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Review: Xanadu Bar in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Xanadu Bar is one of the better hostess bars in Phnom Penh. Launching such a business doesn’t technically require more than a beer tap, refrigerator, some tables and a few ladies. Though making a business that runs well and lasts is something else entirely. Xanadu Bar has been around for nearly a decade. So they are clearly doing something right.

picture of xanadu bar in phnom penh

There are now dozens of businesses of this sort in Phnom Penh. Most are concentrated on three streets near the riverside. There are some outliers like Chhing’s which are a little further back. But those are the exception to the rule. Xanadu is right in the heat of the action.

In this area bars line both sides of the street. They all seem to blend in too. The only thing to differentiate one bar from the other is the signage. Even that can blue when confronted with entire city blocks illuminated by the glow of various LED lighted signs. Of course it what’s on the inside that counts. In this case it makes all the difference.

Xanadu on Street 136

Xanadu is located on Street 136. The bar is on the north side of the street in the block nearest to the riverside. Xanadu is sandwiched in between hostess bars. I mean that literally as the narrow space shares walls with two similar establishments. Still it is somewhat easy to find since the name of the bar is spelled out in English. Each letter of the name is lit in a different color which makes the sign stand out.

xanadu bar phnom penh photo

The actual bar is on the left side of the room. On the right side there is table seating. Interesting Chinese style lantern lighting keeps the place lit enough to see while still casting a nice mood setting shadow. The bar has a pole where women can get up and dance. It doesn’t happen all the time. But gals will occasionally get up and put on a show.

Further back there is a pool table surrounded by raised seating. Beyond that there is some soft sofa style seating. All in all it is a pretty comfortable place with some of the better decor in the area. We’re not talking about the Taj Mahal here. But for a hostess bar in Phnom Penh it is a pretty nice place.

Staff, prices, summary

Quite a lot of women work at Xanadu Bar. At least in terms of quantity it is one of the better staffed bars in all of Phnom Penh. Upwards of three dozen women can be found inside on a good night. In terms of quality the staff is also quite good. Most of the women are fit and pretty. The vast majority are in their twenties. Though there are also one or two older gals around. I have seen a ladyboy or two in this bar too.

Things can always change from one day to the next. And beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. But I’ve seen some really gorgeous women at Xanadu over the years. Perhaps the management has a keen eye for looks. Or maybe there is something else that keeps pretty women coming back to work at this bar.

The overall environment is laid back and fun. Women are not pushy. Everything is fairly priced too. At least in comparison to other bars. A lady drink costs $4 USD. The bar fine is the standard $10. A lot of the women here are eager to make money outside the bar. It is not an action oriented bar like Cyrcee or Island. But you do see women leaving with customers most nights. Whatever the ladies charge is obviously “up to them”. But in general they seem to ask for between 50 and 100 dollars.

Xanadu is one of the bars I always try to visit when I am in the area. They don’t seem to remember me when I do show up. But that’s fine too. There’s some value in anonymity. All I can say is that I have always enjoyed my time here. The presence of so many attractive women is the main reason. Though the management also has a lot to do with it. I think this bar will stick around for several more years. I give it three stars.

Xanadu Bar. Street 136, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Click here for a map. Open every day from 5:00 PM until 4:00 AM.

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