It’s all kicking off this weekend! There’s theatre, there’s art, there’s a huuuuuge array of gigs and club nights… and even a very exciting mini-festival. Get involved.
Art & Photography
Leading Khmer artists, photographers, filmmakers, makeup artists, conservationists and chefs join forces tonight for a huge celebration of Cambodia’s majestic, but endangered, wildlife. Eat Khmer Flavour, Not Khmer Wildlife highlights the threats facing rare wild animals by poachers, bringing the issue to life through a photo exhibitions, paintings, short documentaries – and a huge sculpture, created from snares, of a real-life rescued baby elephant called Chhuok. Entry is free, or upgrade to a buffet of classic Khmer dishes for $15. (17:30pm-10pm, Uy Kuyteav Cambodian Restaurant, St 57, BKK1)
Meanwhile at Cloud, artist Bruno Levy opens a new exhibition of work called ‘69, which seeks to recreate the feel of Cambodia’s Golden Era at the end of the ‘60s. (9pm-Midnight, Cloud, St 9, Tonle Bassac).
And fine art school The Atelier throws open its doors to the public, inviting you to visit their workshops, meet the students, and see the art-in-progress. (The Atelier, St 19 & 54 – above SOHO Pub, Daun Penh).
Blade Runner 2049, sequel to the impeccable 70s masterpiece (and incidentally, one of my all-time favourite films), is in cinemas now – catch it at Legend Tuol Kork, Citymall or Meanchey at 9pm tonight.
For a double dose of hard-hitting documentaries, META House is showing two brave but painful films about Phnom Penh’s sex trade: Girls of Phnom Penh (7pm) and REDLIGHT (8pm), which is narrated by Lucy Liu. (META House, Sothearos Boulevard, Tonle Bassac)
Alternative, if you’re out by the leafy oasis that is Outpost, pop in to lounge on giant cushions and watch their screening of Boyhood (7pm, Outpost, Tonle Sap Road / behind the Sokha Hotel).
The Phnom Penh Players and La Troupe de Théâtre Francophone de Phnom Penh join forces in an ambitious collaboration tonight, performing Life, Love and Other Illnesses: four short absurdist plays by Theresa Rebeck, Edward Albee, Eugène Ionesco and Harry Kondoleon. Read our full write-up here. (7.30pm, PPIIA, St 51, BKK1)
Eating & Drinking
If you’ve go to see the play tonight, you should be handed a voucher for a free beer at Tusk… because that’s where the afterparty is! You might not get to tread the boards, but you can rock the dancefloor instead. (9pm-late, Tusk House, St 278)
Further out of town, Kingdom Breweries is throwing October’s TGIF party, where $13 entry gets you a Digby’s burger or BBQ plus UNLIMITED Kingdom beers. Bargain! Plus, I know I always say this, but seriously: try the white beer and the IPA… delicious.
Alternatively, check out Elbow Room’s guest bartender of the week: Ash Raj of the legendary Singaporean bar 28 Hong Kong Street, who will be shaking up some delicious concoctions tonight (St 308, Tonle Bassac).
Tons of great music tonight, to suit whatever style takes your fancy…
Firstly, Garage Bar opens tonight with an excellent lineup of Phnom Penh favourites: Channathy Kak of Cambodian Space Project, Joe Wrigley, Steve Sutcliffe, Scoddy, Miss Sarawan and Clay George (7pm-2am, St 110, Riverside).
Further along Riverside, Joshua Chiang and Pervez Smart perform a blend of rock, reggae, blues and originals at the FCC (7pm, Sisowath Quay) – as does Sonny Krishnan at Tacos Kokopelli (7pm, St 19z, Daun Penh).
Alternatively, for gypsy jazz, head to Farm to Table (6.30pm-8.30pm, St 360, BKK1), for 70s soul and funk, check out Mirasol Unlimited at Alchemy (from 8pm, St 123, Tuol Tom Poung), for laid-back acoustic guitar, there’s Kyle Orten at Botanico (7pm-9.30pm, St 29), or for mellow folk-pop, get over to Top Banana, where Bangkok-based Kiwi John Will Sail is centre stage (9pm, St 278).
Meanwhile, Chicago blues singer Jeffro Starks plays at Elly’s Bar & Grill, where they’re also celebrating Oktoberfest with a $5 buffet of German bratwurst, sauerkraut and stuffed chicken (gig starts at 7.30pm, St 135, Tuol Tom Poung), and there are classic rock covers from Zargz at new Riverside spot Stage Bar (8pm, Sisowath Quay) and Fender Benders at Sharky Bar (9pm, St 130).
There’s a massive late-night pool party going on over at DIB on Diamond Island tonight, featuring techno and house from DJ Saint Vincent and Tim Coates. Tickets are $8 including a drink. (8pm-1am, DIB, Koh Pich),
Back in sin central, Moudy, Heka and friends take over the decks at MadHouse (10am-7am, St 172), while next door Dubai-based DJ Soso “The Machine” plays a set at Pontoon (9pm-4am, St 51).
At Epic Club, behind Jet’s Container Market, DJ Felcy (and Miss Borneo 2017… we’re noticing a theme with Epic Club’s DJ choices…) will bust out the EDM from 9pm-3am, while for something a little more lighthearted, try META House’s 80s-themed BedRock Party (9pm-1am, Sothearos Boulevard.)
Art & Photography
If you’re near Indepedence Monument today, drop into Java Creative Cafe to take a look at Kong Vollak’s Invisible Conversations, an installation exploring first hand stories of survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide (Java Creative Cafe, Sihanouk Boulevard. Admission Free)
You can also pick yourself up something special from a brighter time: SPACE FOUR ZERO, purveyor of fine retro art and rock memorabilia, is having a massive clearance sale all weekend, with up to 30% off prints and vinyl. Plus, DJ Bongalot is spinning the tunes… and there’s free Kingdom beer. Read more here. (St 118, near Riverside)
Or you can even paint your own: N o w h e r e hosts another self-portrait on canvas workshop this afternoon (1.30pm-5.30pm, St 172z2, off Norodom Boulevard. $40 per person).
Film & Theatre
Don’t forget – tonight is the final showing of Life, Love and Other Illnesses at PPIIA (7.30pm, St 51)
Little Girl Blue tells the tragic tale of Janis Joplin, the rock’n’roll legend and force of nature who died of an overdose at 27 (4pm, META House, Sothearos Boulevard).
Later, catch the bizarre, compelling true story Neruda, starring Gael Garcia Bernal as the man tasked with tracking down Chilean poet and notorious Communist Pablo Naruda in the years after WW2.
Eating & Drinking
Booze and tattoos… what could go wrong? Find out for yourself at Tiki & Tattoos night, where cocktails are $3, beer is $1 and tattoos are $30 (8pm-2am, Salty Dog, St 172. Advance bookings essential.)
It’s all-you-can-eat at Tropical Lounge this evening, where you can order as much food as you want for $8.25pp. Cocktails are 25% off, too. (6pm-9pm, St 400, BKK1)… or try Secret Cafe’s intriguing Beach Party BBQ (5pm-Midnight, St 19z)
For something a bit more upmarket, try Rush Pub’s wine, cheese and cold cuts night, featuring tastings of four types of wine as well as music from guitarist Jeff Sleeman (7pm-11pm, Rush Pub, St 282. Tickets $20).
After a triumphant return gig last month, Hypnotic Fist Technique are back again at Tusk tonight (9pm, Tusk, St 278).
Meanwhile, pop-rockers Box Chords play this week’s Bassac Lane street party (8.30pm-Midnight, Bassac Lane, Tonle Bassac), Joe Wrigley & the Jumping Jacks bring their rockabilly sound to the official opening of Stage Bar (8pm-10.30pm, Riverside), and Aram Khmer play Cambodian rock classics at Cloud (9pm-Midnight, Cloud, Street 9, Tonle Bassac).
There’s sing-a-long rock from the Fender Benders at Botanico (7pm-9.30pm, St 29, Tonle Bassac), Latin rhythms from El Moreno and 12me at Alchemy (St 123, Tuol Tom Poung), and last but certainly not least, the band from the superb circus collective Phare are in town for one night of 1960s Cambodian rock’n’roll (6.30pm-10pm at Institut Francais du Cambodge, St 184)
The big ones tonight are: the poolside party with DJ Noma at Tamasa Hotel (5.30pm-9pm, St 2004), META House’s Sound of Berlin with Martin Warlich (9pm-1am, Sothearos Boulevard), and Hip Hop Special at Pontoon Pulse, featuring Niko Yu, DJ Bree & DJ Watts Up (from 10pm, St 51).
Posti+ve Vibes is here at last… and it’s gonna be sweeeeeet! This all-day, jungle-themed extravaganza features some of Phnom Penh’s best DJs spinning EDM, as well as awesome artists selling their wares and even creating new pieces live.
There’s a pool, there are 240 cans of free beer, there’s a top makeup artist on hand to get you dolled up like a festival-hippy goddess (or adonis). Basically, there are all the ingredients of a bloody great day that’s set to run long into the night. More info here. (Posit+ve Vibes, 3pm-1am @ Tusk, St 278)
Eating & Drinking
For a very different type of indulgence, check out Chinese House’s “decadent Sunday Brunch”, where there’s a selection of continental treats including pancakes, pastries, breads, salmon and prawns that almost look too good to eat. Almost. (11am @ Chinese house, Sisowath Quay / corner St 84, Riverside. $16pp, all you can eat).
Cute Tuol Tom Poung cafe TINI doesn’t just do excellent coffee, it’s now begun to support Cambodian artists with the first of a series of exhibitions. Right now they’re showing a collection of paintings called A Small Part by the wonderful Nov Cheanik – make sure you check it out! (St 450, Tuol Toum Poung).
Hunting with eagles across the vast, silent emptiness of the Mongolian plains is an ancient tradition for the nomads of Central Asia. In the magical documentary Eagle Huntress, we follow 13 year-old Aisholpan as she trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her family to take up the mantle of eagle hunter (4pm, META House, Sothearos Boulevard)
Equally atmospheric is The Beguiled, a remake of the 1970s classic about a wounded soldier taken in by a girls’ boarding school during the American civil war, who slowly begins to manipulate the lonely women around him in different, sinister ways. (4pm, Flicks 1, St 95)
If that all sounds a bit heavy for your Sunday afternoon, there’s always jumpy Thai horror flick The Promise, about a woman haunted by the childhood friend she broke her suicide pact with years before. (7.30pm, Major Cineplex, Aeon Mall, Sothearos Boulevard. Dubbed in Khmer with English subtitles).
Itching to unleash your inner rock star? Get down to Sharky Bar’s open mic tonight (9pm-Midnight, St 130). Nearby, the K’n’E House Band at Oscar’s On the Corner play their weekly rock set (9pm, St 13 & St 104).
For something a bit more mellow, check out Lisa Conception & Kim Mugo at Hops Brewery & Craft Beer Garden (7pm, St 228), or see your Sunday out in sophistication with a classical concert from Sutera Ensemble, who bring the work of late-Romantic Austrian composer Gustav Mahler to META House (8pm, Sothearos Boulevard).