Review: Angry Birds Bar — Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Angry Birds Bar is a popular bar located in the heart of the Cambodian capital city. I’ve talked about hostess bars in Cambodia nearly two years ago in a post on Phnom Penh. Most of the bars operate on a similar model to the hostess bars of Ho Chi Minh City though in Phnom Penh the prices are generally more reasonable, the staff is usually a lot more laid back and friendly and the local police seem to have no problems.
Angry Birds is easy to find. Located on Street 130 two blocks from the well known riverside the bar is fronted with a large illuminated sign bearing images of its namesakes. From what I gather the bar was started by an Australian guy who previously set up the popular Loco Bar which is located just down the street. While the bundles of bars on streets 104 and 136 seem to get the most attention there are plenty of other bars around town including the aforementioned.
With so many bars around town it can be hard to gain notoriety. That’s one reason I don’t normally post reviews of individual hostess bars. An even bigger reason is that they seem to come and go from one day to the next. Staff, ownership and even a bar’s name or location can quickly change in this game and I’m not interested in writing about a place as if it was just a figment of my imagination. That doesn’t seem likely with Angry Birds as it has been going strong for a while just like Loco Bar which would make sense if what I’ve heard about the origins of both is true. Hence this review.
Angry Birds bar is one of the cleanest bars around town. I don’t usually have a problem wetting my bill in a dive if the quality is otherwise good but it is of course preferable to mingle with ladies in a well maintained pub than one that smells like a toilet. Speaking of the toilet the management at Angry Birds does a good job there too. I used the facilities once and was surprised that they are superior to what one would find in many regular bars in the US let alone some of the shady local nightlife spots nearby. This general cleanliness also bodes well for the glassware and general hygiene.
A computer at the end of the bar is hooked up to a professional sound system. A steady stream of rock and easy listening music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s is played at a very reasonable level throughout the night. This is great on the one hand since it makes it easy to converse without screaming. Even without music that can be tough with people who are native speakers of very different languages. On the other hand the reasonable volume and retro music selection can keep things a bit calm. While the Rolling Stones might be right up the alley of most of the punters who visit the bar the women working there aren’t as likely to be enthused by music that was released before their parents were born. Some of the other bars around town play more current club style music and that can really get the gals going wild. I’ve never seen anything that compares to go go bars in countries like Thailand but they can definitely get into the groove. Different people would have different opinions on which set up is superior though I have room for both on my card.
Drinks at Angry Birds are reasonably priced especially when compared to similar bars in some other countries. There are frequent discounts and specials for customers though some drinks may be fifty cents more expensive than they are at other local bars. I don’t imagine this is a problem for most and I believe this may even mean that ladies get a little more money out of every drink a customer buys for them.
Of course all of the above mentioned items are secondary to the real attraction at this bar or any bar like it: the ladies. It’s impossible to talk about the staff of a place like this as if it was set in stone. There is turn over at any girly bar which is attributable to a number of factors. Ladies go back to their provinces, they meet boyfriends, they get married, they follow friends to other bars and they do other things too. Because of that I can only give my general impressions.
There are probably two dozen women working at Angry Birds bars. A few work behind the bar as cashiers or bar tenders though most of them seem to mingle quite a bit with the customers and will even come around the bar to share a drink or play a game. The other women working are all very friendly and pleasant. Most are generally attractive though there are some older and larger ladies around. Since different guys have different tastes there’s probably something for everyone. There are a few pretty gals around and even one or two very pretty women though based on my tastes I’d like to see a few more. I understand that staffing is probably not an easy task and there are definitely places nearby that fare dreadfully worse in this area but based on my experience I think it is possible to step things up a bit even if they are already decent. I’ve wondered into hostess bars on a few lucky nights and encountered a half dozen or more real beauties. It’s not an every day occurrence but it does happen and it proves that it is possible.
All in all Angry Birds is a well run ship. Considering its location and focus it’s only real fair to compare it to other hostess bars in Phnom Penh. Because of that I give the place an above average three stars though on a good night it would probably merit three-and-a-half. If there was an overabundance of attractive ladies on hand at all times I’d probably give it another star since I really have no problems with the place otherwise. Conversely if it were in a city like Bangkok with so much adult entertainment available I’d probably take away a half of a star. It’s all relative.
Angry Birds Bar, #59 Street 130, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Open seven days a week 7 pm – 2 am. Website: http://www.angrybirdsbar.com Map on website.