Explore Cambodia's capital city
A small capital in comparison to its Asian neighbours, Phnom Penh sits at the point where the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers meet. With scars still showing from a turbulent recent history the city is steadily modernising yet retains its colonial charm. You can spend a few relaxing days exploring at a slower pace here before continuing on your Indochina adventure.
- Head to the Royal Palace, the capital’s most famous landmarks, home to the ornate Silver Pagoda, the Throne Hall and the Chan Chhaya Pavilion
- A visit to the city is not complete without a visit to one of the vibrant markets – the place to shop for handicrafts and wonderful silks
- The city’s French Quarter showcases the old heart of the city with many examples of colonial architecture, although with a faded grandeur
- Although a sombre experience, a visit to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields Memorial and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum are essential to understand the essence of Cambodia
- The riverfront boulevard Sisowath Quay is becoming a popular evening destination for both locals and visitors
Phnom Penh holiday highlights
Phnom Penh retains a charm of colonial influence, architecture and cultural pride. Visit temples and royal palaces, and enjoy the riverside ambience as you dine al fresco on the banks of the Mekong. The main attractions tend to be within easy reach of one another so it's easy to explore the city on foot or by tuk tuk.
The two main attractions are the resplendent Khmer-style Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, which sits in the palace’s extensive grounds, features a dazzling floor of over 5000 silver tiles and is famous for its solid gold Buddha and an emerald Buddha. Make your way to the neighbouring National Museum of Cambodia to discover a collection of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artefacts including stone sculptures, bronze statues and ancient ceramics.
Phnom Penh's oldest temple, Wat Phnom was built in the 14th Century and sits on a hilltop with its distinctive white spire rising above the surrounding trees. Stroll around the pretty gardens and admire the bright murals and collection of Buddhas. Visit the neighbouring local night market and browse for souvenirs or take a tuk-tuk to the bustling Central Market where you can barter for clothes, jewellery and trinkets.
Join monks for a meditation session at Wat Langka, a colourful Buddhist temple that's a peaceful oasis in the busy city. Explore Cambodia’s more sombre past at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Here you will discover the dark stories associated with the Khmer Rouge. This is a sobering experience but an essential one to help fully understand and appreciate this enchanting country.