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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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A Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk with blue and yellow sky in evening sunset background at central Phnom Penh, Capital of Cambodia. Beautiful cityscape of Cambodia.

History of the City: Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, has a rich history that dates back to the 15th century. It was founded in 1434 and has been the country’s economic, political, and cultural center. Phnom Penh went through significant changes during the French colonial period and later faced turmoil during the Khmer Rouge regime. However, it has since emerged as a vibrant and dynamic city, blending modernity with its historical charm.

Popular Activities and Attractions:

  1. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda: Explore the stunning Royal Palace complex, home to the royal family, and visit the Silver Pagoda, known for its silver tiled floor and housing the Emerald Buddha.
  2. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: Learn about Cambodia’s tragic history at this former prison and torture center, which stands as a somber reminder of the Khmer Rouge regime.
  3. The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek: Pay respects to the victims of the Khmer Rouge by visiting this site, located just outside the city. It offers a glimpse into Cambodia’s painful past.
  4. National Museum of Cambodia: Discover a vast collection of Khmer art and artifacts, including sculptures, ceramics, and ethnographic objects that showcase the country’s cultural heritage.
  5. Wat Phnom: Climb the hill and visit the iconic temple, Wat Phnom, the founding site of the city, offering picturesque views and a tranquil atmosphere.
  6. Riverside Promenade: Take a leisurely stroll along the Sisowath Quay, lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, and enjoy the scenic view of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers.
  7. Russian Market and Central Market: Experience the vibrant local markets, where you can find traditional crafts, jewelry, clothing, and sample delicious street food.
  8. Cambodian Living Arts: Watch traditional dance performances and explore the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia through various art forms.

Best Places to Stay:

  1. Riverside: This area offers a wide range of hotels, from luxury to budget, and provides easy access to major attractions, dining options, and nightlife.
  2. BKK1 (Boeung Keng Kang 1): Known for its trendy cafes, boutique hotels, and vibrant nightlife, BKK1 is a popular choice among travelers looking for a lively atmosphere.
  3. Daun Penh: Situated near the Royal Palace and many historical sites, this neighborhood offers a mix of mid-range and luxury hotels, along with restaurants and shops.

Best Places to Eat:

  1. Friends the Restaurant: Dine at this social enterprise restaurant that serves delicious fusion cuisine while supporting a good cause.
  2. Romdeng: Enjoy traditional Khmer dishes in a beautiful colonial-style setting, and contribute to the training and employment of disadvantaged youths.
  3. The Common Tiger: Delight in a fusion of Khmer and international flavors at this trendy eatery, known for its creative dishes and unique cocktails.
  4. Street Food Stalls: Don’t miss the opportunity to try authentic Khmer street food, such as beef skewers, fish amok, and fried noodles, available throughout the city.


  1. Tuk-tuks: A popular and affordable mode of transportation in Phnom Penh, tuk-tuks are three-wheeled vehicles that can take you anywhere in the city. Negotiate the fare before starting the journey.
  2. Taxis: Metered taxis are available, especially around major hotels and tourist areas. Ensure the meter is used or negotiate the fare in advance.
  3. Motorbike Taxis: Known as “moto-dops,” these motorbike taxis are convenient for short distances. Always wear a helmet and negotiate the fare before hopping on.
  4. Bicycles: Explore the city at your own pace by renting a bicycle. Phnom Penh has designated bike lanes in some areas, and it’s a great way to experience the local culture.
  5. Public Transportation: Phnom Penh has a limited public bus system, which is improving over time. Be prepared for crowded buses and limited routes.

Remember to dress respectfully when visiting religious sites and carry small denominations of Cambodian Riel for smaller transactions. Phnom Penh offers a mix of history, culture, and modernity, making it a captivating destination for travelers seeking to uncover Cambodia’s past and present.

Disclaimer: The following links help support the Blog:

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