We only ventured out one night while in Phnom Penh, to meet a fellow traveler we had met on the Mekong Delta trip that brought us to the Cambodian capital. The Pink Elephant was an okay travelers’ pub with Western foods and drinks and though cheaper than back home, it’s not as cheap as the places locals go to. It’s also on the Riverfront and this is the most touristy part of town. He was staying there so it was fine for him but it was a long walk from the more budget accommodation area. The roads were dark and seemed dangerous. I would rather go to a local draft beer place that serves local dishes too. Or just stay in your room and watch a movie on HBO and get ready for an early photo shoot the next morning. ;)
In the evening when the sun is about to set, people gather at the river, there are three rivers that meet here; Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac rivers.
A lot families arrive on motorbike, they carry the whole family on one bike. You can watch lovers, families and groups of men all gathering at the riverbank.
If you are not one of the Disco-goer then you should do what the ordinary khmer does in the evenings. Especially on weekends or on holidays there are lots and lots of people which come to the Mekong River bank in front of the Grand Palace and stroll around. Some do picnic, others sit holding hands. There are street hawkers from which they eat while their children play in the garden near by. Atleast you should try this once !
Dress Code: In the evenings there is always a little mild breeze so if u are sensitive to cold then wear warm clothes otherwise always wear full jeans and full sleeves shirt because of mosquitos !
Along the banks of the Tonle Sap at its junction with The Mekong is the area known as Sisowath Quay. This is where a lot of bars and restaurants for visitors are based many with balconies and terraces overlooking the river. On the other side of the road along the river bank is a grassy area where lots of Cambodians meet for picnics or other family gatherings. Among the best known bars is the FCCC (Foreign Correspondants Club of Cambodia). Other good bar/restaurants are the Garden Bar, the Riverside, the Pink Elephant and the Rising Sun (for that English food you're bound to be missing so much). Also here is the Happy Herb Pizza place - don't ask what the happy herb is!!
The main thoroughfare of restaurants and pubs are located along Sisowath boulevard facing the river. You can have a good selection of cuisines and pubs to while the night away, very buslting place.
Dress Code: Casual.