Overview of Cheap Brothels in Phnom Penh
It’s no secret that Phnom Penh has the highest number of prostitutes in all of Cambodia. They are working in all different sorts of red light venues, but can be divided into two categories: The prostitutes that are mainly dealing with foreign men (e.g. in the hostess bars, night clubs and massage salons) and the prostitutes that are mainly dealing with Khmer men (e.g. in the KTVs, massage parlors and brothels).
I have already written the full overview guide to the different types of hookers in Phnom Penh that you can find here. And in this post I will talk about one type of those in more detail: The brothel girls.
I thought for quite a while if I should write this post as most foreigners probably find the brothels too cheap and also somewhat dirty, but since I’m claiming that Cambodia Redcat is the most comprehensive website on nightlife and girls in the kingdom, I felt that it just needed to be included here.
Main Brothel Areas in Phnom Penh
First of all, you can imagine that those brothels are found outside of the main tourist areas. So if you stay in Riverside (where all the girly bars are located) you cannot walk there. That means you have two options:
You either ask a Tuk Tuk driver to bring you to a brothel. The problem with that approach is that the English skills of the drivers are usually not good enough to understand what you mean. You could show him one of the pictures in this guide though and that should work. However, I usually don’t like to be brought to a brothel by a Khmer guy. It just doesn’t feel good. Maybe they take a commission. Maybe they create other sorts of problems. You never know.
So the second option is that you rent a motorcycle and drive there yourself. You can inquire at your hotel, the going rate for a standard scooter is 7 USD per 24 hours. It’s almost impossible to find the brothels if you don’t know which area to go, but fortunately for you I have included a map with the exact locations of all mentioned places at the end of the guide.
The biggest area with brothels in Phnom Penh are Street 271, Street 598, Street 335 and Street 273. It’s actually all the same street – a big main road in the western part of the city. This may sound a little bit confusing, so just look at the map below where you will immediately get an orientation.
Even more confusing is the fact that the biggest and most impressive KTV complexes of Phnom Penh are located on the same road:
Note that these are not the brothels I’m talking about. Sure, they also have prostitutes inside (and they are usually more attractive) but the procedure and prices are totally different: You would have to rent a room for a few hours and pay a fee for the girl as well as drinks, and that doesn’t include any sex. Only if you pay some extra (usually no less than 50 USD) you may be able to bring her back to your hotel for “short time” after a few hours.
So instead of looking for these huge complexes with bright neon lights, you will have to look out for exactly the opposite: Small, old, rundown and quiet houses with open doors.
Like this one:
That’s a typical Phnom Penh brothel. There is usually a sign outside saying “Massage”, but not always. But you can expect that the doors are open and if you go inside you will see a group of usually 3-6 girls sitting together.
Sometimes they watch a soap opera on the TV, sometimes they play on their phones, sometimes they play cards, sometimes they just chat with each other. But they are always there for one reason: To wait for the next customer.
Interestingly, most of these brothels don’t have any manager inside. It’s usually just the girls.
There are both Khmer and Vietnamese women working in these places, and they barely speak any English. They usually just say “massage” and you can openly ask them “boom boom?” and they will probably nod with their heads.
You can choose one of the girls, point on her and then follow her to the “room”.
I put “room” in semicolons because like you can see in the picture, it’s often just a big room with wooden floors and roofs. There are several beds inside and they are divided by curtains.
Yes, they usually provide condoms in these brothels and it’s obviously strongly recommended to use one. There isn’t much romance going on in these places – no massages and you will undress and have sex right away.
Prices for Sex in the Brothels of Phnom Penh
If you ask the girls there “How much do you want?” they will often not tell you a certain amount. That’s partly because their English is extremely bad, but more because this is a typical Khmer type of brothel and Khmer men don’t talk about the prices in advance. They just do it and then give the girls whatever they think is “appropriate” (probably not more than 10 USD).
However, of course you will be expected to give a little bit more, 15 USD or maximum 20 USD would be fair. But no matter how much you give them – they will probably still ask for a little bit more.
Here is another picture of a brothel on Street 273:
So if you are looking for the brothels, look out for houses like this one that don’t look like typical massage salons, but have a sign saying “Massage” outside.
But you never really know, sometimes the girls are sitting and waiting for customers in completely “unofficial” houses (like in the first picture of this post). Just slowly drive along the mentioned streets and look around. It’s usually quite obvious to find the places that have sex for sale.
Overview Map of Brothels in Phnom Penh
Other Types of Brothels in Phnom Penh
Apart from the places I have just described, there are two other types of brothels in Phnom Penh.
The first type are the shady massage salons on the river promenade. No, I’m not talking about the spas for the tourists near Street 136, but a relatively quiet and dark area about 300m south of the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge. The girls there are offering massages, but you probably won’t be surprised that “extras” are guaranteed.
The way it works in these places is that the girl gives you a massage for a while, before she grabs your penis and rubs up and down until you get an erection. Typical hand jobs, but note that they usually don’t have any oil in these places. You may bring one and ask her to use it.
Since these are more like happy ending massage salons than brothels with sex (but you never really know, if you bring a condom and offer her a little bit of extra tip everything is possible in this city) I have covered these places in more detail in this guide:
And then there are also the massage parlors like Massa in Street 252. Maybe you have been to Thailand, then you may know the “soapy massage parlors”. The places in Phnom Penh are very similar, but they have showers only (no bath hubs).
But they do have a fishbowl with many attractive and light skinned Cambodian and Vietnamese girls. You will have to pay some money for the “massage” (that’s the money the manager of the parlor receives) and then talk with the girl how much she wants for sex.
Since these places are not nearly as cheap as the brothels mentioned in this guide, I have covered them in a separate post:
Have you every visited one of these brothels in Phnom Penh? Feel free to share your experiences down in the comment section, or if you know of any areas with cheap and dirty brothels that I haven’t mentioned in this guide – let me know and I will add them to the map.