Last updated on February 25th, 2017

Cambodia is a fascinating country – it has a dark history with a very recent genocide and terrible poverty, yet its people are recovering in a way that highlights their amazing resilience. In recent years, Cambodia is blossoming into a popular backpacker destination with new hotels and restaurants being built, and visitors coming all over the world to enjoy its visually delightful beaches, fragrant and flavourful food, sweltering sunshine and laid-back resorts.

Beyond the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat – the country’s most famous archaeological attraction – Cambodia also offers a quickly growing nightlife scene. I had some truly amazing nights out in this Southeast Asian destination, so here are some of the best party spots in Cambodia that I recommend:

Sihanoukville

A little rough around the edges but laid back and fun, Sihanoukville has become one of the hottest beach destinations in Cambodia for young backpackers looking to party. It offers cheap accommodation, even cheaper alcohol, and a long stretch of sandy beach with plenty of sun loungers to sleep off your hangover.

When I was in Sihanoukville, I took a trip on one of the party boats – which have an open top where you can drink, dance and sunbathe while you cruise around. When I returned, I hit up the nightlife on the beach – one of the most popular bars is Monkey Republic, which offers 75 cent beers during Happy Hour between 6pm and 9pm.

nightlife siem reap

Siem Reap

After a full day of exploring temples at Angkor Wat, I wanted to relax with a beer, so I headed to Pub Street, which is Siem Reap party central. My favourite spot is Angkor What? Bar, which has been a backpacker party institution since 1998. It’s loud and raucous, and the walls are covered in traveller graffiti; a great place to chat to fellow adventurers and make new friends.

If you want a bit more of an upscale night out, head to Miss Wong – which is a stylish cocktail bar with chic Chinese inspired décor. They have imported beers from Germany, Italy and New Zealand and creative cocktails with an Asian twist.

boat and beach Sihanoukville

Phnom Penh

This is the capital city of Cambodia, a crazy and chaotic collection off colonial buildings, speeding tuk tuk drivers and street food vendors. Phnom Penh has a reputation for a booming nightlife scene and although there are some seedy aspects to it, a night out in Phnom Penh can be a lot of fun.

When I am partying in Phnom Penh, I head to the riverfront, where the main collection of restaurants and bars can be found. There are many great places to have a bite and drink, including Cantina, Talkin’ to a Stranger and Kandal House. While in Phnom Penh, you might want to also experience a river cruise; where you can dine and drink while floating down the Tonle Sap.

On your trip to Cambodia, you will have many opportunities to enjoy the nightlife, so check out these great party hotspots and enjoy your travels.

By Kelly Dunning, Global Goose