There seems to be more and more bars cropping up on Victory Hill, one of the first I found was the Bonobo Bar, this was on my first trip here early in 2007.
Much has changed in the town, but much has changed in this bar too. Yes, the girls are still friendly and the same jovial French guy is still in charge, but something is different.
Unless my memory fails, the prices now are much more expensive and peoples attitude seems much more focused on ‘money extraction’.
One dollar fifty for a draft local beer still isn’t bad, but it’s twice the price of most bars in the town or down towards Ochheuteal Beach. Worse yet is the ‘lady drink’ prices at three dollars. Yes the girls get one dollar ‘commission’ but they do not have a choice of drink and are served half a bottle of ‘Cola’ or similar each.
Bearing in mind that if you was to order the same bottle of cola, you’d probably be charged one dollar. Why then are you paying six dollars for the same amount via ladydrinks? Sorry, but that’s just plain ‘wrong’ in my book.
My own personal opinion is to simply give the girl a ‘cash tip’ in lieu of drinks, i’m hardly the ‘cheap charlie’ but being blatently ‘ripped off’ just isn’t on.
Just to clarify though, there is some link between the ladydrinks you buy and any possible barfine. Apparently if you buy around five or six ladydrinks you don’t have to pay a barfine. However, this is something you only find out when you ask about barfines, they don’t go out of their way to make it clear.
Also, what happens if you are quite happy just to talk with the girl in the bar, without requesting a barfine? Nope, the system is flawed in my opinion and is basically an abuse of the good nature of the customer.
The bar also has a ‘stage’ area, though it is little used, except that it is when the Manager ushers all the girls up there to ‘perform’ to the Cambodian music. The girls soon make their excuses to leave the stage though. It’s hardly a ‘willing’ performance.