There are a lot of women on the job in Cambodia. The place has a bit of a bad reputation. Most of that seems outdated to me though. It’s like people who still imagine that New York is some dangerous war zone straight out of The Warriors when in reality it’s one of the safest major cities in the United States.
Most of the sex work in Cambodia is aimed at Cambodian guys. Chinese guys are big in Cambodia too. Some of them are actually from China. A lot of them are local and have been ingrained in the local economy for years even though they maintain their Chinese identity. Foreign businessmen mainly from South Korea and Japan also spend a lot of money on the scene.
Asian guys focus more on action that takes place on or near the business. This is true in Thailand and Vietnam too. A lot of these guys are married or known in the community. They don’t want to be seen hanging around with whores. So they go to private rooms in karaoke clubs or tables in beer gardens and make arrangements to see girls they like in short time hotel rooms. Or they go to fishbowl massage places.
There are also networks that organize for Asian guys with a lot of money to hook up with beautiful women including some who are famous in Cambodia. A lot of money is spent on this. They meet in nice hotels and have a good time. No one else is the wiser.
Asian guys with less money, and some guys with money but an eye toward adventure, go for street walkers or brothels. I will write about the many brothels in Cambodia some other time. This is about freelancers.
Street walkers are common in Phnom Penh. You don’t see them in other parts of the country. Street walkers used to hang around in a park in the middle of the city. The park is still there but it is now surrounded by a huge casino and a palatial residence for the most important man in the country. That means no more ladies of the night.
These days the street walkers mainly hang around Wat Phnom and the nearby Freedom Park. Ladies can be found around Wat Phnom starting at dark almost every day of the week. They stand in some of the streets that jut off of it like streets 94 and 98 too. Some of them stand right out in the open. Some wear surgical masks and sort of hide under trees.
The chicks around Freedom Park hang out on the bridge on Norodom Boulevard between streets 106 and 108. Some ladyboys and effeminate gay guys hang around here too. Real ladies are often in the minority. At Wat Phnom there are no ladyboys around.
Guys who want to meet these ladies pull over near them and call them over. Then they negotiate a date in a nearby short time hotel. Local guys pay between $2.50 and $10.00 for one of these dates.
Few of these women speak any English. They have a reputation even among locals for stealing things. A lot of guys get things taken while they’re in the shower or not looking. I guess you get what you pay for.
There are non-Asian foreign guys in Phnom Penh too. They tend to be of less importance to the local economy but there is a whole section of people that basically lives off them. This includes everything from the rental girlfriends to the owners of the girlie bars around Golden Sorya Mall and the riverside. Tourist businesses also rely on them when they aren’t dealing with big Asian groups.
Some English speaking Freelancers rely almost entirely on western and occasionally African guys for income. They use online dating sites like Badoo to meet guys or they go to various clubs and bars.
Martini was a major spot for Chinese and white guys to meet freelancers for years. They had a bar area and a dance club. The place moved a few times before finally closing last year. It is no more.
Sharky’s is one of the older bars in Phnom Penh. They have live bands, pool tables and food. There used to be a ton of freelancers hanging around here. Now there are just a few, but they all speak English They don’t stay at the bar all night. They look around and leave. They usually want $50 or even $100 to go with a guy.
Golden Sorya Mall
An open plaza in the middle of Golden Sorya Mall attracts some freelancers throughout the day and night. Beer is served here. It’s also home to a lot of fall down drunks and fist fights. Old expats hang around more than anyone else besides maybe some tank top wearing backpackers looking to get drunk on the cheap.
Pontoon is the main night club. It’s in Golden Sorya Mall and it’s open late. A lot of freelancers work here along with some semi-pros who only occasionally go with guys. Women from the hostess bars end up here late at night after their bars close. They also go to G-Pub next door. That place stays open until the sun comes up.
Pontoon and G-Pub also attract a lot of regular local women. Some will go with guys if they feel it but they don’t want or expect money. Some of them have more money than most of the tank top wearing foreign guys getting drunk inside. If you offend the wrong chick you could end up in a world of hurt.
Working women at Pontoon want anywhere from $25 to $100 to go with a guy. The lower number is more common. Only weekend millionaires and suckers pay the highest rates. I might be a sucker in the right situation though. Like if the girl of my dreams wandered in and wouldn’t budge from $100. It’s still not a ton of money for me, but it would have to be worth it.
Guys take chicks out of Pontoon to their rooms. There are some short time hotels nearby that want $10 or $15 for a room. Regular hotels aren’t much more. Some freelancers have been known to do drugs and/or steal from rooms. There’s not much guys can do about it other than being vigilante.
There’s a big night club north of Wat Phnom called Casa. A lot of local guys with big money join other Asian businessmen there. There is a dance area and some karaoke rooms. A lot of hot chicks show up at night. Some are freelancers. Some work with mamasans out of the karaoke section. You might be surprised to see how much some of these chicks get. It can be shocking for people who think Cambodia is a dirt poor country where guys only fuck in $5 chicken farms.