14 Places To Go On Street 178 & 19 Phnom Penh
Living here in Phnom Penh for the past 5 months gave us a lot of chances to get to know the neighborhood and recommend them to families and friends who came to visit. We live around Street 19 and Street 178 where there are ample of places to see and things to do, especially if you know where to look for it. The tuk tuk ride can be expensive but on these two streets, you can just walk and enjoy the local scenery while dropping by to the suggested places below.
Where to Sleep?
#1 Frangipani Fine Arts Hotel
Now there are two branches of this particular hotel on Street 178 and this is the boutique version of the Frangipani Royal Palace Hotel. How I know this is because I had accidentally suggested this hotel to my family when they came to visit found out that this was not located behind the Royal Palace. If you’re not familiar with the street, you might miss out on its’ wooden signage at the alley going into the hotel area. In Phnom Penh, some of the hotels give you a dodgy first impression especially when you’re trying to find the entrance to the actual hotel lobby but when you get in, you feel surprised and impressed with the cafe in the garden and wide green space leading up to your room. They serve a nice selection of continental, Asian or American breakfast for guests to choose from and have their own Frangipani Villa tuk tuk for a tour around the city. Other than that, there are mixed reviews on this hotel which is best to read before you book the rooms here. Also bear in mind that this is one of the hotels in the city that doesn’t have elevator service therefore climbing all the way to the third floor can be quite exhausting for the elderly folks.
Address: Frangipani Fine Arts Hotel #43, St. 178, Sangkat Cheychumneas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh (National Museum Area) | Call them:+855 12 585 959 | Price per night: Rooms can cost from $35.00 a night. More info here. | Brownie points: Green courtyard.
#2 The Artist Guesthouse
This newly opened hotel earlier this year is still one of my favorite hotel in the city centre only because it’s near to my house (like less than 5 minutes walk away). The rooms facing the street comes with a balcony, a nice set of chairs and table with a glimpse of the Fine Arts University. We’ve been recommending The Artist Guesthouse to friends who came to visit us and they’ve all experienced different types of rooms there. There’s one room on the forth floor with a steep stairs going to the rooftop (basically it’s an attic), another room has low ceilings while one room has curtains instead of bathroom curtains. So be sure to request for a room on the first or second floor which looks like this photo above. Otherwise just enjoy the plush bed and pillows which we’ve heard from friends gave them such a good night rest after a long day out in the city.
Address: The Artist Guesthouse. #69, St. 178, Preah Ang Makhak Vann, Sangkat Cheychumneas, Phnom Penh (National Museum Area) | Call them:+855 23 213 930 | Price per night: Rooms can cost from $24.00 a night on Agoda. | Brownie points: Awesome plush beds and pillows.
#3 The Blue Lime
Another hidden boutique hotel that comes with a swimming pool and privacy from the main road is the Blue Lime which can be hard to find but still well known by the locals and tuk tuk drivers. My sister and I had both stayed here a few years back and it left us a good impression as the rooms and staff service was pleasant. There are rooms with balconies that lead out to the swimming pool area while others get a glimpse from above. If you’re not a guest at Blue Lime, you can still swim in their pool with a minimal fee of $5.00 per person.
Address: The Blue Lime. #42, St. 19z (off Street 19), Sangkat Cheychumneas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh (behind Royal Palace) | Call them:+855 23 222 260 | Price per night: Rooms can cost from $45.00 a night. More info here. | Brownie points: The 14-metres swimming pool with sea salt from Kep.
#4 Hostel Lovely Jubbly Place
One of my friends had stayed here during his visit to the city and being a backpacker he found a nice hostel with affordable pricing. I hadn’t notice the hostel when I was walking in this area because it was hidden between restaurants and bars, like most of the businesses here. However when we met up for drinks at the lobby, I could understand why he chose the place. A huge blackboard with bus routes and timing hung on the wall just above the reception table. Guests can conveniently book their bus tickets from the reception to provinces in Cambodia as well as to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Lovely Jubbly Place has door rooms with 4 or 12 beds and they’re separated between males, females or if you don’t mind there’s also a mixed dorm room. Like all backpackers place, there are friendly guests to mingle with and before you know it, you’ll have a list of new worldwide friends from this city.
Address: Hostel Lovely Jubbly Place. #149, St. 19, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. | Call them:+855 23 222 260 | Price per night: A bed in a 4 bed or 12 bed dorm can cost from $10.00 a night. More info here. | Brownie points: Guests can book bus routes to any Siem Reap, any provinces in Cambodia or Ho Chi Minh from here.
What To Eat?
#5 Have breakfast at Botanic Cafe & Art Gallery
Street 19 offers a range of unique cafes including this one which doubles up as an Art Gallery on its’ first floor. It is not hard to find the Botanic Cafe as it is located next to an obvious tattoo parlor from the main road. From the main entrance, follow the path from the garden all the way indoors and then out again into another outdoor garden at the back. We chose this spot ordered our eggs and salmon for breakfast. Serving mostly western meals in the morning and excellent coffee (the cappuccino was good), the garden setting did have a soothing effect on us. If you go upstairs there is an art gallery space with paintings of Cambodia landmarks on the walls and in the evenings, this space is used as a yoga class for its’ followers. If you’re open for something adventurous, they have Dining in the Dark at night where everything is pitch black and forces your other senses to be more alive. Make sure to keep your hands on the food and nothing else at all times.
Address: Botanic Cafe & Art Gallery. #126, St. 19, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Call them:+855 077 589 458 | Opening Hours: 8:00 – 22:00 daily | Brownie Points : Art Galley and yoga sessions
#6 Have lunch at Warung Bali Restaurant
If you walk towards the Riverside, make sure to stop by the Warung Bali Restaurant for a taste of Indonesian food in Cambodia. They serve a good range of halal dishes such as lumpia (crispy homemade spring rolls with chicken & vegetables), ayam Bali and ikan bumbu rojak at reasonable prices. My favourite dish from this restaurant is the Nasi Goreng Gila which is fried rice with minced beef, vegetables, fried egg and keropok. Oh and don’t forget to try the es kelapa juice which is soothing on a hot day.
Address: Warung Bali Restaurant. #25, St. 178, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Call them:+855 012 967 480 | Opening Hours : 10:00 – 21:00 daily | Brownie Points: Feels like you’re in Bali
#7 Have coffee by the Riverside at Grand River Restaurant & Bar
Before you reach the Riverside area, take another stop at the Grand River Restaurant & Bar which is just opposite of the Foreign Correspondent Cafe (F.C.C.). The latter is a popular hang-out place for tourists in the evenings while this restaurant is a nice place for ice cold Khmer coffee with milk and vegetable pizzas. Their happy hour starts from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in case you want to start your drinking session early. Since the location of the restaurant is at the street corner, you get a view of the Mekong River while seating at the ground floor or upstairs, at the roof top. Just be wary of peddlers asking for donations or selling souvenir items while you dine downstairs.
Address: Grand River Restaurant. #357, Sisowath Quay Corner St. 178, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Call them:+855 023 220 244 | Opening Hours : 07:00 – midnight daily | Brownie Points: View of the Riverside
What To See & Do?
#8 Walk into Mustache Mart for unique finds.
Any random hipsters would appreciate the Mustache Mart with its’ attractive pink signage on the entrance door. I love walking into mini-marts around the world to find interesting products from its shelves and in this case you could choose your mustache from the box at the counter. I often go in here to get Magnum ice cream or cold drinks as they have local and international brands in their large freezer. Not only that, you could also walk in and order take-away Espresso, coffee latte or cappuccino as it is available at the mini-mart. The staffs are friendly and can speak English as well as Khmer.
Address: Mustache Mart. #40, St. 178, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Call them:+855 093 792 456 | Opening Hours : 07:00 – 23:30 daily | Brownie Points: They sell mustaches in case you need one.
#9 Catch the birds at Royal Palace Garden
Waking up at 5:00 am for a jog around the Royal Palace Garden and catch the sunrise can be energizing. You won’t be alone though because during this time the elderly people can be seen doing their group tai-chi and group exercise with their music booming from the Riverside. However if you’re not a running person (like me), you can walk to the Royal Palace Garden and make friends with the pigeon by feeding them with bread crumbs. I often like to creep towards them unsuspectingly and then make a leap just to see them fly. They would come back to the ground again a minute later and I’d continue creeping up on them. This alone is enough exercise for my morning soul.
Address: Royal Palace Garden, Riverside, Phnom Penh | Brownie points: Scaring off pigeons in the morning is fun.
#10 Tour the National Museum
The National Museum is less than 5 minutes walk before Warung Bali Restaurant, with its’ winged roof visible on Street 178. For an admission of $5 you’ll get to see and learn about the history, archaeological artifacts as it houses the largest Khmer art collections in country. However take note that they don’t allow guests to take photos or videos inside the museum, which is a good restriction because you’ll be able to fully focus on the stories from the Khmer past. Along the halls are women who would offer you to buy a jasmine flower to place at a few statues as a sign of respect. At the end of the tour, there’s an open courtyard with a nice seating area for a quick coffee break and rest before you continue to tour other parts of Phnom Penh.
Address: National Museum. #40, St. 113, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Call them:+855 023 211 753 | Opening Hours : 08:00 – 17:00 daily | Admission: $5 for foreigners | Brownie Points: No camera or video allowed, meaning full focus on history learning.
#11 Enjoy a rainbow night at Blue Chili Bar (LGBT Friendly)
Just beside the Mustache Mart is the Blue Chili Pub which comes alive on weekends, late at night. We brought friends here after finding out that the owner hosts a drag queen show at 11pm onward on Saturday nights. You could come earlier to watch live performances from invited guests of the week before the drag show starts. I would have to explain that the Blue Chili is recommended for the rainbow friendly group or for anyone who just wants to enjoy a good night in Phnom Penh.
Address: Blue Chili. #36E0, St. 178, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Call them:+855 12 566 353 | Opening Hours : 18:00 – late daily | Brownie Points: Drag queen show on Saturday nights.
#12 Walk around Preah Sisowath Quay for sunset
At the of Street 178 is the Riverside area, popular among tourists for its view of the Mekong River. Along the entire stretch of the Riverside Boulevard you’ll bump into many locals who spend the evenings playing badminton, mini soccer, doing group Aerobics and jogging. It’s a nice place to catch up on exercise, relax in the shady evening weather or catch the striking sunset from the riverbank.
Address: Preah Sisowath Quay. Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Brownie Points: People watching and cool weather.
#13 Bring back used books from D’s Bookstore
There’s two D’s bookstores that I’ve been and both are nearby the house area. Although this branch would be nearer as you’ll be able to see when you walk along Street 178 to the Riverside. The bookstore sells secondhand books which are mostly in good condition and often mistaken for first hand books. Prices here are affordable and cheaper than the normal book stores around Phnom Penh. What I love most is that the titles available range from Travel (lost of travel books here!), biographies, history, crime & fiction, and a whole shelf of chic-lit books for the romantic soul. There’s stools around the store for you to read the synopsis and a coffee lounge area at the back for more reading space.
Address: D’s Books. Street 178, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 21:00 pm | Brownie Points: People watching and cool weather.
#14 Relax to a Blind Massage Session
All the walking on Street 178 and Street 19 deserves a good massage at the end of the night. One of our friends had read good reviews about this place so we decided to give it a go. We went there at night, after dinner and there was only 4 staff in hand so we decided to let our friends try out the blind massage while we waited at the reception area. The owner, a young looking couple apologized for the shortage of staff while leading them to the massage rooms. Two of our friends had the full body massage with different oils while another two had the 60 minutes foot massage. Both turned out to be satisfying especially when they staff was able to find the exact pressure points to soften them.
Address: Khmer Angkor Seeing Hands Massage. #182, Street 13, Sangkat Chey Chum Nas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh | Call them: +855 17 577 787 | Opening Hours: 08:00 am – 22:00 pm | Brownie Points: Helping the blind.
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.