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.
GMT +7 hours
Cambodian Riel. US dollars are also widely accepted, and the Thai Baht can be used in many places.
Tipping isn’t expected, but it’s greatly appreciated. Ten per cent is a generous amount to give.
• Many areas have restaurants serving international cuisine.
• Food stalls sell traditional Cambodian dishes, which include rice noodles in curry sauce, fish and coconut steamed in banana leaves, stir-fried chicken and meaty spare ribs.
• Cambodians also eat a lot of fish and seafood.
• Stick to bottled water and canned or cartoned soft drinks and juice.
• The local beer is Angkor, but you'll also find international brands.