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Phnom Penh City Guide

Lake side (RIP)

Note: This article is over 5 years old. Some of the information provided may be unreliable.

Phnom Penh in a word: Playground.
C.O.H: 4.5 / 5
Q.O.G: 3 / 5
S.T.L: 4.5 / 5
City guide ratings explained

Costs €$£

Beer: Around  $1.50 a beer.
Bed: €3 for a private  room.
Bud: Practically free!
Board: €2 for a decent meal.
Budget other: The odd bribe might cost you.
Currency Conversion


Most people go off the rails here. This place has everything. Cambodia is the wild west of East Asia. If you like weed, sex and booze; you may never leave.





Khmer to me… prrr

The Girls

Khmer girls are cute and cunning. They are darker than other races in Indo-China. They’re traditional dancing is insanely sexy and portrays an alluring delicacy . Be but warned, they get very jealous and are prone to violence. Life is cheap in Cambodia. What constituents prostitution here is a contentious issue.  Men pay dowries to marry women; who in turn are treated like property. Some girls in Phnom Penh are ‘professional girlfriends’. They won’t ask for money but they often expect the man to pay for everything. Other girls are more relaxed and just want to meet foreigners. One night stands are common but the  girls tend to want relationships to develop as a result. But that’s not a bad thing; Khmer chicks are great fun, smoke weed and are very willing to please. Expect to stay A LOT longer than expected. The life style here is sweet. My first trip here was with a friend in 2006 – he is still there to this day!

Nightlife Recommendations

Phnom Penh is rockin’ every single night. This place is anything but boring. Here are some popular picks. Plenty of girls of all backgrounds in both.

Heart of Darkness
This small little disco is practically famous. Attracting all the angels and demons of Phnom Penh, this place is a must.


Cool boat bar by the river. A bit more up-scale; a good place to pick up more sophisticated Khmers. UPDATE: It’s full of hookers now.

Getting High (courtesy of

Legislation: Technically smoking pot is illegal in cambodia. However given that the cambodians use it in cooking, restaurants use it on pizzas, and corruption is rampant it generally is not a problem so long as your sensible. Remember this is a very poor country, and people may be desperate for a sale or (other extreme) split a bribe..

Law Enforcement: In area’s like the Lake side you will have almost no problem with police as the local bars and guesthouses bribe the police to create a sort of ‘Green Light District’ in the middle of Phnom Penh.
Otherwise generally you will barely ever see any police around, just dont smoke in a non-tourist public area. Be sensible.

Where to buy Marijuana in Phnom Penh, Cambodia : You can almost always buy weed in the backpacker’s district, or by the lake side. as you make your way towards the restraunts on the water’s edge, you will most likely be confronted by 2 or 3 men asking you “you want joint?” by joint they just mean weed. prices go about 2$ for a decent bag. if you pay them more they will remember your kindness and deliver to parties or to city addresses for you
and another reporter added: “While living there I found the best place to buy from are the happy pizza shops along the lakeside. You can straight out ask or if your’e a little sketched out try asking them for rolling papers and usually they will offer. The stuff sold here is slightly better than any of the stuff you will buy off a street dealer or tuk-tuk/moto driver, but there is always them.

If you’re up for a good night go down to the Lake side where you will almost be surrounded by dealers asking you if you want to buy all sorts of drugs from weed to opium. They are usually found smack in the middle of the lake side main road and they will be more discrete before sunset and openly deal after sunset.
WARNING: When dealing with street dealers make sure you have the money you want to pay in cash in your pocket or something. The street dealers will get very close to you and ignore your personal space. So its a BAD idea to take out your wallet to pay because as soon as you give your dealer the money for the weed someone else will try and grab your wallet out of your hands. I learnt that the hard way.

Another good place to buy weed is also at the lakeside at the bar ‘Magic Sponge’ just ask the guy at the bar for a joint and he will roll you one or give you one he’s already rolled. There nice and big joints but have more baccy than normal (hey the guy has to make a living) if you go when its not busy he will probably roll one and join you on his ps2. Great guy :)”

Phnom Penh Marijuana Prices: Buying off street dealers/tuk-tuk drivers and moto drivers its important to know you can bargain. If your good you can get a medium sized bag (I estimate about a 1/4) for $2-5USD but thats if you can bargain well. Dont buy for more than that off a street-dealer your getting ripped off.

Buying at the pizza places costs a little more because the weed is better so you can buy in bags of $10USD or $15USD the bags again look like they contain about a 1/4 but you never know how much your getting unless you weigh but I doubt any cambodian dealer will care if its under/over weight.
At the Magic Sponge joints go for $1USD 🙂

My Phnom Penh Experience

I could write a book about my experiences here.  I think in this circumstance a picture’s worth a thousand word.

Tattoo of my name on my Khmer girlfriend’s ass (Long story)

Her Dad’s weed

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60 Responses to Phnom Penh City Guide

  1. Etienne July 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Nice, I love your blog, I allways use it when I travel. I’m in Cambodia right now and I’m going to check out this magic sponge tomorow ;). Thanks again.

    • naughtynomad July 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

      Say hello to my mate Paddy, he owns the lease. I’ve known him since we were kids.

      • john January 11, 2017 at 7:59 am #

        I wanna be like u when I grow up Seriously I have been to a couple of place you visited and you are 100% correct.

  2. Shan September 26, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Cool..I’m leaving from Phnom Penh tomorrow on a paid holiday and have got not clue what to do. Thanks for the tips. I’m from Singapore and tend to be a party animal usually chilling out in Phuket and Bangkok. So this is new terrain. I took note o Pontoon and Heart of Darkness. I think I’m staying in a hotel called Converse or Convez ?

  3. Shan September 26, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    What the market rate for girls in PP please ?

    • naughtynomad September 26, 2010 at 10:44 am #

      ??? I don’t P4P

      • Shan September 27, 2010 at 5:32 am #

        My apologies…it’s an acroynm for Phon Penh. I was inquiring on the rates to pick up a bar girl.

  4. Dave September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Great summary of PP, cant wait to get there. Gonna head straight to the magic sponge and sample their product! Il tell Paddy u said hello, ( fello irish man i presume! ) keep up the good work with the blog!

    • naughtynomad September 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

      Haha. Please do! Enjoy PP, it’s a great place to hang out..

  5. Blunt_Twistin October 10, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    When you going back to PP Nomad?

    • naughtynomad October 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

      No idea… Not for awhile. This place fucks with your head.

  6. pinoy boy October 20, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    awesome heart of darkness, after downing mekongn whiskey at the apartment headed to this place for some late night dancin’. So many girls, so little time! party scene here is alive!

    Also, can you guys name that 24 hour brothel near pasteur street? trying to remember what’s it called. i always go there to drink a couple of beers before crashing the bed. Cheers!

    • naughtynomad October 20, 2010 at 11:46 am #

      I don’t frequent brothels, so afraid I can’t help you there mate.
      Glad to see you’re enjoying PP!!

  7. Noodles March 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Great read up…!

    I’m having such great fun reading this blog, and have to pick naughtynomads brains.

    I am currently in HK, but left the UK for good. I left via Amsterdam (5 days of stoned daze) I am ready to book up another trip. Cambodia or Philippines…? I love the Women, but favor the weed tho.



    • Naughty Nomad March 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      Filipinas are awesome, but I think you will definitely prefer Cambodia.

  8. jim April 9, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Hey nomad. im in cambodia right now and im lookin for places to buy pot. but im 15. will they still sell it to me? like what do you think?

    • Naughty Nomad April 11, 2011 at 12:10 am #

      It’s Cambodia man.

    • scraw August 7, 2019 at 11:05 am #

      I’m in Cambodia now. I like how much cheaper it is than Thailand. The people here seem more laid back and friendly. Thanks for the heads up on phnom Penh. I will be heading there soon.

  9. ElChristo June 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Looking some of your connaisseur advice here pal

    all by my self, i’m headin off to bangkok end of august for 3 weeks.. but the wild west of asia just seems more fun to me so was thinkin of stayin just 3 days in bkk then flying to phnom penh or something like that… what do you guys think i shud do ?

    o yea and I’ve never been to SE Asia

    • Naughty Nomad June 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      Go to Cambodia!

  10. ElChristo June 11, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    You’ve sold it to me mate, I’m hittin it like there’s no tomorrow lol

  11. Neil Skywalker June 15, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    I had a insane time in PP, i was planning on staying there for 4 days but stayed 5 weeks. banged so many girls there but also had lots of jealous dramas and fighting going on.
    PP hasn’t seen the last of me

  12. chris June 30, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    PP is cool , last time i was there ’09 , i stayed in hostess bar for 3 1/2 weeks !! while getting some quality dentistry done at budget prices. Nightlife is legendary tho pot was average and the opium crap …be back there soon…….enjoying your blog NN..cheers

  13. Swafford July 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Going to Cambodia in Dec. looking to see if you know any places I could stay for cheap? Thanks for the city guide.

    • Naughty Nomad July 1, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

      Check out lake side.

      • arab July 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

        No more lakeside bro.

        • Mark Zolo July 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

          I know. It’s so sad.

  14. Drew October 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Was in Cambodia few months ago. I want to know, where to buy HIGH quality weed? The happy pizza places had ok smoke…but would pay more for something nicer. Either in PP, SR, or anywhere in Cambodia?

  15. joejoe February 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I’m heading to PP in 2 days! Would also be willing to pay more (still pretty cheap IMO) for better weed, heard that herb happy pizza is no longer the best place to get good quality stuff… any advice would be great! 🙂

  16. wasa March 28, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    I’ve never been to far east asia. However, some people say that it’s a pretty dangerous place to go to. And that there isn’t much of a nightlife.
    One question: Is the food clean. I apologize if I’m offending anybody with the question. But since I no longer have a spleen, I have to be very careful about what I eat.

  17. wasa March 28, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    One more thing, I absolutely love skinned far eastern wome

  18. wasa March 28, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Ooops! Sorry I meant I like dark skinned far eastern women!

  19. norwayboy April 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    I live part time in phnom penh. And if you eat food in phnom penh (local food), you will get food-poisened. Khmer’s can eat everything, but you can’t, so stay off street food, and perhaps have a look at the kitchen and toilet where you eat (a god indicator that the place is nice and clean, are clean bathroom).

    It’s not dangerous at all in phnom penh, just don’t act stuped. There is weapons around, but not as much as it was befor.

    I don’t take police seriously in cambodia, some of them can’t even read or speak english. If you get in trouble, money will be the solution.

    I think the bar-fine is around 5 dollars, and if you take the girl back to your room after beeing out partying, it probably cost you between 25-30 dollar.

  20. AOW June 24, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    C’mon, man. I love your blog but how about some stories? The breakdown of the girls is good, but then it’s always this annoying three-paragraph paste about drugs. Just give a link to that drug site and put up more interesting content. Fuck all this lame ass “where to score bud” bullshit. Potheads who want it can find it. I wanna hear your STORIES, that’s what’s awesome!

  21. AOW June 24, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    PS. Like, you put up that picture of your name tattooed on a girl’s ass. (Pictures both dead, by the way.) Then you say “long story”… Seriously? This is one of the coolest blogs, please don’t gyp us on your experiences!

    • Naughty Nomad June 24, 2012 at 2:05 am #

      All shall be revealed in my upcoming book!

  22. Fratty Duckleford August 29, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    pictures are broken, bro.

  23. Sebstian September 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Naughty, look, I am planning a trip to Cambodia really soon—-I need help with lodging. I want to be very close to the women and I want to smoke weed and chill in a hammock and not be bothered. Also, don’t want to spend an arm and a leg; however, I don’t want my shit stolen either

    • Naughty Nomad September 7, 2012 at 4:49 am #


  24. Aeflaef December 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm #


    Jeg er nordmann bosatt i Seoul som skal til PP i juleferien. Er du der da?

  25. Ronnie G December 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Been back 2 months from PP first visit it’s the bollocks!!!!! Going back 26 Dec for 3 weeks don’t do puff anymore but rattle heeps of pussy. Places for you guys to check out is martinis bar lots of quality hostes, heart of darkness after 12, howies bar real tasty girls and sharkeys for the tasty freelance pussy..

    Stay in California 2 first time round speak to jim the owner he will tell you all you need to no about PP and more enjoy boys and girls Cambodia is the place to be!!!!!


    From bonny scotland

  26. mclovin December 8, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    4.5 on hookin up…cambodia will be the new thailand

  27. Meechman January 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Appreciate the update Ronnie G. Will be in Phnom Penh Feb 2013. Staying at California 2.

  28. F Duckleford January 7, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Just got back from Cambo. I love you, NN and I must’ve read this about four times while planning my trip but PP disappointed.

    Pontoon and HoD were 95% mediocre-looking hookers, and there are less expats than in Siem Reap or Sihanoukville.

    Half if not more than the happy pizza places are fake due to increased tourism. Cambo definitely WILL be the new Thailand but PP is shit compared to SR and SV if you’re going to Cambodia.

    Also, Lakeside literally does not exist anymore. Asking a tuk-tuk driver to take you there is literally asking to get sold shit drugs or robbed. Don’t even try to get shrooms during dry season.

    I love this site and I’ve written up similar shit on my own about Taiwan, but fuck PP, Snookyville and SR are better.

  29. pow c November 24, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    I’m in sihanorkville now you get the best weeds in Cambodia, weeks from pp and siem reap are shit

  30. Darius December 5, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    Hey dude,

    Travelling to SE Asia shortly. I have a question for you about some other vices Im wondering about. Nothing weird, its party related.

    Can I private message / email you?

    Just a rookie looking for a little straight talk / advice

    Thx bud

  31. Ryannn April 17, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    I have been reading almost every posts about drugs in Cambodia. But people do not normally mention that it is easy to get ecstasy there. I would like to know if it is easy to get ecstasy in PP.
    Thank you

  32. Sandy May 9, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Hey Man. Reupolad those chick’s ass photo cause it’s down!

  33. Skins May 14, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    Good post! Thanks for the run down.

    I fly out there Friday and I can’t wait! I will stay around Riverside based on your recommendations.

    Have you ever checked out the beaches there? Looks like some dope islands off of Sihanoukville.

    • michael October 7, 2014 at 12:34 am #

      I’ve been to koh rong, highly NOT recommended unless you are a serious stoner. Bunch of try hards sitting around talking about how messed up they get. Stick to sihanoukville.

  34. jason March 14, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    Fuck Sihanoukville / Koh Rong .
    Go to Otres beach / Otres Village, plenty of places to score pot.
    Plenty of foreign girls or you could take a 5 minute ride tuk-tuk to Sihanoukville and bring her with you back to Otres.

    However, its about to get demolished so better move fast. (April 2016)

  35. global December 17, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    Phnom Penh is a relaxed place, still safe, no problems at all. Heart of darkness mostly gay scene now, Pontoon mostly freelancers, opened till 4/5am, also candy bar for late drinks if you are adventurous.

  36. Ehv July 28, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    This city guide really is special to me.

    Me and my friend arent playboys, but still want to lay some good looking girls. After seeing thid city guide we decided to do a roundtrip in south east asia.

    Everything you described about cambodia is true, although i would rate the QOG way higher.

    My friend and I fucked girls, only famous football players would get in my homecountry.

    You gotta love cambodia!!

  37. Pankaj August 1, 2017 at 6:09 am #

    Thanks for guidance to the Indians.

  38. AJ Williams November 15, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

    A friend of mine and I went to PP in June 2017 for a weekend near the end of our trip touring around the world. Of all of the places we went to, including Athens/Dubai/Singapore, we talk most about our times in PP. I can’t see how any guy has a bad time in PP.
    We liked it so much, we are going back Dec 2017 for almost a full week. Then to HCMC to see what that is about.

  39. The Old Bloke February 8, 2018 at 9:28 am #

    Yep this original post is dated.
    Pontoon club is now bigger and better on Street 51.
    Yes it has freelancers as well as afterwork barstaff and regular people

    The lake has been filled in courtesy of Chinese property developers.

    Some bars (Redfox 2in Street 136) sell joints over the counter.
    So that will be a pint and a joint – $2 please.

    5 years. You would hardly recognise the place now. Bars, restaurants and hotels springing out of the ground.

    Stopped by for 3 days 3 and half years ago. Love the place. Ran a Hotel in Riverside for 2 years. Great education on whats what!!!!


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