchor Pub, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 11:30

“Would you like your eggs scrambled or fried?”

“Fried, please.”

Once the full English breakfast had been dealt with, it was time to catch up with my pals.

Nice Riverside Cafe, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 12:30

“Hello, The Heckler. Have you seen The Athlete yet today?”

“No. He’s not at the hotel either.”

Shit. Maybe he didn’t make it home? I had left him with a system full of lots of booze and zero food. And a deaf-mute hooker.

Anonymous Hotel, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 13:00

We asked at reception whether he’d been in.

“Oh, Mr Athlete? Yes, him come in at 9am today, with girl no speak can not. Him dancing in the lobby this morning. Him stay new hotel now.”

“Which hotel?”

“The Kiwi Hotel, very close, on same road this – not far.”

We walked the entire length of the riverside looking for the Kiwi Hotel. There isn’t one.

After more interrogation of the desk staff, it turned out he’d moved to The Quay Hotel. Into a $140 a night suite. With the deaf-mute hooker. No answer from his room, so we assumed he was sleeping it off.

After an awesome late lunch at the FCC, we eventually caught up with him that evening in the hotel bar.

The Quay Hotel, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 18:00

“Hello, cute receptionist. Could you call up to Mr Athlete’s room please, and tell him his friends are waiting at the bar?”

Draught Tiger was, I think, $1 a glass. The glasses were kept in the fridge. Chilly. Good.

The Athlete emerged from the elevator wearing trainers (sneakers, Americans), boxer shorts and a bathrobe. And sunglassses. And nail varnish. And blue-black hair.

“What, not to put too fine a point on it, the fucking hell happened to you?”, I asked.

“Beer please”, he said. Not to me. To the bartender. And then, “yeah, y’know, we had a good night. You should have come along.”

“You know you haven’t checked out of the other hotel yet?”

“Yeah, good point. I’ll do that tomorrow. Probably.”

“And you realise you’re sat at the bar of what I’m going to assume is one of the most expensive hotels in Cambodia, separated from the street only by plate glass windows, wearing a fucking dressing gown and drinking beer?”

“I’m an athlete, man. You should have come along last night. I spent seven hundred bucks. If you’d been there, you’d be able to tell me what I spent it on…”

700 US dollars was more than my budget for the entire trip. I’d changed ฿20,000 at the airport, figuring ฿5,000 a night would do it. That’s not even 600 dollars, and that was for four nights.

“Oh, I remember where a hundred went”, he said. “We were in some swanky club, right?”

“You and the deaf mute hooker?”

“Right. Me and the deaf mute hooker. These guys, they might have been French, started taking the piss ‘cos she can’t speak. Now, I don’t mind having a laugh, but taking the piss out of someone’s disability is just wrong, right?”

“Right. How many guys?”

“Three or four, but I gave them a bunch of abuse anyway.”

“Oh dear.”

“Yeah, they were telling me they were gonna kick my head in outside the club.”

“So what did you do? Pay them a hundred to leave you alone?”

“Nah, fuck that man. Paid the bouncer a hundred bucks to kick ’em out.”


“I brought four girls back, we stopped at the market to do my hair and nails. I think I gave the girls $50 each. Is that right?”

No. No, it isn’t.

The Green Vespa, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 21:00

The sausage and mash was excellent. The Heckler and The Athlete had the gumbo, which they told me was also excellent. The Athlete was still wearing his dressing gown, but had changed his trainers for slippers.

Phnom Penh has something of a reputation for being a little rough. Harsh, in my opinion – I’ve never had any problems. But still, wandering its streets in a robe and slippers is probably asking for trouble. I’d already voiced my concerns, but was roundly ignored. Put simply, I wasn’t prepared to endanger my own safety because my boozy pal couldn’t be bothered to dress. I gave him an ultimatum – put some clothes on, or I’ll just go solo. He refused. I left. No hard feelings, just not a situation I wanted to risk.

Random Hostess Bar, Street 104, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 22:00

I chilled out with a Heineken and the attentions of about nine hostesses. But none of them were quite up to my standards. That’s the thing about the Phnom Penh scene – it’s so cheap as to be practically free, but now that the Vietnamese have disappeared the truly attractive pickings are comparatively slim – certainly compared to Bangkok.

666 Bar, Street 136, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 23:00

And so back to the first hostess bar from the first night, to see if my cutie was around. She was. Pleasantries were exchanged, followed by money for drinks, and finally money for permission to accompany me back to…

Balcony, Anonymous Hotel, Phnom Penh
Day Two, 23:55

I famously quit smoking a while ago. But I still have the occasional one, at times of high stress, or perhaps if I’m drinking. Or on vacation. Or if I need a cigarette.

Smoking a Cambodian cigarette and watching a trickle of traffic go by, I was unexpectedly joined by The Heckler.

“Is he still wearing the dressing gown?”

“Yeah, but he went back to the hotel. Damn, I need to get laid. Your girl’s hot, can I borrow her?”

“How do you know she’s hot? And no, you can’t.”

“I knocked on your door first, she told me you were out here. She looks good in a towel. Could you just leave the curtains open so that I can sit out here and watch?”

“Sorry dude. No can do.”

“Damn. Okay, where’s the Heart of Darkness?”

“Street 53, I think. Any motodop will know it, just tell them you’re going to ‘Heart’.”

“Will do. Happy shagging”.

It was.

Concluded in Part Two, partly to irritate those who hate multi-part submissions but mostly because YP refuses to read anything much longer than 2,000 words…

24 thoughts on “The BARANG Drinks 2 Much – Part One of Two

  1. HAHA Awesome! No problem with the robe etc., but throwing cash around like that raises the water for the other boats no?

  2. I’ve seen a lot of hot Cambodian girls, and they seem more or less (personality-wise) like more subdued Thais, but most Vietnamese for some reason don’t do it for me. They are too commercially-minded to be fun, I never felt any connection. Perhaps local VN (as opposed to those I met – in HK and SG) are more friendly.

  3. Nice job BBB. Wish I could have gone with you. I’m facing a Cambo run next Friday and wish I had the funds to fly to PP rather than do the border run.

    Think your rich pal could spot me?

    Seriously, that’s a lot of cash to splash. he must have been a rockstar whereever he went.

  4. Personally knowing The Athlete and seeing the pic of him in his bathrobe at the ATM (not published obviously) makes this story even more hilarious. He’s a strong partying force for sure and also one of the nicest guys you will meet.

  5. The Athlete. He set the bar fairly high during that trip. Training for 2012.

    Also, I don’t remember my girl being ‘fat’. You’re fat, my girls aren’t.

    Hard to properly quantify the shock value of walking down the riverside on a Friday? night with The Athlete in his bathrobe and fuzzy white slippers.

  6. @ssB: Best not to mention the goldfish incident.

    @Julian: The Viet girls in PP of old were, on average, several degrees hotter than the Cambodians in the tastes of this author – everyone’s got different tastes, obviously…

    @Heckles: Plump, then. Sorry, but she wasn’t thin by any stretch. I, on the other hand, was referred to as “svelte” at the Mango party on Saturday, as you’d have known if you’d bothered to turn up for it.

    Walking down the riverside in a bathrobe and slippers (don’t forget the shades, painted nails and the bad dye job) is simply something that has to be seen to be truly understood.

  7. On the viets. I never seem to see any hot ones on the circuit – not even when I lived in HK but when I got to Vietnam it is not the girls in the bars that do it for me either but the super hot ones you see walking around or riding a bicycle. That works but I still say the average is still a tad lower than Thailand.

    The Athlete. I fear his return.

    Hallowed Black Goldfish – RIP


  8. @YP: Buy one here in sizes S, M, L, XL, 2XL or 3XL. Must be an American site.

    @ssB: It’s just a different look – the Cambodians generally look like Surin/Buriram Thai girls. The Vietnamese look nothing like Thais, and are a welcome change.

    @W: Ex-resident former-fish.

  9. Hilarious report. The Athlete could afford to spend $700 in one night and still went with that scraggy deaf mute? Even I turned her down, though she chased me down Sharky’s stairs as I left with another freelancer. As my grandmother used to say, “more money than sense”.

  10. God, that was AWESOME! PP is always a fun place to go, thanks for the good laugh BBB. I’ll definitely be cheering for the athlete in 2012

  11. Great stuff. I was just in PP myself and my first impressions of the place weren’t quite this nuts, but I wasn’t with The Athlete either. Crazy shit.
    Arrived at airport and once out the door, was immediately hit up by a tuk-tuk taxi. $7 to the hotel. Thought I might be getting ripped off, so I grabbed my bags, went over to a meter taxi. Asked him how much. $9. I felt bad and had the tuk-tuk take me. Gave him $8 to compensate for me being a dick.
    Stayed at the Flamingos Hotel on Street 51 at the recommendation of On Nutter. Met my needs perfectly! I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore when I noticed the sign on the hotel room door: “It is illegal to take pornographic Films, Photos, and Magazines in this hotel. Thanks!!!”
    To me, Cambodia seems like the forgotten little corner of the world. An air of lawlessness about it, but with the friendliest local people you could ever meet. The girlie bars can be overwhelming, but pretty awesome at the same time. A few happenings:
    Walkabout, Street 51, A little on the aggressive side of the scene. I don’t even find a seat before a cute girl in a blue tube top/skirt with no panties makes herself known to me. She grabs my hand and rubs her pussy on it. Another not so attractive girl is sitting there watching and trying to make casual conversation and smiling ear to ear. Still wasn’t enough for me to plunge forth with either one. The Walkabout also has some poor, harmless girls who beg for $1 for food while you’re there having breakfast. One could understandably get annoyed by this, but I couldn’t say no. I gave up $1. This seems to be a common occurrence there, but I didn’t hang there too much, so I could be wrong.
    69 Bar or 136 Bar, Street 136- walk in and the girls start screaming with joy like I was Bon frickin Jovi. I sit down, and almost right away am receiving a 6 hand massage and I’m surrounded by about 9 other girls at the table. The most memorable was the slightly older girl (maybe 25-27) looking at me with the most darling eyes. She was one of my massage artists. Also, I remember a girl who looked to be about 14. Was told she was 20. Sure.
    Bunny Bar, Street 104- sat down, ordered Angkor draft and immediately pounced on by 25 yr old. Don’t remember her name but probably the oldest one in the bar. She was fun and I was relaxed, so I bought her and I many drinks, made out a little. Went to the toilet and as I came out, she was on her way in. She looked better in the dark. Once in the light I noticed some red spots on her exposed belly and she looked quite a bit older, hence, much less attractive. I was still nice enough to wait around to say goodbye though. What a swell fella.
    Heart Of Darkness, St 53- Hovered around for a bit and caught the attention of a very dark skinned, petite 29 year old. Round eyes, perfect smile, cute as a button, and hangs with a big titted ladyboy. At first, she was trying to hook me up with the ladyboy, and I had to explain to her that I am only into women. She didn’t seem to get it at first, and she told me that the ladyboy wanted to take a chunk outta me real bad. Right away I started kissing her to shoo off the ladyboy, and it worked. Proceeded to play a few games of pool and we had quite an audience, even though I pretty much suck at pool. But, I had a good game going with her and took that as a good sign. Took her back to my $25 luxury suite at the Flamingos and had a absolute blast with this girl. Wild time! Met up with her again at Heart the next night and repeated LT. My only hook up in PP actually, but I was already fucked out from being in BKK, so it’s OK. Always next time. I was quite pleased with this girl anyway. I gave her $25 each night. Would’ve hung with her during the day too, but she said she has beauty school classes, and didn’t really want to see the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and S-21 either, so I went to those myself.
    About those sites, really heavy stuff. Depressing. I am a bit of a history buff, so I had to go and see and get a feel for what happened there. Awful.
    After a day of visiting ghosts and sprits of victims of a sick and twisted regime, I went to Sharky’s, blew off some steam with a delicious chicken burrito, a few Angkor’s, and conversation with a lovely Khmer girl. Still too early to barfine, and was planning on meeting up with the girl from the previous night anyway, so I left to……..
    Candy Bar, Street 136- another rockstar’s greeting and right away I’m made comfortable by 3 ladies. Massage on the shoulders, legs, and unit. The girls weren’t the hottest, but they made me feel so welcome that I fell under the spell and bought a round of drinks. They were good fun.
    Claudia Bar, Street 104- another boy band greeting as I walked in with about 25 or so girls. Very attentive, another bar where they surround you and shower you with love, and another bar where a girl or 2 looked to be very underage. Although I was hitting it off with a very sweet 24 yr old, it was getting close to Heart Of Darkness time to meet up with my sweetie from the night before and I wanted to save my energy, so I didn’t barfine, but bought her a few ladydrinks anyway.
    Phnom Penh was a great time and I will try to go every time I go to Asia from now on. Less jaded to foreigners than the Thais, a sense that anything can happen, and the cheap prices for almost everything is enough to keep me coming back.

  12. I’ve been out with The Athlete a few times……

    Overheard a conversation with him and a mate of mine about his bill at the 2 previous trips to 2 different G-Clubs

    M = Mate
    TA = The Athlete

    M = How much was your bill @ Resort that night?
    TA = 40-45 thousand baht, cant remember, I was drunk
    M = Not bad, and @ Forte?
    TA = That was only 30 ish….. I think. I was drunk

  13. Ssb–yep those Viet girls in their native costume riding the bicycle with perfect posture and very long straight hair is really a turn on

  14. Phnom Penh is stocked full of Viets, if you know where to look. You can see many of them in masssage parlors dotted all over town. At least alot of Khmer girls have breasts, which is a delightful change from the Land of Small Tits. Some even have Phnom Da. Phnom Penh is truly one of the great small cities in the world. Sadly, there are only 3 five dollar places left on Street 70.

  15. @sg: When were you last there?

    I did visit a few massage places (purged from the final edit for reasons of length – and become nothing interesting happened), didn’t see any Vietnamese.

    Last time around, someone recommended Manhattan’s Disco as a decent place to find hot Vietnamese girls, but none of the motodop/tuktuk guys had even heard of it. No mention of it on the internet, apart from on sites that are years out of date, either.

    Saw one Vietnamese girl all trip, a rough one in Sharky’s. Gutted.

    What’s Phnom Da?

  16. Wow, great trip report BBB. Maybe someday when I grow up and get a job in SE Asia I will do a few runs to PP. Sounds like it beats NE Asia all to hell.

    Regarding The Athlete – would he possibly be interested in investing in the exciting and lucrative world of Nigerian-inspired offshore account exchange investment portfolios? I hear you can earn back over 100% of principle! Not to mention it’s absolutely free with the initial investment of all your money.

    If anyone hears that he is interested, please have him contact our fully qualified international financial consultants at Big Mango Executive Enterprises, Sukhumvit Soi Nana, Bangkok Thailand.

    SSB, Pmmp – Please cut me in for 25% of the take…;-)

  17. Has the makings of a great story..looking forward to Part 2. The Athlete…quality..sounds like a guy I’d enjoy hanging with.

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