Review: Bar Intoxica in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Smooci

Bar Intoxica is one of the many hostess bars in Phnom Penh. Located next to the original Angry Birds Bar on Street 130 the place is right in the heat of the action. That wasn’t always the case. Just a few years ago the street was relatively quiet. But the hostess bar scene expanded out of streets like 136 into surrounding areas.

That expansion may have come at the right time. Or it may not have. Some people clearly sought to capitalize on the growth of tourism and the high number of expats. This become most obvious when bars started putting up signs in the Chinese language as the number of people from the PRC in country grew.

Bars in the city have for the most part stayed open even as the effects of the pandemic shuttered countless other adult businesses around the world. Part of the reason for that seems to have been the low rate of illness in the country. Another factor was the presence of a large number of permanent residents. Even without an influx of tourists bars continued to stay open. That doesn’t mean they all offered great services however.

Bar Intoxica on Street 130

As stated Bar Intoxica is located right next to Angry Birds. It is just a short distance from the riverside promenade. The place doesn’t really stand out on its own. At least in terms of the structure and signage. It is sandwiched in between several other bars with similar exteriors. And the sign is obscured by hanging wires.

intoxica bar in phnom penh

One thing that does make the bar noticeable is the large staff. Since the gals all seem to color coordinate their clothing they can be quite eye catching. Twenty women in tight white skirts on a small street is really something to see. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving.

There is a security guard stationed outside who is what you might call the opposite of warm and welcoming. Apparently he is paid to scowl at people who pass by or dare to wonder into the bar. Inside the bar is quite typical. It occupies a shop house and has all the normal seating and nondescript decoration you would expect. The prices of drinks and lady drinks match those of nearby bars. Barfines are available but perhaps not desirable for reasons that should soon become obvious.

Staff and Summary

Cambodia is famous for the warmth and hospitality of its people. In fact a few observers have noted that in recent years one is more likely to run into smiling faces in Cambodia than they are next door in the so-called Land of Smiles. There are always exceptions of course. One of them seems to be Bar Intoxica.

Although the bar employs a plethora of women the vibe inside is decided chilly. And I am not talking about the air conditioning. The place just has a down feeling. Walking inside is more akin to disrupting a personal party than entering a venue set up to entertain men.

When I started this website almost ten years ago there weren’t many other places to find reviews of bars like this. Nowadays adult entertainment establishments show up on mainstream websites. Looking through “user reviews” on other sites shows that several others seem to share my feelings on this place. Some are better than others.

There are dozens of hostess bars in Phnom Penh. Many are virtually indistinguishable from one another. Some are a cut above. Others stand out for other reasons. The main thing that sticks out about Intoxica is the coldness of the women who work there. For whatever reason the bar seems to be staffed by some of the most entitled and least friendly women of any bar of the sort in the city. So I give the place one star.

Address:57 Street 130, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Map)
Hours:5:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Rating:
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