Ready for another wild weekend in the Kingdom of Wonder? Here are the top things to do in Phnom Penh from Friday night until Sunday evening.
Looking for a top film for date night? Slick, funny action thriller Baby Driver has picked up rave reviews all over the world – and it has a bunch of showings at Legend Cinemas this weekend, including 7.40pm (Tuol Kork), 9.30pm (CityMall) and 9.45pm (Meanchey) tonight.
Or, to get under the skin of some serious issues facing modern day Cambodia, head to META House for a series of heart-wrenching short docs about the Meth crisis plaguing the Kingdom and beyond.
Sound a bit too heavy? If you’d rather chill out with a cold drink and a great band, never fear: you’re spoiled for choice tonight.
Fabulous folk-pop-soul duo the Diana Bailey Band continues their three-week tour of Cambodia with a gig at Oscar’s on the Corner (9.30pm, St 12 & 104), while Phnom Penh’s very own Road to Mandalay plays at the atmospheric Botanico (7pm, St 29) and Cambodian Space Project’s Channthy Cha performs a stripped-back acoustic set of Cambodian rock classics at Valentino’s Garden Bistro (7-10pm, St 174)… with 2-4-1 cocktails all night to sweeten the deal!
Or close your eyes, grab yourself some Moonshine and imagine you’re in a dusty desert instead of a tropical sauna as Joe Wrigley sings old fashioned cowboy ballads down on the farm (6.30pm, Farm to Table, St 360).
Finally, there’s a farewell gig from Complicated Business at Tusk, as the band take a hiatus to head off on their travels for a bit (9pm, St 278).
DRINK & DANCE
If you’d rather really let your hair down and get straight out onto the dancefloor, head to Show Box’s Electro Disco where DJ Remix is spinning retro-electro hip hop, techno, drum & bass and deep house, with $2.50 Espresso Martinis to keep you buzzing all night (7.30pm, St 330).
More in the mood for classic 90s indie tunes? Join veteran UK DJ Iain Donnelly (AirFix Twin) at META House’s Bedrock Indie Party (9pm, Sothearos Boulevard), whose three decade career has seen him play alongside everyone from Hardfloor to Inspiral Carpets.
Meanwhile, classy Le Boutier is being shaken up with some special cocktail recipes by guest bartender Brittney Bedford (8pm, St 308)… or, at the other end of the scale, there are free shots on the hour as usual at Top Banana’s Friday Session, with reggae and dancehall from DJ Kaztet Dee to really get you going.
ART, DESIGN, THEATRE, DANCE
Don’t you dare waste the day nursing a hangover! Wake yourself up at Urban Space, where you can learn to shake your booty (and your belly) with a free Belly Dancing and Zumba class (1.30pm, Urban Space, St 287).
Or spring clean your life with some great design ideas at Plastic Free July’s launch event at Farm to Table, where you can learn to make your own paper straws, beauty products and bags from recycled t-shirts, and pick up some gorgeous sustainable supplies for free – including Cleanbodia’s biodegradable bags and EcoSense Cambodia’s lunchboxes (3pm, St 360)
Then, head over to Cloud, where the fantastic DBK Art have opened a hugely ambitious new art exhibition. Inside the Endless Jungle brings together installation, photography, painting, sculpture and creative use of recycled lights to bring to life the urban jungle that is Phnom Penh – make sure you take a look! (Cloud, St 9)
Later, something very special is happening at The Plantation, as creative collaborators Scott Bywater and Warren Daly join forces with artist Adrianna Snochowska and singer Mariana Hensley for a unique, experimental performance. Billed as an “encounter with flow” , Red River merges music, visual art, poetry and theatre – more ticket information is available here. (8pm, The Plantation, St 184)
Plenty more top films today, including survivalist drama Captain Fantastic at Flicks 1 (4pm, St 95)…
… And, at Flicks 2, the bizarre but underrated, dark comedy sci-fi madness of Colossal, starring Anne Hatheway (5pm, St 136) This one’s also playing at 6pm on Sunday at Flicks 1, if you can’t make it.
Meanwhile, over at META House, brave and insightful documentary The Future’s Past looks at how Cambodia’s younger generations struggle to come to terms with the horrors of the Khmer Rouge (4pm, Sothearos boulevard).
Later, they’ll be screening some of China’s very best contemporary short films (7pm), giving a fascinating insight into how modern Chinese artists navigate their culture, followed by “sweeping, poignant, bizarre, funny, unique,” feature Neruda , about the search for disappeared Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (8.30pm).
Awesome newbie venue Raqia Republic hosts hip hop faves Hypnotic Fist Technique – catch them now as they’re taking a break to record new music soon! (8pm, St 102).
Or, for something a little more chilled, the Diana Bailey Band plays their second set of the weekend at Tusk (9pm, St 278).
Meanwhile, the gorgeous Miss Sarawan is back by popular demand at the Jazz Club at 8.30pm, and newly-formed electric fusion blues outfit Blue Lotus plays original, part-improvised work at Cloud (8.30pm, St 9)
DRINK & DANCE
July 1st is International Reggae Day and Che Culo is celebrating in style, with iconic and modern Caribbean rhythms from WAT A GWAAN, Yatra Productions and special guests Soul Iration.
Alternatively, Sao Sopheak is hitting the decks at Long After Dark, spinning the classics of Khmer Rock Royale (8pm – 2am, St 450).
And, of course… it’s Canada Day, eh! If you’re a long way from home and missing moose and maple syrup, you can paint the town red (and white) at two big bashes tonight – one at Alchemy with unique cocktails – and a free drink if you can prove you’re Canadian! -, and another at DJ Guesthouse and Bar… where with true Canadian politeness, every guest gets a free shot, and Maple Collins is on the menu.
FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY
The big one this Sunday is the final installment of the Phnom Penh Feminist Film Festival at the L Bar (5-9.30pm, St 93). This is your chance to see two Khmer films (a short doc and a comedy feature) that look at gender and sexuality in modern day Cambodia in very different ways, followed by a Q&A with director Sao Sopheak and activist Seav Long Ny.
Plus, there’s a superb photography exhibition from award-winning, globetrotting photojournalist Diadem Tali.
Want to pick up a bargain outfit that actually does some good? Belle Curve is running another massive second hand sale of women’s clothing at Ripple Cafe, with a share of profits going to local animal protection charities (9am-3pm).
Come rain or shine (who are we kidding? It’s Cambodia… there will be plenty of both), there’s nothing like a lazy afternoon pool party. Sponsored by Heineken, uber-glamorous Hotel Cambodiana is hosting an epic one this Sunday – a rare opportunity to use the fabulous facilities for free! (4-10pm, Hotel Cambodiana, Sisowath Quay).
Lastly, see off your Sunday in style with the Oscar’s On the Corner house band K’n’E, or wind down with Taco Kokopelli’s Sunday Sundowner session, hosted by Scott Bywater (St 19z).
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… now go forth, and party.