Review: Kiss Bar in Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Kiss Bar is another hostess bar in Phnom Penh. It is one of the newer bars in the city although it did take over the space of another older place. This bar shows the sort of transformation that took place across the hostess bar scene in the boom period of 2016 to 2018 or so. A virtual whirlwind seemed to blow through town and change a lot of things in the industry. This bar is one of the results.

Kiss Bar is a small place that is most notable for the changes it represents. What was once an old dingy bar was made into a much brighter and more vibrant place. Still we must all deal with the limits of reality and Kiss Bar is no exception. There are some things that don’t change just because a sign and bar top are modified.

Kiss Bar on Street 5

Kiss Bar is located on the west side of Street 5. This is the north to south street that connects Street 110 to Street 118 near the riverside. Years ago this road was probably most notable for housing the restaurant La Patate which was once famous for its french fries. These days the road is filled with hostess bars like Kiss.

The place that houses Kiss Bar used to be home to some old dive. I can’t remember the name of the old place but the image of the interior will forever be etched in my mind. It looked like something out of a Bukowski short story without any of the charm. The few ladies inside sadly fit in well with the scene.

kiss hostess bar

Today Kiss Bar looks more modern. There is a bar across the left side and more seating across the opposing wall. The lights and decorations fit with today’s tastes. Guys normally don’t visit these kinds of places for the decor. But it is worth noting since the place was once an absolute dump.

The most interesting thing about the bar has to be the fact that the bar tender is a young western guy. I don’t know the full story here and I can’t say that I am particularly interesting in it either way as I have never been intrigued enough to investigate. But this has to be the only example of a western male bar tender in a Cambodian hostess bar. So it is certainly worth noting in any event.

Staff and service

An even stranger aspect of “Kiss Bar” is that the women inside don’t tend be the kind of gals most men would probably want to kiss. I don’t mean to be judgemental. But I do have to take the looks of the staff at any venue like this into consideration if I want to write an honest review. Beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder but this is how things appear to me.

There are a handful of women working in the bar most nights. The best of the bunch would fall in the decided average range. Some of the others would be better served without any comment from me whatsoever. Of course these sorts of things can change from one day to the next. But I can only write about my observations.

Again I don’t want to speak ill of anyone. Especially women who are just trying to make a living. But the staff is the main attraction at any venue of this sort. So it is something that matters. If I don’t talk about this I’d be left with nothing more than descriptions of the mixed drinks available. There is a wide variety if you were wondering. And they are reasonably priced considering.

Really though hostess bars are all about the hostesses. That’s why some places that resemble crypts are able to pull in lots of customers while other high end bars with all the fixings can be empty as hollow heads. That is just the way things go and my personal opinion has no bearing on this reality. I only write to entertain readers in any event. The reviews published are just a medium that come with no guarantee of anything. This is my two cents. I give the place one star.

Address:Street 5, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Map)
Hours:7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
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