Felt good to be back in Phnom Penh and Cambodia. Cambodia makes a nice change from Thailand. In the heart of the city the number of tourists has increased, the traffic has increased. The number of hostess bars has increased. The first few nights I did some bar crawls hoping to barfine some quality Cambodian girls like in years gone by.
I like Cambodian girls and have always enjoyed mongering in Phnom Penh and Cambodia. It makes a nice change from Thailand, Bangkok and Pattaya.
My first mongering trip to Cambodia was way back in 2005 visiting Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, I knew then, I would be back for more. It was nearly 10 years later when I return to Phnom Penh. Things had changed, some of the best venues closed down, a lot more tourists and hostess bars. But many stones left unturned and I returned a second time that year to Phnom Penh and then Sihanoukville. Fast forward another 4 years and I have made my fourth return to Cambodia. I wonder what has changed?
Fun First Night Out
The hotel concierge sorts out a local sim for my phone, very helpful, the staff are all young, extremely polite in my hotel. one of them I would not mind taking up to my hotel room ;-). Making my way to the main concentration of bars in Phnom Penh street 136 I see DV8 is still going and take a look. Some cute girls inside, but they dont barfine! although this can be questionable. Cambodia is not Thailand, the girls are a lot more conservative, they can take some coaxing, repeat visits etc.
Along street 136 I enter the Candy bar and chat with a cute Khmer girl in glasses downstairs. Upstairs looking over the balcony at the comings and goings below, chat to another. She around 25, not that attractive, looked a little hardcore. But open about her work. Can make 2000$ a month as a hostess. Not like all the customers she goes with. Even refused to go with some. Some nights she can get through 20-30 lady drinks.
There is now a lot more hostess bars open along street 136, the quality of the girls overall is way down on years gone by. A lot more tourists about especially Aussies, many sex tourists, some who look mean, very old and dubious, like they are looking for underage girls. Like they have only recently latched onto Phnom Penh and Cambodia. So same old story really what has happened to our other favourite mongering spots.
Getting drunk now but enjoying flirting with all the bar girls. Along street 136 I notice a real hottie in tight little shorts standing outside one of the bars and she waves me to come in. I know the score of course, these are eye candy to get you in the bar and dont barfine. She stays with my and buy her a ladydrink or two or three. Sure enough she wont barfine, but is letting me feel her up under the bar, even some little kisses. She tells me come back tomorrow and she will barfine. I believed it at the time, telling me what I wanted to hear no doubt.
During my time in Phnom Penh I passed where I thought she was working but never saw her again. Like it had been some sort of dream. The barfine is 10$, the girls that will go with you want 50$ short time and lady drinks are $3.50 . Made it back to the hotel that first night in Phnom Penh, full of beer, full of sperm, but happy, had a lot of fun.
Breakfast and Bad News
The next morning I am sat outside my hotel along street 172 enjoying my breakfast and coffee in the hot morning sun.
The very helpful hotel staff told me do not enter that massage shop opposite. Some hotel guests had lost all their belongings in there. Get chatting to a couple of retired Aussies and young Dutch lad also staying at the same hotel. I hatch a plan to visit Kampot and Kep after Phnom Penh then revisit Sihanoukaville. Would love to enjoy those Cambodian beaches again. The Aussies really spook me about Sihanoukville, that it is now overrun with Chinese, over 50 casinos being built, all the beer bars gone, its a massive building site, that they will never return. I cannot believe it, I would have to see this for myself. It was always a sleepy coastal town even a ghost town once.
Long Hot Days
The days in Phnom Penh were hot, really hot, too hot. There is not much to do but drink and smoke, good if your an alcoholic as the beer is very cheap here.
Early morning was bearable along the riverfront, maybe visit a temple or two. Stop for a coffee, a coke or a beer. There is a lot of downtime to fill.
In years gone by, finding quality bar girls in the hostess bars of Phnom Penh was never a problem. It was going to be this year. I was not confident of barfining what I like from the hostess bars in Phnom Penh. The number of bars has doubled, tourists numbers are way up but quality was hard to find. When you did find it, they not barfine.