When you explore the nightlife scene around Pub Street, you will soon discover that this area mainly attracts a public of western tourists, backpackers and expats. However, if you want to experience the real local nightlife, you should definitely try one of Siem Reap’s beer gardens. You will notice that Cambodian people like to drink a beer or two as well!
What is a Beer Garden?
A beer garden is an open-air area where beer, other drinks and local food are served. Usually this area is attached to a bar or restaurant. The concept of a beer garden originates from Germany in the 19th century, but it rapidly spread to other countries. And even became popular in South East Asia.
However, the concept of a beer garden was reinvented in Cambodia. The Cambodian beer gardens are not attached to a restaurant or bar. They are independent places and usually come with a KTV and / or private rooms. At the entrance of the beer garden, there are often hostesses waiting to accompany the (mainly male) customers to the karaoke or private rooms to drink, eat and sing with them. In the open-air area, they usually play loud Cambodian pop music and show a movie or sports event on a big screen.
Beer gardens offer some of the best authentic Cambodian food. However, you will notice that it’s quite a challenge to make an order. The menu is usually only written in Khmer and most of the staff doesn’t speak English. Luckily, there is always a helpful person, staff or clientele, to help you translate the menu.
Beer Gardens in Siem Reap
There are plenty of beer gardens in and around Siem Reap, mostly frequented by young Khmer people. It’s not so common to find foreigners or tourists in these local drinking venues. The following list mentions some of the more popular beer gardens in town.
Good to know: Most beergardens in Siem Reap are open from 6pm till 2am.
Angkor Town beer garden is located in the main beer garden district of Siem Reap, also known as Khmer Pub Street (or Cambodian Pub Street). In this area you will find about 20 to 30 beer gardens and KTVs. However, you will need a tuk tuk to get there, since it’s located a couple of km away from Pub Street and the Old Market area. Ask your tuk tuk driver how to get there or follow these directions: From Pub Street, follow Sivutha Blvd, away from the roundabout, until you reach the second traffic lights. This is the crossroad of Sivutha Blvd with National Road 6. Turn left and follow Road 6 until you reach traffic lights again. Turn right and you will enter the main beer garden district of Siem Reap. Angkor Town beer garden is at the end of this street, right in front of you when you reach the T-junction.
One Star is another popular beer garden in Siem Reap. This one is located closer to Pub Street and is easily reachable by foot. It’s located in Sok San Street on the corner of Garden Village Guesthouse. One Star is a good place to go on a rainy night, since it has a big roof. There’s also a small KTV offering a selection of Khmer songs. The owner speaks English, which will prove handy when you want to order something from the menu.
The ‘Sensabay group’ is the Mc Donalds of beer gardens in Siem Reap. They currently own 5 beer gardens, but who knows when the next one will open!
Sensabbay 1: This beer garden is located in Siem Reap’s main beer garden district. There are two ways to get there. Either follow the directions as explained for Angkor Town beer garden and turn right on the T-crossing. You will see Sensabbay 1 after 20 meter on your left side. Or follow these alternative directions: From Pub Street, follow Sivutha Blvd and continue straight on the crossroad with National Road 6, pass in front of Angkor Century Resort on your left and turn left at the next crossroad. You will enter the beer garden district from a different side and will find Sensabbay 1 on your right after about 100 meter.
Sensabbay 2: This beer garden is located a few km outside town on 7 Makara Street, also known as ‘High School Road’. Pass in front of Angkor High School and you will see Sensabbay 2 about 400 meter after it on your right.
Sensabbay 3: This beer garden is the closest one to the center of Siem Reap. When you come from Pub Street, follow Sivutha Blvd to the left, until you reach the riverside roundabout. Take the street to the right (known as BBU Road) and walk about 100 meter to find Sensabbay 3 on your right side.
Sensabbay 5: This venue is located in the main beer garden district, opposite to Sensabbay 1. Follow the directions for Sensabbay 1 to get there.
Sensabbay 7: Also located in the main beer garden district, at the back of Sensabbay 5. Follow the directions for Sensabbay 1 to get there, pass in front of it and turn left just after on the dirt road.