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How DIB Club changed the scene of Phnom Penh recreational and chillout venues, making Koh Pich the cool place to be for kids and grownups.

When DIB (for Dara Independence Beach) Club opened in the early 2010s, the place was planned as a urban outpost of the legendary Independence Hotel and Beach in Sihanoukville-Kompong Som: a beach club right in the city jungle, where you could work on your tan before heading to the real thing by the ocean, and start getting in the mood for beach parties.

Famous for its First Friday Nights, with sparkling DJs and the pool crowded with revelers, DIB Club brought some serious fun to the new district of Koh Pich, until then rather deserted at night except for the big amusement park and outdoor restaurants at the other tip of the island.

DIB double life -- parties on weekdays night, family spot on weekends -- came to a screeching halt with the 2020 pandemic. When the country reemerged from these difficult months, relatively spared of Covid-19's worst consequences thanks to wise policy and a strong sense of community, the Club went back to its quieter self, for swimmers and strollers, for leisurely snacks and drinks or lunches by the pool from an expanded menu, for family gatherings and weekends.

Still, the ambience remains cool and relaxed, with a beach-spirit soundtrack and some boisterous birthday parties time to time.