This is where it happens at night when the street is blocked to motor traffic, tables are set up on the curbside and the music is cranked several decibels higher. Pub Street is a block away from the Old Market and is lined on both sides with restaurants, offering vast choices of Khmer and international food, and numerous pubs which attract the crowds with their happy hour deals starting around 5pm.
Angkor draft goes for $0.50 during happy hour, after which drinks go for US$2 and up. Most places are open till midnight, and some until dawn. For those who want a quieter atmosphere, Pub Street Alley, with boutique guesthouses, restaurants, boutiques and pubs, runs parallel, half a block over.
Good Food and Good Intentions too
Many restaurants on Pub Street double up as lively bars at night but the affordable food stands on its own merit. Stylish Indian Kama Sutra offers delicious curries and dahls whereas Red Piano, in a restored colonial building, provides a balcony from which to people watch while dining on reasonably priced Asian and international food. Their cocktail "Angelina Jolie" is named after the former celebrity guest. Split-level Soup Kitchen serves Asian on the ground floor and dishes out diverse and interesting international food including Moroccan upstairs. It donates 7% of its take to the Angkor Children's Hospital.
After the sun goes down, the focus shifts a block or two east of the Old Market to 'Pub Street,' so named for the numerous and varied restaurants and pubs that line the street from one end to the other. You can always find Khmer, Thai, French, Vietnamese, Indian, Italian and a variety of other international foods on at the 'Pub Street' restaurants. Most of the bars are open all day but don't really get going until around 5PM as people return from the temples and come to take advantage of the various happy hour deals. In the later evening the street is blocked to motor traffic, allowing pedestrians to stroll easily. It's then that Pub Street really comes alive as the restaurants move their tables to the curbside and the bars crank up the music.
The whole 'Pub Street' area is the center of nightlife in Siem Reap these days with most places staying open until at least midnight and few until near dawn. 'Pub Street Alley,' running parallel about a half of a block over, offers a somewhat different atmosphere - a quaint, shaded, tranquil retreat from the Pub Street crowds - a narrow lane lined with little galleries, shops, bars, cafés, Khmer restaurants and boutique guesthouses. And in a recent development, similar sorts of businesses are popping up in other alleys in the Pub Street area.