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Phnom Penh bars closed (not really)

Yesterday, March 18th, 2020 Cambodia announced that the bars, karaokes, and massage parlors would be closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, a very admirable move, and one that follows places like Angeles City, and of course the stark measures taken in China to prevent the spread. Although TIC, this is Cambodia…….

On initial indirection we expected to find the Girly Bar district to resemble what Phnom Penh must have looked like when the Khmer Rouge emptied the city, but found something much more interesting!

Instead of actually closing the bars, they have come to their own conclusion about the best way to fight the virus without losing any money. Bars are now (I shit you not) turning off the lights outside, but having the girls stand outside, and still serving drinks.

Actually I say this, but it is only the girly bars doing this, the large open-scale sports bars, and the slightly higher-end restaurants are not even playing the game, and are just completely open.

All shops remain open, as do restaurants, the central market, the local markets, and every shop in the electronics part of town. I’d estimate that at most 10% of people are wearing masks, and business as usual would be doing it a big disservice! I remember being rather shocked by the lax attitude of Hong Kong, but this is like a whole other level of not giving a flying fuck. This is reminded whilst Americans are now barred from the country, but Chinese aren’t. The political message maybe?

Now to an extent each and all to their own, and Cambodia is not exactly famous for its lack of corruption, but if you are just going to make your bars turn off their lights, then why not just say “screw it, everyone carry on as you were”! I guess they just didn’t need to say it.

One wonders if they will try anything like this on Fields Avenue? Let us know if they do…….