What’s Happening in Phnom Penh This Weekend?
Your complete guide to squeezing the most out of your weekend in the capital.
What’s On Show
There are two top events for art lovers this evening.
Sa Sa Art Gallery throws open its doors for an Open Studio with Sin Many, its resident artist on the Pisaot programme. As part of his residency, Many – a self-taught artist from Battambang – has created six abstract textured paintings (6pm, Sa Sa Art Gallery, St 350, FREE).
Tonight is also the opening of Eternal, an exhibition that brings together the work of Phnom Penh-based artists Tytaart, Donvirao, and Jean-Baptiste Carraro. The work of these three artists spans photography, painting, and print. (6.30pm, Sra’Art Gallery, Sothearos Boulevard, FREE)
What’s On Screen
An action-packed sci-fi film shot in Cambodia? Featuring military AI robots sent into the infamous Golden Triangle by a corrupt CIA agent? Er, yes please. Catch the screening of Monsters of Man tonight and you’ll be watching it with the local cast and crew. (8.30pm, The Flicks, St 95. Price: $4. Reserve your ticket here)
LSD had Western governments freaking out when it exploded onto the hippie scene in the 1960s. But what does acid actually do to the brain? Can you use it safely? And what causes a bad trip? All is revealed in the documentary Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychadelics directed by Donick Cary. (7pm, META House, St 178, FREE)
What’s On the Menu
Who doesn’t love paella? Especially when it’s served in a gorgeous garden setting. The former home of the Queen Mother, the Pavillion is one of the loveliest historical buildings in the city, and tonight it hosts a poolside paella night, complete with live Latin music from Son Cubano (7pm, The Pavilion, St 19, Price: $15 – includes paella, cuajada and a glass of cava)
What’s On Stage
Siem Reap-based singer-songwriter Dean Wolf Bailey plays an acoustic set at Oscar’s On the Corner tonight, followed by house band K’n’E. (9pm, Oscar’s on the Corner, St 13 & St 104, FREE)
The fantastic Khmer Magic Music Bus has spent the past few years bringing traditional Khmer music to far-flung villages around the country, but tonight you have the chance to see them play here in Phnom Penh (7pm, Bouchon Wine Bar, St 174, FREE)
Prefer rock? Check out The Extraordinary Chambers (7.30pm at Alchemy, St 123, FREE) or Whiskey Got Groove (10pm, Ege Bar, St 460, FREE). If you plan to get started the moment work finishes, pop into The Box Office for fish’n’chips, where classic covers are also on offer from Trio Bandidos (6pm, The Box Office, St 244, FREE). Feeling brave enough to get up on stage yourself? Head over to Open mic hosted by David & Boom Bar, where you can sing, rap or jam. (from 7pm at Cloud, St 9, FREE)
Alternatively, dig out your nostalgia, cheesy moves and most ridiculous platform boots for 70s Disco Fever Tribute Night, where throwback hits will be delivered by in-house band Band@Work (8pm, Hard Rock Cafe, Exchange Square, FREE)
What’s On Late?
Chase the sunset with tropical beats at Flamingo Nights, where DJs Tech Support, Chocolita and Pitch will play until late (from 6pm, Sundown Social, St 440. FREE). Or if you plan to dance on a rooftop until the sun comes up again, LXR project’s We Are Once Again brings together five incredible international DJs to keep the beats coming until dawn (8pm-6am Good Times X, St 172. FREE)
What’s On the Menu
For a long, leisurely, luxurious feast, Mealea Restaurant at the Palace Gate Hotel is hosting a free-flow buffet with unlimited wine and beer this evening (6.30-10pm, Palace Gate Hotel, St 240. Price: $22).
If rum is more your thing, head to Lantern Bar for the Samai Distillery Takeover and sample a menu of fabulous rum-based concoctions. Live music courtesy of Kiss Bang Bong. (6pm-10.30pm, Lantern Rooftop Bar, St 282. Entry: FREE)
What’s On Screen?
Kalyanee Mam’s documentary A River Changes Course won the coveted Grand Jury prize at Sundance Festival for its moving depiction of three Cambodian families whose way of life is pushed out by rapid development. At this screening, you’ll also catch Mam’s 8-minute documentary Fight for Areng Valley, which follows 150 dissident monks as they travel to the Cardamon Forest to support the Chong people, whose livelihoods are under threat from a new hydroelectric dam. (7pm, META House, St 178. FREE)
Bears! Rescue bears! Ridiculously adorable orphaned sun and moon bears, rescued from the jaws of death and lovingly nursed back to health in a Laos sanctuary! Need I say more? This screening of the two-part documentary Bears About the House is hosted by the amazing charity Free the Bears, which also runs a sanctuary just outside Phnom Penh. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about what they do and potentially even win a prize, courtesy of the event sponsors. (5.30pm, Mad Monkey, St 302. FREE)
What’s On Stage
… You are! Get drunk. Sing a song. Repeat. In fact, if you do it three times you’ll even get a free beer at this Karaoke Party (7pm, Cloud, St 9, FREE)
Alternatively, there’s a huge selection of live music options tonight, all of it with free entry. You can choose from Latin music by Agüita E Coco (9pm, Duplex, St 278) or Havana Kings (9pm, H Club, St 308), jazz from Swing Time (7.30pm, Azure, St 123), pop from Box Chords (7.30pm, Alchemy, St 123), rock from Little Thieves + Spiked Gravy (10.30pm, Oscar’s On the Corner, St 13 & St 104), eclectic originals from Kirsty N Dave with Jeff Baker (7.30pm, The Box Office, St 244), and homegrown Cambo-pop by the Chan Tethya Band (8pm, Hard Rock Cafe, Exchange Square)
Incidentally, I can’t stop watching Chan Tethya’s music video for ដុល្លាចងករ
…It’s a goddamn work of art.
smug wholesome? Try out Ashtanga Yoga (8.45am-10.15am, Step to the Mat, H2, Bassac Garden, Price: FREE) or beginner’s Kundalini Yoga (10am, Backyard Cafe, St 63, Price: FREE).
If you’d rather move a bit faster, there’s a Bollywood Dance Class (1pm, SUZY Anti-Cafe, St 350, Price: FREE) or Argentine Tango (2pm, La Casita, St 398, Price: $8 / 4pm, Phnom Penh Dance Studio, St 306. First class: $5)
The nerds among us may prefer to take part in a Board Game Session (2pm, The Factory, FREE) or the brand new Inspiration Library Book Club (10am-12pm, also at Factory. FREE. Registration link here)
What’s On the Menu?
Here at WOPP, we’re big fans of Fat Passion, so hearing that chef Jorge Chen is teaming up with Tomoka Cocktails for a Supper Club Bottomless Brunch today has got our bellies rumbling. $28 gets you as many tasty treats as you can eat, while another $12 means two hours of bottomless mimosas to wash it down. Sure, it’s a bit of an extravagance, but I strongly suspect it’s worth it. (11am-4pm, Au Marché, St 19. Price: $28 for food only + $12 for mimosas)
What’s On Stage?
If you’ve never had a chance to see Phare, the Cambodian circus, perform, you really, really shouldn’t miss the opportunity while they’re in Phnom Penh. A Phare show is absolutely magical – and after a long, pandemic-related hiatus, seeing these talented performers on stage again will be an even bigger treat. The troupe will alternate between two shows every Thursday and Sunday until the 28th February, but don’t leave it too late to get a ticket as they will be in demand. (5pm, The Factory. Price: $10-$20. Book your tickets here.)
Performers from the Phnom Penh Dance studio also had to put their show on hold due to Covid, but the postponed opening Dance Recital takes place, at last, this evening (5pm, Sofitel Phokeethra, Sothearos Boulevard. Price: $12 / $6 for under-14s. Buy your tickets here.)
There are also a couple of live music options. As well as the weekly Sunday Sundowner gig (5pm-8pm, Tacos Kokopelli, St 19z. FREE), you can catch the impossible-not-to-dance-to rockabilly sounds of Joe & The Jumping Jacks (10pm, Oscar’s On the Corner, St 13 & 104, FREE)
What’s On Screen?
War Kar Wai’s visually stunning film 2046 tells the tale of an author whose novel (also called 2046) depicts a train taken only by people looking to recapture lost memories. One of the greats. (7pm, META House, St 178, FREE)
Craving a new book? Swap your old stories for new ones at this Book Exchange (5pm, Rush Pub, St 282, FREE). Or, if you’re feeling up to it, try out a combination of yoga, gymnastics and *checks notes* flying at an Acro Yoga Workshop (12pm, Favela, The Factory, National Road 2. Price: $3 or free for members).