NYE Phnom Penh, Cambodia!!!!
Didn't really know what to expect. Scoped out a few places. There was a masquerade party at an upscale sushi/bistro spot, a really nice cocktail place with multiple levels and a rooftop viewing, and we were also thinking about just getting a tuk tuk and driving around for an hour!
Well, we stopped in to the cocktail place, the sushi place, and ended up at a festival right on the river!
Before we got to the first stop, we passed a fun little dance instruction. I thought about hopping in, but thought better of it.
A former coworker of mine in Chicago helped open the cocktail place in Phnom Penh. Sleek, clean, and 3 levels which each acting as its own space. Downstairs is the bar, 2nd floor is the lounge, and the rooftop has a vibe of its own. We stayed downstairs and chatted with the bar team. Had a couple green chartreuse shots, two cocktails, and we were off and running for the night.
Next stop was the ever so decadent 6 level sushi masquerade party extravaganza! It was pretty exclusive, and not a lot of space to stand/sit. We enjoyed our masks though! Fun to throw them on, and have a couple cocktails while enjoying the view. We noticed a lot of commotion further down towards the river that we hadn't noticed before. We saw lots of spotlights, and what looked like a stage. We did some research on what to do in Phnom Penh for NYE, and never came across whatever was going on. So we went!
Really packed. So packed we could barely move while walking towards the stage. We had to cross a bridge over an offshoot of the Mekong River, and the motorbikes were tire to tire, and we couldn't even get around them. We ended up reaching the very far side of the bridge, and were able to walk from there.
Not only did we find ourselves a stage with performers, and dancers, but a straight up carnival was happening behind that! With no bathrooms! It was hilarious. Granted, some people were enjoying a few adult beverages, but probably not as much as Americans would be on NYE at a large concert venue that would require a plethora of bathrooms. We bought some french fries at a side restaurant, and were able to use their bathrooms. : )
We took off from the madness before we got trampled from everyone leaving, and headed back to Memorial Park. Really close to our hotel, we bought some popcorn, bought some pineapple, sat down in the park, and really enjoyed the atmosphere. Everyone in the park it seemed had fireworks of some sort. The real fireworks were happening over the river, and we could just see them from over the trees. It was beautiful.
We loved being in Phnom Penh for NYE. Such a treat.