- Published on Thursday, 18 October 2012 17:59
- Written by Steve Vaile
Like so many great things, I came across Street 278, known as “Golden Street” in Phnom Penh completely by accident. I had been out to restaurants and bars in the city before but mostly on the Riverside. Not knowing what to do one night, I stopped for a drink on the end of Golden Street opposite the temple and discovered my favorite place in the city. 278 is a street with many of the city’s most sought after cafes, restaurants, and nightlife, it always feels alive while maintaining its pleasant atmosphere. Many boutique stores and businesses make the street feel more alive with art. At the west end of the street there is the Golden Tower, an incomplete skyscraper, which marks the skyline between the not as tall buildings farther east. Golden Street is at its finest where it ends, at the large ornate gate of Wat Lanka, a Buddhist Monastery and Pagoda. Behind the Wat towers Phnom Penh’s Independence Monument, making for a stunning sunrise photo for anyone lucky enough to be up early enough. The street is a patchwork of stairways, shop fronts, and balconies, your first visit to the street may not even reveal to you all of the businesses above you. The street is home to several places that host live music and you can catch live bands, open mics and DJ sets on many nights of the week. The greatest part of finding Golden Street was finding the people who hang out there. My hotel, One Up, is located about 2 minutes from the street around the corner, and any nights I spend out, always start at Golden Street. The nightlife feels cleaner than other places in the city and the atmosphere more comfortable. There are many friendly expats frequenting 278 and I have found the travelers here to be generally friendlier as well. I’d suggest checking out Golden Street to anyone who is traveling to Phnom Penh, especially anyone who will be staying a longer period of time. The atmosphere and makes the charming city a little bit richer.