Claire Coxon, Charlie Kumar and Tania Palmer at last year's Angkor What? Bar's annual pub crawl.
IT’S a scary concept. Organisers of Saturday night’s Pub Street Halloween parties are urging punters to dress to shock in an attempt to better – or perhaps worsen – the historical 2005 foul-and-fetid worst fancy dress record set by Abacus restaurant co-owner Renaud Fichet.
Fichet’s 2005 get-up was a downright shocker, setting an all-time low in the annual worst fancy dress contest run by Linga Bar.
Over-egging the details, the bar’s managing director Martin Dishman recalls the stench of the pig’s head, entrails and trotters Fichet wore a little too clearly.
Linga Bar stages its fourth annual Lingaween costume party on Saturday October 31, kicking off at 9pm.
Dishman says, “It’s a Western event, but from the beginning we’ve tried to make it fun and interesting for everyone,” he says.
“We have body and face painting for the Khmer kids, so the locals get a kick out of it too. It’s just a chance to have fun and let your hair down. For me it’s our most fun event of the year.”
He said he expects the costume competition to be intense over three categories: best, worst and most creative costumes.
“I wanted to recognise the efforts of people, and make it worth their while. So the top prize is a one night stay in a suite at Hotel Be. I think it’s going to be based on an audience vote.”
Another Halloween highlight tomorrow night will be Angkor What? Bar’s infamous fifth annual pub crawl. Beginning at X-Bar at 7pm, revellers will push on to Molly Malone’s, then Warehouse, Miss Wong Cocktail Bar and Red Piano with the grand finale planned for the Angkor What? Bar.
Full of goodwill, Angkor What manager Charlie Kumar says the Halloween bash is a signature annual event for the bar, which gets the community together to have a “good laugh”.
“We’re trying to make it a community event, so the way we see it it’s the official welcoming of the high season for us. It’s a small town and we have to support each other,” he declared.
As usual Angkor What will be decked out in all things terrifying, and Kumar says he hopes to top last year’s attendance of 52. Attendees should arrive in their most impressive costumes and, with people famously going to a lot of effort, there’ll be more than a little competition for attention.
“You’d be surprised at the effort people make,” he says.
Siem Reap’s most infamous nightclub, Sok San Palace, will host a small party in a room decorated in ghostly decor and pumpkins. General manager Tobias Castelijn says staff will be in costume, there will be a costume competition and the cocktail list will be scarier than usual.
Expect the Sok San bash to build up a head of steam late in the evening.
Over at Siem Reap’s newest and largest nightclub, Pyramid, on the outer limits of town on the road to Phnom Penh, a joint Halloween and first birthday celebration will be a big drawcard for Khmer ragers.
Pyramid promises entertainment from 8pm until midnight, including popular Khmer comedian Mr Kreum and a drag fashion show by the Sindy Group. Disco manager Somoeun Pov said there’ll also be surprise guest singers disguised in costume.
After midnight, the festivities will transmogrify into a sweat-drenched dance party in the inimitable Pyramid style.