"My favourite place in town." Top 5 Page for this destination Krong Preah Seihanu Things to Do Tip by planxty
Krong Preah Seihanu Things to Do: 8 reviews and 8 photos
If I had to list what constituted my favourite tourist bar anywhere, it would probably go something as follows. Actually, I prefer locals bars as other tips will attest, but bear with me. Safe (i.e. no trouble), friendly staff, cheap drink, good music, good food, interesting people and, above all, a guitar I can play now the ridiculously expensive baggage restrictions of international carriers have precluded me bringing my own. For Retox Bar, answer yes to all the above. To his great credit, I was put onto this place by Gary from the Sakal down the hill, a move which must have cost him a few $$$ in lost revenue, and I thank him for his honesty. He's a good bloke.
Retox is apparently something of an institution amongst the expats in Snooky, and I fitted in quickly with an assortment of slightly odd but very likeable characters. They have draught Anchor beer, and draught here always works out cheaper than botles or cans. Food is available from "Mama's kitchen" as long as the bar is open and is very good. I won't bother with a seperate restaurant tip but I recommend the sweet and sour pork.
The selection of music is remarkable and Richie, who runs the place with his Khmer wife, is very proud of it. I was amazed when he started playing me an Irish folk band from the early 70's I had never even heard of. That's my genre, my time and my place - incredible.
The absolute selling point was the live music. I mentioned in my ideal tourist bar a guitar I could play. Take your pick. I swear I have seen music shops with less stock in them. A fully functioning, if somewhat old, PA system, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, some in between, basses, a full drumkit, congas, assorted persussion intruments, even some Khmer traditonal instruments and a banjo should you be able to play them. I was right in my element, and cue some wonderful nights jamming with some excellent musicians, it was pure magic for me. Whether it was pure magic for others listening is open to debate, but hopefully the real musicians present carried me. It is interesting that even on quiet nights during what was a quiet "high" season, this place was generally doing business when all around were deserted.
The lovely thing about Retox is that you never know what will happen. Richie has a great recording of some Russian musicians who visited a few months previously. Apparently they are quite famous in their home country and just got up and jammed. Similarly, a Khmer band called Dengue Fever "cut their teeth" here before going on to play in various European festivals including, I believe, Glastonbury. If you are a musician, get here, if you aren't, get here anyway to see what might happen.
Directions: On Victory Hill about halfway up, directly opposite the (appalling) Tropicana Bar.