The FCC Phnom Penh referrers to the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh. It is/was a very famous bar, hotel and correspondents club (you’d assume) in Phnom Penh. It turns out though that there is a little more to the story when it comes to the good old FCC Phnom Penh!
My first visit to the FCC Phnom Penh
I first visited the FCC with a journalist friend whilst taking part in something called the South-East Asian Pub Crawl . The trip was as classy as it sounds…
My friend who was a journalist really wanted to go there, as did I. Since I first saw the film Killing Fields I have had a bit of an obsession with the journalists who stayed right until the arrival of the Khmer Rouge .
What was the FCC Phnom Penh like?
A nice old colonial building with pictures on the wall from before, during and after the war. It also had great views of the river. Everything seemed very authentic, the only problem was that it was built on lies.
The FCC Phnom Penh was essentially a hoax
OK, so maybe hoax is going a bit far, but firstly it allowed entry to everyone, so was not an actual foreign correspondents club. I can live with that part, but it was also built and opened in 1991 by some rather canny businessmen. In essence they implied how important and historical their place was, and well people bought it. It thus became a tourist hub on par with Hemmingways Bar in Havana.
I actually knew none of this and as part of my current Khmer Rouge fact finding mission went to go find it. After doing some research I found out the actual story.
I thus headed there with the full intention of writing a shitty article about the place. Funny thing is though the place is closed, very closed and does not look like it will open soon.
Turns out building your reputation around lies to tourists isn’t exactly Covid-19 resident.