The music pumped. No more temples. They danced. No more temples. I drank my beer. No more temples. We don’t want any more temples! What we wanted was more beer. More, more beer. And Siem Reap has just the place for us; the ubiquitously named Pub Street.
|THE FLAMBOYANT PUB STREET IN SIEM REAP|
Tucked on a not-so-quiet street in the Old Market Area of Siem Reap, far from the ancient Angkor temples, is Pub Street. It’s where tourists go after a whole day of temple hopping. It’s where the backpackers go after a day of biking. It’s where it’s happening.
|EGGS ON EGGPLANT, CHAO TRAOP DOT, A KHMER DISH FOR DINNER|
We’re totally green on our first day in Siem Reap. We really didn’t know what was going on. We went to Pub Street, not looking to party, but looking for something much more mundane. Dinner.
|SOUVENIR SHOPPING AT THE OLD MARKET AREA|
We looked for some restaurants selling interesting Khmer dishes and found more than a few. We ate some banana pancakes, a popular street fare on this side of the world, and like true tourists bought ourselves some krama scarves, ref magnets and what-nots to bring back home as souvenirs.
And then we saw Angkor What? Bar and we were instantly drawn to it like a moth to a powerful flame.
|ANGKOR WHAT? BAR PROMOTES GOOD SPIRITS|
Promoting Irresponsible Drinking Since 1998.
Angkor What?’s tagline beckoned to us. Its walls, scribbled with layers of graffiti, like bas-relief on the far off temples. It was so thick, some of them are probably as old as the bar itself. It made us grab a pen and write our own. Mesmerized, we sat down. The music drowned us, beers soon followed.
|SHOPS ALONG THE OLD MARKET AREA|
|TRADITIONAL KHMER SCARVES CALLED KRAMA|
Pub Street, particularly Angkor What? Bar became part of our daily ritual.
Breakfast at Leu Market, temple run the rest of the day, dinner at Happy Guesthouse, shop at the old market for knick knacks, and finally, Angkor What? until the early morning. With a tuk-tuk ride to our place costing a mere 1.00 USD, why not.
Our beer of choice at Angkor What?, Anchor Beer. A pitcher cost 4.00 USD and they have a promo where you get a free shirt, which is really cool. I forgot how, but we somehow received two free shirts after a night, haha.
|ANCHOR BEER, NOT ANGKOR, ANCHOR|
Anchor Beer (pronounced an-tsor, since there’s also an Angkor Beer) is not that bad, it’s pretty smooth and has a nice taste, but you really need to drink a lot to get a good buzz. Unfortunately, they haven’t heard of Red Horse yet.
|LEAVING HER MARK AT ANGKOR WHAT? BAR|
We usually seat ourselves at the al fresco part of the bar since we’re really not into dancing; what we like is people-watching. And since the tables are quite large for just the two of us and the bar is usually packed, we share tables with all sorts of folks; from super quiet Japanese tourists to extra loud Aussie dudettes.
|GIRLS AND GRAFFITTI AT PUB STREET|
One particular night, just to shake things up, we decided to try the bar across the Angkor What? Bar and immediately regretted it. It may be swankier than our favorite bar, but it sure is boring. We found it to be frequented mostly by local yuppies and rich kids.
|BECAUSE IT’S A PUB STREET PARTY|
The backpacker crowd was much more fun. It was a rare night when the party would not spill out to the streets, with everyone dancing and cheering; willing victims being dragged in the middle of Pub Street.
Pub Street? Pub Street! Angkor What? Angkor What! Chul moi? Chul moi!
Siem Reap Pub Street
Address: Pub Street, Old Market Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
GPS Coordinates Map: 13°21'17.2"N 103°51'16.9"E
Angkor What? Bar
Open Hours: 4:00PM to 3:00AM
GPS Coordinates Map: 13°21'17.2"N 103°51'17.6"E