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The Secret World Behind the Vending Machine


The Secret World Behind the Vending Machine

A dim lit bulb hanging from a bare ceiling mildly illuminates an ominous message: “This is an abandoned house.The world will never find you here. Escape realities and lose yourself in the comfort of this space.”

Tranquillity is rarely associated with Phnom Penh, and whilst a swinging, electro-charged prohibition playlist may not be designed to relax, there is something magical about a hidden refuge. This is not a sanctuary for weary souls, but rather a bustling environment that could tip the hipsters cap or tempt the trendies for a tipple.

Wandering down a narrow alley in the heart of the Westernised eateries, amidst the watering holes for travellers and expats, we’re faced with a dimly lit retro Coca Cola vending machine. This nostalgic novelty is not functional for any fizzy pop – certainly not laced with the illicit ingredients of the past. However, we can share the secret that this ‘fridge’ is in-fact a hidden doorway. The prohibition inspired entrance does justice to the rustic aesthetics inside, with the bar making use of sleek chesterfields against an unfinished or abandoned feel. Bare stone sections of the wall contrast with steel and timber structure supports throughout the unexpectedly spacious venue.


“This Is An Abandoned House.
The World Will Never Find You Here.
Escape Realities And Lose Yourself In The Comfort Of This Space.
Go Ahead. Get Drunk. 
Go Wild. Eat Amazing Food. 
Do Something Crazy. 
No One Will Know.”

– BattBong


Perhaps enhanced by the ‘exclusivity’ of a hidden entrance, whilst inside BattBong you may get the wandering fancy that you could be anywhere in the World. Indeed, this stylish bar would easily settle in nicely to Shoreditch streets, Parisian boutique cocktail bars, Manhattan hangouts and beyond.

Incidentally, BattBong translates (roughly) to “my lost friend”, and if this is getting lost – then let us be the first to toss our maps in the bin.

Countless reasons to visit

BattBong offers an impressive mix with live music (mixture of English/Khmer), comfort food such as moreish pizzas, artisan nibbles, luxurious cocktails and a dim-lit cool vibe that’d be perfect for dates or taking a load off with friends. Expect to pay about $5.90 a cocktail, which is a little pricier than nearby choices but undoubtedly unrivalled in venue atmosphere.

18:00 – 00:00, every night, follow the lane off Street 51 (Street 55), BKK1, and look for the curious Coca Cola vending machine...

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