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Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Area: 679 km2
Population:  2,129,371

Phnom Penh (Khmer: ភ្នំពេញ) is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since French colonization of Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security, politics, cultural heritage, and diplomacy of Cambodia.
Phnom Penh Overview

Phnom Penh is the vibrant bustling capital of Cambodia. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle Sap, what was once considered the 'Gem' of Indochina. The capital city still maintains considerable charm with plenty to see. It exudes a sort of provincial charm and tranquillity with French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. Phnom Penh is a veritable oasis compared to the modernity of other Asian capitals. A mixture of Asian exotica, the famous Cambodian hospitality awaits the visitors to the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Phnom Penh History
The city takes its name from the re-known Wat Phnom Daun Penh (nowadays: Wat Phnom or Hill Temple), which was built in 1373 to house five statues of Buddha on a man made hill 27 meters high. These five statues were floating down the Mekong in a Koki tree and an old wealthy widow named Daun Penh (Grandma Penh) saved them and set them up on this very hill for worshiping. Phnom Penh was also previously known as Krong Chaktomuk (Chaturmukha) meaning "City of Four Faces". This name refers to the confluence where the Mekong, Bassac, and Tonle Sap rivers cross to form an "X" where the capital is situated.
Phnom Penh climate and best time to visit
As general weather in Cambodia, the best time to visit Phnom Penh is from November to April - during dry season.
Phnom Penh Transportation
As Phnom Penh International Airport, is the largest airport in Cambodia. It is Cambodia's main international airport and serves the area of Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh Airport has non-stop passenger flights scheduled to 32 destinations in 14 countries: Vietnam, Thailand, China, Japan, Malaysia,...
Things to do and see in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace: The Royal Palace is a complex of buildings, which serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. Royalty has occupied it since it was built in the 1860s, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

Silver Pagoda: The Silver Pagoda is located on the South side of the royal palace complex. It features a royal temple officially called Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot but is commonly referred to as Wat Preah Keo. Its main building houses many national treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues. Most notable is a small 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha (the "Emerald Buddha" of Cambodia) and a near-life-size, Maitreya Buddha encrusted with 9,584 diamonds dressed in royal regalia commissioned by King Sisowath. During King Sihanouk's pre-Khmer Rouge reign, the Silver Pagoda was inlaid with more than 5,000 silver tiles and some of its outer facade was remodeled with Italian marble.

National Museum: Built between 1917 and 1924 (inauguration was held in 1920), the museum is located next to the royal palace. The National Museum of Cambodia houses one of the world's greatest collections of Khmer cultural material including sculpture, ceramics and ethnographic objects from the prehistoric, pre-Angkorian, Angkorian and post-Angkorian periods.
The museum promotes awareness, understanding and appreciation of Cambodia's heritage through the presentation, conservation, safekeeping, interpretation and acquisition of Cambodian cultural material. It aims to educate and inspire its visitors.

Wat Phnom: Wat Phnom translates as "Mountain Pagoda". It is a Buddhist temple (Wat) located in the city centre and was built in 1373. Standing 27 metres high It is the tallest religious structure in the city.
Wat Phnom is the center of celebration during the Buddhist holidays of Khmer New Year, and Pchum Ben.

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields)
Choeung Ek is the site of a former orchard and mass grave of victims of the Khmer Rouge - killed between 1975 and 1979 - about 17 kilometres south of the city. It is the best-known of the sites known as The Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge regime executed over one million people. Mass graves containing 8,895 bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of the dead were former political prisoners who were kept by the Khmer Rouge in their Tuol Sleng detention center.

Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21)
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is located in the city centre and chronicles the period of the genocide under Pol Pot. The site is a former high school, which was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Tuol Sleng means "Hill of the Poisonous Trees" or "Strychnine Hill". Tuol Sleng was only one of at least 150 execution centers in the country and as many as 20,000 prisoners there were later killed.

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center
PTWRC is a wildlife centre located roughly 25 miles by road south of the city. The centre was established in 1995 and with an area of over 6,000 acres of protected regenerating forest; this is the largest zoo in Cambodia.
Since 2001, PTWRC is run by the Cambodian Forestry Administration in partnership with an environmental non-profit organization called Wildlife Alliance. Wildlife Alliances animal husbandry specialists, veterinarians, and caretakers assist in the feeding and care of animals and operations.

Sunset boat cruise
Spend a romantic night on the river on a cruise, which can include drinks and varying menus to suit all budgets from basic Khmer food to gourmet offerings.
Leaving around 7 PM the cruises last from between 1 hour and 3 hours, depending on which company is booked.
A perfect and relaxing way to see the cityscape at night.

Independence Monument
The Independence Monument was built in 1958 to commemorate Cambodia's independence from France in 1953. It is a popular visiting place from both locals and tourists. It stands on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the centre of the city. It takes the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the style seen at the great Khmer temple at Angkor Wat and other Khmer historical sites.

Angkor Borei
Located in Takeo province, south of Phnom Penh. Angkor Borei is a small town in Takeo province in an area of several ruins and archaeological digs. The area has been continuously inhabited for at least 2500 years and has yielded artifacts dating from the Neolithic period, the Funan period (4th/5th century AD) and Chenla (8th century AD) as well as the later Angkorian period (9th-15th century AD.) There are no significant temple ruins at Angkor Borei but there is a very interesting little museum displaying artifacts from the area and providing information on recent archaeological digs.

Phnom Penh Night Market
Located between streets 106 and 108, the stalls kick off around dusk.
This market is not aimed at tourists alone, but is very popular with locals, which means the goods on sale are more varied, which makes for a better all-round shopping experience.
Don’t miss the food court area as well as the regular live entertainment.

Russian Market: One of the largest of the many markets in Phnom Penh, getting lost in here is very easy. Located in the south of the city off Monivong Boulevard and Mao Tse Tung, the market is about a 15-minute tuk tuk ride from the riverside. It sells just about everything you can imagine and so is perfect for a one-stop-shop for souvenirs. It is surrounded by bigger shops as well as coffee shops; ideal to take a break from the market itself.
Phnom Penh Travel Tips

Cambodia uses USD. There’s no real need to carry the local currency, Cambodian Riels (KHR), unless you paying for really small things on the street, but for the most part, use USD.

as an Asian tourist destination, then food, accommodation, and transportation are all dirt cheap but there are some ways you can save money in Phnom Penh if your budged is not much high:


1. Negotiate with tuk-tuk drivers – Make sure you negotiate the price ahead of time. Moreover, don’t take the first number they give you — it’s inflated. If you’re not sure what price you should be aiming for, ask your hostel/hotel staff in advance. They can usually help you book a trusted driver, as well.
2. Stay away from the river – The most expensive accommodation is by the river. If you want cheaper accommodation, head towards the southern and central parts of the city.
3. Minimize your drinks – Every drink is a dollar and before you know it, you’ve spent more money on beer than on food and accommodation.
4. Work for your room – It’s pretty common to get a job in a hostel in order to stay longer in Phnom Penh so if you stay at a hostel and like the vibe, ask if they’ll let you work there.
5. Book tours and day tours as a group – You have more negotiation power when you’re with a group of people buying multiple things. Traveling alone? Meet a friend at a hostel and see if they want to join the same tour as you.
6. Use a water bottle with a purifier – It isn’t safe to drink the tap water in Phnom Penh, and although buying bottled water is cheap, it does add up — pick up a lifestraw (it’s good for the environment too!)

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