Asana Bar
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Try Khmer cocktails in an antique timber house
This low-key bar in the last traditional Khmer timber house in the heart of Siem Reap's colonial Old Market quarter is one of my favorites. This relaxed drinking spot owned by the lovely, jazz-loving Pari remains something of a secret, tucked in an alleyway around the corner from the lane on which the popular Miss Wong bar is located. Open during the day (from 11 a.m.), as well as the evening, it's an ideal spot for writing a late-afternoon postcard as much as it is for a pre- or post-dinner drink. There is also a short menu of snacks and traditional Khmer dishes based on Pari's mother's recipes. Pari is responsible for creating the Khmer cocktail and also runs cocktail-making classes (by appointment only). Try the Little Sweet made from Bombay Sapphire gin, turmeric, wild ginger, lime, and sugar cane juice. Asana never gets over-crowded, but that's part of the bar's charm. The busiest the bar gets is on the first Friday of every month, when Asana hosts a Jazz, Blues and BBQ night from 7-10 p.m., with a live band. For $15 a head you can eat as much barbecued meats as you want and a glass of wine is included. Pari and her partner also host a weekend organic farmers market from the bar's courtyard on Sunday mornings.
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