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Attractions

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Phnom Penh Royal Palace

When you visit the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, one of the first tourist attractions that you need to visit is the Royal Palace, which still serves as the royal residence of King Norodom Sihamoni and the previous king, King Norodom Sihanouk. This Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda close by adorn the skies of Cambodia with its resplendent colours and brilliant piece of Khmer style of architecture.



Highlights
- While visitors are allowed inside the Royal Palace, it is worthy to be noted that the actual place where the royal stay, Khemarin Palace, still remains closed for the public. Tourists who are coming here should be dressed appropriately as a mark of respect for the royals.

Location
– Sothearos Bvld, Phnom Penh.

Timings
– 7.30AM to 11AM and from 2PM to 5PM on all days except on days of official functions and ceremonies.

Price
– Entrance fee – Around USD6.25 per person and additional photography charges of USD10.
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The Killing Fields

This is one of the massive graveyards in Cambodia. These are the places in which millions of people were tortured to death during the notorious Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia which lasted from 1975 to 1979. This highly cruel rule came to an end when Vietnam took over the control of Democratic Kampuchea.



Highlights
– Close to 20000 mass grave sites were identified in the Killing Fields area in Cambodia. Evidences indicate that around 1.38 million victims were killed in these areas. There is a huge stupa at the Killing Fields located at Choeung Ek and this is adorned with the skulls of the victims who were killed in the area.
 
Location – Choeung Ek, Phnom Pehn and is considered as the area of mass genocide in Cambodia.

Timings
- Can be visited any time during the year. Price – Around USD6 for foreign tourists and free of cost for local tourists.
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Silver Pagoda

When you cover the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, you cannot miss the Silver Pagoda, as this structure is located right next to the royal residence.

Highlights –The glimmering 5 tons of silver used on the floors of this structure has given this 19th century temple, the name of Silver Pagoda. Right on top of the pedestal, you can find a massive Buddha statue made of Baccarat crystal. Next to this, the golden Buddha blows you mind away with one look. Studded with a whopping 2086 diamonds, this Buddha weighs 90kg and is truly one of the star attractions in Phnom Penh. You can also find small sized bronze Buddha statues, silver statues of Buddha statues and many figurines of Lord Buddha all over this temple. The locals address Silver Pagoda as Wat Prea Keo.



Location
– Within the Royal Palace complex, Phnom Penh.

Timings – 7.30AM to 11AM and 2PM to 5PM.

Price – USD3 towards entry and extra charges of USD2 towards pictures.


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Koh Dach (Silk Island)

Also known as Silk Island, the 30 sq.km Koh Dach is one of the naturally beautiful and serene islands of Phnom Penh.

Highlights – Silk Island is one of the best places to visit when you want to witness the skills of the local artisans like silk-weaving, handicrafts, pottery-making and other relevant skills. There are five villages here namely Koh Dach, Kbal Kho, Lvea, Neah Village and Chong Koh. Don’t miss to witness the local artisans in action here – planting various crops, weaving silk threads and manufacturing nets. As one goes past the Mekong River in cruises to reach this island, one will witness many moments worthy to be photographed. The island is also contains many architectural marvels from past centuries.



Location
– Kandal Province, on the shores of Mekong River.

Timings – Can visit Koh Dach anytime during the year.

Price – Boat rides usually cost USD10 per person and tuk-tuks cost around USD15 to USD20.


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Independence Monument (Vimean Ekareach)

The capital city of Phnom Penh has many wonderful structures built in authentic Khmer style of architecture. Independence Monument or the Vimean Ekareach is one of them.



Highlights – As the name indicates, this monument was constructed during 1958 to commemorate the independence of Cambodia from France in 1953. Vann Molyvann, the brain behind some of the biggest cultural heritage structures in Cambodia, constructed this monument as well. One look at the monument and we will be reminded of the famous Angkor Wat Temple. This monument has a lotus-shaped stupa and is the main centre of celebrations during national festivals as the ceremonial light is here. Come here during the evening hours and take excellent pictures with your friends and family.

Location – Junction of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard, Phnom Penh.

Timings – Open all through the day.

Price – Entry is free of cost.
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Riverfront

Riverfront Park is one of the most important tourist attractions in Phnom Penh. It is a paradise for tourists as it is lined up with pubs, shopping complexes, salons, restaurants and many more.



Highlights – Since this park leads into the Royal Palace, the Riverfront Park is always full with tourists of different countries. Come here during the early morning hours so that you get to witness the golden rays of the sunrise. The Royal Palace looks magical at the background. From here, you can also view the point of intersection of the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake. Hotels lined along this path will provide cycles on rent, which you can use for taking a stroll along the park.

Location – Phnom Penh.

Timings – Can be visited during any time of the day; however early morning sunrise and evening sunset hours are the best times to come here.

Price – No entrance fee to visit this place.
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Sisowath Quay

If you are taking up a city tour of the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh, Sisowath Quay plays a very important role. This is a riverside promenade and one of the most beautiful places in Cambodia.

Highlights – Running along for 3km, the promenade of Sisowath Quay is lined up with beautiful shops, hotels, restaurants, tourist-friendly locations, bars and cafes. Don’t miss to experience the traditional tuk-tuk drive from the Royal Palace to get to this place, as you will get to see the entire beauty of the pathway, through this route. Some of the top attractions that you just cannot afford to miss on this promenade are the Royal Palace, National Museum, various art galleries, Ounalom Monastery, Elephant Bar, Floating Restaurants and many more.

Location – Cham Karmom district.

Timings – Can be visited anytime during the day; however sunset and sunrise hours are considered to be ideal.

Price – No entry fee applicable for this riverside promenade.
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Riverside Bistro

One of the best places to enjoy Phnom Penh’s buzzing nightlife, the Riverside Bistro is a hot favourite among tourists from across the globe. This is because this bar doesn’t keep its guests bored even for a minute. There are lots of fun-things and activities offered at the bar to keep guests hooked on till the wee hours of night.

Highlights – Riverside Bistro is one of the few places in Phnom Penh where a live band performs for the guests, playing songs based on their request. All kinds of songs like the old classics, rock music, pop and other gems are played by the band here. Asian and Western cuisine are available at this bar, making the food absolutely delicious. With great interiors and excellent customer satisfaction, this bar is definitely a top attraction in Cambodia.

Location – Street 148 of Phnom Penh riverside.

Price – Local and imported beer bottles start from USD2.50 and USD3 respectively.

Timings – 7AM to late night hours.

What You Should Know More About Phnom Penh

  • About the destination

    Phnom Penh is one name that simply cannot help but invoke in you can image of the exotic. Nestled at the confluence of 3 rivers - the great Tonle Sap, beautiful the Bassac and mighty Mekong, Phnom Penh actually is the veritable oasis in comparison to the modernity depicted by the other Asian capitals.  The fluttering saffron of the monks’ robes, glimmering spires of the Royal Palace and the exotic locations near the banks of the mighty Mekong, it is perhaps that Asia which many dream about from far and within.

    Capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh can actually be an incursion on the senses. Markets exhaling pungent scent, motorbikes passing through the lane ways without a concern for the pedestrians and sounds and sight of commerce and survival resounding the streets, that’s Phnom Penh in brief. And surprisingly enough, this is every bit a part of the attraction.

    Phnom Penh was earlier regarded as the ‘Pearl of Asia’. Its shrine was damaged as an outcome of revolution and war. However, the city has actually risen from the ashes and has made its name amongst the hip capitals of the region accredited to its bustling nightlife and bars, alluring café culture and a top notch food scene


  • Travel advice:

    • You’ll need a visa to travel to Phnom Penh. You can easily get a short stay visa online.

    • Never leave your important documents or cash and valuables in the hotel room.

    • Always make sure that you book a hotel or a resort in the bustling area.

    • If you are lost anywhere or someone from the group is lost, you must immediately seek the help of the police.

    • Do not get involved in drugs of any form.

    • Do not get involved in physical or verbal spat with anyone.

    • Don’t flash your valuables in the public area.  

    • Do not hire a guide who is not from a trusted or authentic agency.

    • Never trust any stranger who gets friendly with you in just a short while.

    • Don’t eat food off the street vendors.

    • Carry with you a copy of your licenses and passport.  

    • Don’t let anyone in the city misguide you. Acquire sufficient information before heading to a new place.

    • Dress appropriately.

    • Nudity is strictly prohibited here.

    • Do not film or do videography without the legal permissions.

    • In case the banner or sign says, ‘No Photography’ obey it.

    • Avoid traveling alone in the night hours.

    • Do not go around with too much cash during the night hours.

    • Take a comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling.

    • Keep the touts at bay.

  • Drinking laws

    The legal age for drinking in Phnom Penh is 21 years.


  • Our Recommendations: What You Can’t Afford To Miss?

    Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

    Before undergoing transformation, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was only a Tuol Svay Pray High School. Khmer Rouge converted the place into an interrogation and an execution center. The museum is also known as the S-21 Prison. Over 17,000 Cambodians entered the notorious venue however only 7 managed to survive by the end of the regime.



    Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

    Set adjacent to each other the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda it sprawls over an area of 174,870 square meters. This place is predominantly known for its Khmer architecture and forestry surroundings. The visitors can explore a number of buildings located within the palace ground at US $6.50 or take a guided tour for US $10. Situated in the Sisowath Quay, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda is a must visit for all. Other attractions of the palace are Moonlight Pavilion and Throne Hall.


    Ta Phrom Temple at Tonle Bati

    The Ta Phrom Temple at Tonle Bati has been in existence since the late 12th century. The temple features several well preserved bas-reliefs and stone carvings of the Hindu mythology. It is similar in style to the Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat and is located only an hour’s drive from the city center. You’ll have to pay a minor entrance fee of US$3 to visit here. This makes it the most convenient and affordable option for the travelers staying in the capital of Cambodia. Other sightseeing attractions of Tonle Bati include Tonle Bati Lake, Yey Peo Temple, and more.  


    Killing Fields

    Choeung Ek Memorial or the Killing Fields is a spine chilling reminder of the tragic history of Cambodia. Situated about 17 km from the south of the Phnom Penh City it is one of the several killing fields or the burial and execution grounds that were used by the the Khmer Rouge regime during the period ranging from 1975 to 1976-7. You can take a half day tour to this memorial. It is an important place to see in Phnom Penh City.


    Independence Monument

    Independence Monument is situated in the heart of the Phnom Penh City Centre. It is an iconic landmark that is also known as the Vimean Ekareach. The monument signifies the liberation or rather the independence from the French who ruled the nation between the period from 1863 to 1953. As a result of this, the colorful celebrations of the national festivities like the Constitution Day celebrated on 24th September and Independence Day celebrated on 9th November are celebrated here with great vigor. The best time to visit the monument is during the night time when the surroundings are illuminated by white, red and blue flood lights.


    Wat Ounalom

    Wat Ounalom offers the tourists with an in depth look into the history, teachings and philosophies of the Buddhist of Cambodia. It is also one of the oldest and the most prominent of the 5 pagodas of the country. The shrine is a home to more than 500 monks and stocks within it a collection of more than 30,000 titles before they were removed from here by the Khmer Rouge regime


    Wat Langka

    Lying in close proximity to the Phnom Penh’s Independence Monument is the Wat Langka. It was founded in the year 1442 by Ponhea Yat. This flamboyant shrine was established as a library of Buddhist scriptures. It also happened to be a meeting place for monks of Sri Lanka and Cambodia. However, during the Rouge’s two-year regime, Wat Langka was used as a store house. The stupas here are in excellent condition and the entry to the temple is absolutely free of cost. Do take part in the meditation sessions here that are largely supervised by the English-speaking monks.  


    National Museum of Cambodia

    National Museum of Cambodia is the largest cultural and archaeological history museum. It helps you catch the glimpse of the cultural side of the history of Cambodia. Dating back to the 4th century, the museum is housed with an imposing red sandstone structure. National Museum of Cambodia was inaugurated in the year 1920 as the Musée Albert Sarraut. This museum stands out as a phenomenal illustration of the traditional Khmer architecture. The museum has over 14,000 exhibits that are arranged in accordance with the prehistoric, pre-Angkor, Angkor, and post-Angkor eras. Each of these is constituted of the wooden and bronze sculptures, stone articles, ceramic items, wooden sculptures and ethnographic items. The most spectacular exhibis here is a statue of Lord Vishnu which is eight armed and has been in existence since 6th century.


  • What you will like here?

    Cambodian Living Arts

    Cambodian Living Arts is an NPO. It hosts traditional Khmer and Apsara dance performances at the National Museum of Cambodia. The performances can be seen on weekends, Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 PM onwards. Tickets for the performances are priced at US$ 15. Khmer dance that you’ll see here has been in existence since the 18th century. However, it was somehow lost during the Khmer Rouge regime. This cultural center retailed its art by gathering the surviving master artists to train and further pass on this knowledge to the younger generation. The crew and performers here largely comprise of the musicians and singers performing in the traditional Khmer costumes performing the 8 classical dances of the 8 different minorities from across Cambodia. Enjoying the performances here is an important thing to do here.


    Shopping at Central Market (Phsar Thmey)

    Shopping at Central Parket can be a great pastime for every traveler. For anyone who wishes to buy anything right from the local handicrafts to the women’s clothing, jewelry, flowers and the handicrafts, head to the Central Market. The collection here is authentic. It is top rated in quality and is also priced affordably.


    Cheapest Massage
    You can be assured of enjoying the best spa treatment in Phnom Penh. A solid massage can be availed at a price as low as $ 10.


    Holidays

    Cambodia has a massive amount of national holidays. Wikipedia lists 18 of them which may seem a modest number to you but the number of holidays they celebrate is way more than this. So, holidays naturally mean celebration. You too can take part in this celebration with the locals and enjoy your holidays.


    Monsoon

    The rainy season of Phnom Penh usually falls between May and goes on till September. Rains here are beautiful and only amplify the beauty of the place. Planning a trip during this time can be a great idea.


    Best Iced coffee

    Phnom Penh definitely serves the cheapest and the best tasting iced coffee in the world. It comes in a plastic bag for 50 cents and is ravishing.


    Cheapest Beer

    Beer in Phnom Penh is actually cheaper than water. Of course this isn’t true everywhere across the country or for every beer but there are a number of places and number of beers where beer can be availed for dirt cheap prices. A bottle of water here is priced at $1 whereas the can of Anchor can be availed at 50 cents. Interesting, no?


    Nightlife

    Right from dancing your pants off to a casual chit chat session in the beer garden, whatever you prefer, Phnom Penh has on offer. The nightlife gets really crazy here. Do, visit any popular club or restaurant and have a gala time.


  • Recommended Reads For The Destination

Listings in Phnom Penh