Rugby City Guide Asia: Phnom Penh
The history of rugby in Cambodia is hard to trace but there was active involvement since the late 1990s with the Rugby Club du Cambodge setting up in 1998, with the 1st men’s team named Les Piliers d’Angkor. Read more in our rugby city guide Phnom Penh.
City: Phnom Penh
Best bars and pubs to watch rugby: All Sports Bar, Score Bar
Local rugby teams: Phnom Penh Social Rugby Club, Garudas
Local rugby tournaments: Cambodia Tens
Currency in Cambodia: the Riel is the official currency in Cambodia and pegged at around 4,100 Riel to one USD. However US dollars are also commonly used, so its recommended to keep both currencies at hand, although smaller USD notes are recommended.
Cambodia’s capital: Phnom Penh city
Phnom Penh is a bustling and rapidly growing city and serves as the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia. With continued investment and growth, the city has seen a drastic change to the skyline over recent years, however, it remains an affordable city to visit and incredibly easy to get around.
Phnom Penh accommodation
There is a vast range of accommodation options in Phnom Penh from guesthouses, boutique hotels, villas, hostels, 5-star hotels, Airbnb etc. Popular areas for tourists and touring rugby teams are the riverside area, but Russian Market and BKK1 are other popular areas. Accommodation can start from as little as $5 USD for a hostel, 25+ USD for mid-range hotels and $60+ for 4-star hotels and above.
Cambodian Rugby Federation (CFR)
There is a rugby federation in Cambodia called the CFR (Cambodia Rugby Federation), however, it has been very quiet since being expelled from Asia Rugby in 2016 for not complying with membership criteria. The only national tournament they are currently allowed to participate in is the SEA Games 7s rugby, held every two years in a different city in southeast Asia.
What rugby teams are in Phnom Penh?
There are two active rugby teams in Phnom Penh:
Phnom Penh Social Rugby Club
The PPSRC (Rahus) formed in 2015 and has contact rugby for men and women as well as mixed touch rugby. The club hosts and tours in the region. They regularly participate in the Cambodia Tens, Bangkok Tens, Saigon Tens and are involved in the Indochine Cup.
- Men’s and Ladies contact, mixed touch rugby
The Garudas are arguably the longest-running ruby club, formed as part of the successful NGO, PSE where rugby was first introduced in rugby. The Garudas are mostly current and former PSE students and are primarily Khmer players. They currently have a men’s team and a ladies team which is a co-operation between the Garudas and PSE.
- Men’s and Ladies contact
Youth rugby in Cambodia
This sports NGO has been running a youth-based rugby program since 2012, predominantly working with disadvantaged children and partnering with NGO’s and schools. Kampuchea Balopp has several age groups for youth rugby and includes boys and girls in their programs. They also have made an effort to work with kids with disabilities and have sent hearing-impaired teams to Hong Kong to compete. They previously won the Rhino Grass Roots Rugby Award in 2016 for their work.
Some NGO’s (non-government organisations) and schools do have youth teams and play rugby. Lycée Français René Descartes (LFRD) has the most consistent youth age group rugby and play against other French schools in the region. The International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) used to have boys and girls rugby.
Where can I watch rugby in Phnom Penh?
The bar scene constantly changes in Phnom Penh. Some of the most popular sports bars in the capital for expats and fans of rugby are All Sports Bar, SCORE Bar, The Outpost on 13 and Cheers Sports Bar. They will frequently show rugby on a variety of large screens and serve food and drinks until reasonably late. There are also a number of other establishments that now show sports.
Is there a rugby tournament in Phnom Penh?
The Cambodia Tens (formerly known as the Angkok Tens) is the only regular tournament that takes place in Phnom Penh, usually around the last weekend of October. The tournament is in the Tens format and has Men’s, Women’s and veterans categories.
The Rahus have also organised touch rugby tournaments in the capital and host touring teams.
How much will a drink cost me in Phnom Penh?
One of the big drawcards to Phnom Penh is the affordability. Many bars and restaurants have special happy hour deals on drinks and a beer can cost as little as 0.50 cents (although $1.50 is considered a normal price). Spirits and mixers may cost between $2.50-4.50 while water and soda can cost as little as 0.50 USD.
What is the word for rugby in Cambodia?
Although rugby is not that popular, the local word for rugby is balopp, which translated to “hug the ball”.
The use of smartphone apps and many locally developed ones have skyrocketed in Cambodia in recent years. Transport apps for taxis, tuk-tuks, bikes etc are easy to use (Grab, PassApp etc), but apps for food delivery (E-Gets, MealTemple, NHAM24 etc), food promotion etc are also handy.
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