Sundowners can be the best drinks of the day. Thankfully, the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh is awash with happy hours to make sipping a cocktail or beer while watching the sun set on the city that little bit easier on the purse strings.
As Phnom Penh’s longest-standing and possibly most famous happy hour, Raffles Hotel Le Royal’s iconic Elephant Bar is buzzing between 4pm and 9pm every day. Why? Because it’s happy hour time when cocktails are half price, a great deal when the cheapest mix starts at $12. The deal also includes selected spirits and beers. There are 40 carefully-crafted cocktails to choose from, including the Femme Fatale, which was created specifically by the Cambodian royal household’s barman for former American First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy during her time at the hotel. Boasting sophisticated surroundings, more than 30 gins and a range of Scotland’s finest single malts, there is every reason to indulge in Elephant Bar’s happy hour.
92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom.
Tel: 023 981 888.
Another iconic happy hour sits a short stroll away from Metro at FCC, or the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. Doubling up as a hotel, restaurant and bar, the top floor of the building gets crowded as dusk rolls in, with happy hour imbibers clamouring for the best seats – the row of bar stools that look out across the Tonle Sap River on the breezy terrace. From 5pm to 7pm every day, happy hour brings with it buy-one-get-one-free on cocktails and other selected drinks. The frozen margaritas and mojitos come highly recommended. However, FCC’s happy hour should definitely come with a warning because their cocktails are super strong. Staff are also happy to keep one cocktail behind if they both happen to be for you.
363 Sisowath Quay.
Tel: 023 724 014
Keeping it competitive on riverside is Metro, which has become a firm favourite on the happy hour scene since opening in August 2006. Every day between 5pm and 7pm, guests can enjoy 25 percent off all cocktails, beer and wine by the glass at the cosmopolitan diner and bar. Boasting a range of hand-crafted cocktails, beers from across the globe, including Tiger draft, Metro also offers some great nibbles to absorb the alcohol in the range of Asian fusion plates, such as tequila black pepper prawns and king oyster mushrooms. With great views of the river, and indoor and outdoor seating, Metro is the perfect place to people watch while drinking cut price beverages.
271 Sisowath Quay.
Tel: 023 222 275.
Attracting a range of clientele taking in backpackers, locals and expats, Penthouse offers some of the cheapest happy hour drinks in the BKK1 area. From 4pm to 7pm daily, guests can enjoy 50 cent beers and a range of $2 cocktails, which all come with a heady kick, while enjoying the rooftop breeze overlooking Wat Langka. A selection of Cambodian food and frozen drinks are also served. This is a great spot for chilling out and enjoying the views and cheap drinks before hitting one of the bustling area’s many restaurants and other bars.
5 Street 51.
Tel: 070 305 005.
If cash is tight, then you can’t beat Show Box’s daily happy hour, which sees draft beer served free – yes, you read that right – every day from 6.30pm to 7pm. Buy one beer and get the rest free when you return your glass. Doubling up as a community creative art space, Show Box has a spacious outdoor terrace with chairs and tables, as well as in door seating. It’s well worth staying after happy hour as drinks are fairly cheap, and Show Box often hosts evening entertainment in the form of open mic nights, poetry slams, music jams and comedy nights. With a laid-back vibe and friendly staff, expect to spend the night with some of the capital’s cool artsy crowd.
11 Street 330.
Tel: 017 275 824.