Phnom Penh gay bars are incredibly lively and they feature a whole range of drag shows and cocktail bars to choose from. As such, a gay night out in Phnom Penh can be brilliant if you know where to look.
Blue Chilli is one of the primary Phnom Penh gay bars and it hosts the most popular drag shows in the city. However, there are a whole range of other gay bars and gay hotels in Phnom Penh as well.
In this queer travel guide for Phnom Penh, I’ll show you what a gay night out can look like. So let loose your rainbow briefs and read on!
You can use Booking.com to find affordable hotels in Phnom Penh from which to enjoy your GNO!
Blue Chilli is one of the first ever gay bars to have been established in Phnom Penh. As such, it’s still reputed as one of the most vibrant Phnom Penh gay bars out there. As the name suggests, the bar has a largely blue aesthetic.
Blue Chilli has a happy hour from 5 pm to 8 pm when you can get a range of creative cocktails to start off your gay night out in Phnom Penh.
However, the real excitement doesn’t begin until 10:30 pm. That’s when Blue Chilli launches its famed drag show in Phnom Penh. I have to admit the drag show in Blue Chilli is among the most diverse I’ve seen so far in Southeast Asia.
The drag show consists largely of a series of lip sync performances. The queens don’t really take any comedic interludes the way they do in drag shows in Bangkok. However, the lip sync performances are a lot of fun, and very diverse.
You see queens serving up 80s diva glamour, throwing Rihanna shade, and you also see some ethnic interpretations of drag.
However, it’s not just the performance that’s very diverse. Most other drag shows in Southeast Asia featured largely “fishy” queens. In comparison, Blue Chilli has a wider range. One of the leading performers in the bar is a bearded drag queen.
If you’re looking for a gay night out in Phnom Penh to get laid, you’ll find that as well. Blue Chilli is packed with gorgeous men across all ages, ethnicities, and body types, both local and tourists. So you can get your flirt on very well.
Blue Chilli isn’t just the best gay bar in Phnom Penh though. Visiting this bar is also one of the best things to do in Phnom Penh, period.
Blue Chilli is one of the best Phnom Penh gay bars. However, after the drag show finishes, most people vacate the premises soon after. Once the clock strikes 1, head over to Heart of Darkness for a wild end to your gay night out in Phnom Penh.
Heart of Darkness isn’t, strictly speaking, a gay club. However, after the partying ends in other Phnom Penh gay bars, most people throng here to get their rave on. As such, it has unofficially transformed into a gay venue.
It’s actually quite hilarious. When I went there, I found the central dance floor occupied solely by gay boys. Meanwhile, the assumedly-straight folks were awkwardly dancing in the peripheries.
You can drink cocktails on the upper floor of the club. The music in the club is all trance psychedelia all the time. As such, this is NOT the place for you if you’re sober.
I highly recommend you end your gay night out in Phnom Penh with HOD since it truly allows you to unleash your inner freak.
And that’s really what being queer is all about, isn’t it?
I personally found Blue Chilli and HOD to be the best Phnom Penh gay bars in the city. However, if you’re looking for more variety, you should check out these other Phnom Penh gay bars and clubs.
Space Bar is a lively gay bar in Phnom Penh with a unique concept. By day, it’s a gay salon where you can go for makeup and hairdressing services. However, in the evening it transforms into a gay bar with the beefiest lineup of costumed bartenders and wait staff.
As such, you can indulge in some eye candy with the side of fruity cocktails. Some of the staff might even come over and keep you company if you continue ordering drinks.
Space Bar is open from 9 pm and closes at 1 am.
AV Bar 225 bar was closed when I went there. However, you can catch a ladyboy show here every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Furthermore, the happy hour here lasts all the way from noon to 9 pm, and cocktails are 50% off during that period.
Pride of Phnom Penh, or POPP, features a largely local clientele and is located in the Riverside area. They have drag shows every Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Reviews suggest that their act isn’t as polished as Blue Chilli. However, they make up for it with a lot of enthusiasm.
If you’re looking to party till daybreak during the weekends then Valentino’s is where you need to be. They’re the only exclusive gay club in Phnom Penh open till 4 am in the morning. They even have an outdoor seating area for those who want to socialize and eat. However, inside, it’s all disco all the time.
However, when I visited I found the bar to be largely empty. Apparently, people don’t start coming here until all the other gay bars are closed.
You should keep this option open for the end of your gay night out in Phnom Penh.
If your idea of a gay night out in Phnom Penh isn’t blaring music and drag, check out Strange Fruit.
This unassuming little bar is for gay and artsy folks who want to relax and find engaging company. They prize good conversations over instant gratification on the dance floor.
This vibe is facilitated by the light ambient music and the homely furnishing. It’s a true alternative venue.
Additionally, you can read more about this Phnom Penh gay bar in this feature in The Phnom Penh Post.
After doing the round of all the Phnom Penh gay bars and clubs, you’ll need somewhere safe to crash or bring your midnight callers. To that end, these are the best gay hotels in Phnom Penh.
Arthur & Paul is a men-only gay hotel in Phnom Penh with its own restaurant, male spa, and a bar. Additionally, it also features a gay sauna with a hammam, jacuzzi, and open-air showers.
You can check the current rates of Arthur & Paul Hotel at Booking.com.
Rambutan Resort is designed in the stylings of an old Khmer Villa. Consequently, it’s a grand resort and every room comes with its own bathtub, balconies, and local artworks on the walls. This is the perfect location from which to embark on your queer adventures as it’s close to all Phnom Penh gay bars.
You can check the current rates of Rambutan Resort at Booking.com.
Saravoan Royal Palace is located in the very heart of gay Phnom Penh. Blue Chillis is right next to it. As such, it’s a great spot from which to embark on your queer adventure in Phnom Penh. The rooms come with their own bathtubs and rain showers. Furthermore, there’s a cafe in the premise as well.
You can check the current rates of Saravoan Royal Palace at Booking.com.
Casa Villa Independence is a gay hotel in Phnom Penh owned and managed by gay folks. It’s a short 10-minute drive from the riverside location and all the Phnom Penh gay bars in the vicinity. Additionally, you can get rooms looking out at the city or the pool.
You can check the current rates of Casa Villa Independence at Booking.com.
Now that you know about all the best Phnom Penh gay bars, I hope you have a riotous gay night out in the city! If I missed anything, feel free to let me know about it down in the comments section!
I can be quite socially awkward occasionally. Sometimes, during these intermittent periods of social waywardness…