Remember when I wrote about all the new girlie bars in Phnom Penh a few weeks ago? Or how about my list of the best hostess bars in Phnom Penh that came out a little later? Mao’s Bar is definitely not a new bar but it is probably the best.
Mao’s went through all kinds of change ups. First it was some kind of a club. Then it was a bar down at street level. Then later it was a girlie bar. I think a Chinese dude opened it, hence the Mao theme. Now I think a French dude owns it. I don’t really know and I guess it doesn’t matter. What matters it what the bar is like here and now.
Mao’s is around the corner from Street 104 which is filled with hostess bars. It’s also close to streets like 118 and 130 which are also full of bars now. It’s kind of weird because it’s a really big place on the second floor but the entrance down at street level is really small. You could miss it if you didn’t look hard enough.
The place hovers above the riverside and the night market with big windows that you can look in and out of. It is obvious that it used to be a club. It looks like one inside. But they redecorated. The DJ booth is still there but now you have tables, pool tables, foosball, and dart machines where people once danced (or at least where the old club owners expected people to dance before they went out of business).
The pool tables are pretty much shot as is the norm for Cambodia. The felt is all torn up and bubbled and the tables lean to one side. Most of the cues are bent or broken, the balls are chipped, and one of the tables isn’t even the right size. But who cares? If I wanted to play pool I’d go to a pool hall. Phnom Penh has a few. America has even more.
When in Spain you should play in the rain, or something like that. What I really mean to say is that if I’m going to a bar filled with girls you can bet that the main draw for me is going to be those very females. Same as I get in an elevator to go up a few levels fast, not to listen to the music!
Anyway there are a lot of chicks at Mao’s when you hit it just right. The other day I was inside and I counted thirty. There are even more than that some days. A lot of them are hot too. Sure you’ve got your average and even your ugly ones but there are some gems for sure.
There is a mix of chicks too. It’s not just Khmer chicks but also a lot of Vietnamese and mixed Khmer-Vietnamese chicks like the bars used to be in the olden days. Or the oldest days I know of which would be about a decade back.
It’s cool to have a lot of room and some things to do besides just sitting and drinking. They got that too. They sell towers of beer and all kinds of whiskeys but they also have some different things to do. Even a shitty pool table is cool when you can watch two twenty years old play and get peaks at their cleavage and of their hemlines!
The latest addition to Mao’s Bar is a team of Vietnamese coyote dancers who wear tight shorts that stick up their asses and belly shirts. One of the chicks looks more made up than legit but at least two of the chicks on the team are super sexy. They only dance for what seems like one or two minutes every hour and no one really pays attention. But when they’re done dancing they hang out around the bar. You can drink and talk with them. It’s better than a go go bar in my opinion, because in those places you gotta try to get to them between line up changes or they’ll be back on stage dancing half the time.
Drinks are a little more expensive at Mao’s then other bars. Or at least lady drinks are. Cocktails and beers for dudes seem pretty normal and even lady drinks are only $3.75. That doesn’t exactly break the bank.
On the other hand the barfine is ten bucks which is basically the same thing all the other bars charge. That comes out to 320 Baht at current exchange rates so it’s about half of what even the cheapest Thai go go bars charge for a barfine nowadays. I won’t even get into their drink prices. Double tequila shots anyone?
Some of the chicks won’t barfine or at least they’ll be selective about who they barfine with. Other chicks will wait until the bar closes at 1:00 AM and just leave with a customer probably so they don’t lose face in front of anyone else.
You’ll have that sometimes when you’re dealing with a hotter strain of chick or even when you’re not. It’s still better than the Ho Chi Minh City hostess bars where you have little to no hope of getting any of the chicks out of the bar. Even at some of the Angeles City go go bars girls now reject customers so it is what it is.
A lot of times I just go to hang out or add Mao’s to my list of stops for a night on the town. It’s a little better atmosphere and it’s filled with hot and friendly chicks so I was definitely justified putting it in my top ten.
Here’s the Mao’s Facebook page which lists the operating hours, location, map to the location and a gallery with pictures of some of the women who work there.