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17 Things to do in Phnom Penh

 
  • A flamboyant city sightseeing is a promise from the city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. It is known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’; once it was marred by war and revolution leading to the point where its charm got diminished. Nestled in a therapeutic nature, Phnom Penh is brimming with serenity and harmony along with luscious food. Khmer architectural style is undoubtedly carved on the walls of the Royal Palace, it stands out from the other attractions of the city.

    Ample opportunity to explore the city will come in search of visitors; stirring activities like cruise, cycling, quad biking, go Karting, boating etc take each tourist through the rustic as well as modern sectors of the majestic city. In addition, visits to witness the relics of ancient regimes like Silver Pagoda, the national museum of Cambodia, Phnom Udong and Wat Phnom will narrate beautiful citations of the history.

    Here are some Things to do in Phnom Penh:

  • 01Go Shopping

    The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is one of the best shopping destinations in the world. You can shop for all kinds of goods at reasonable prices when you are here.

    Highlights – Household goods, hand-woven silk scarves, garments, handicrafts, sports goods, books, fashion accessories, street food, artificial jewellery, intricately carved statues, bags and much more can be bought from the shops in Phnom Penh.

    Location – Some of the famous markets where you can shop from in Phnom Penh are Psar Thmei, Russian Market, Psar Tuol Tom Pong, Psar O Russei, Rajana, Night Market, Daughters, Watthan Artisans, A.N.D., NCDP Handicrafts, Aeon Mall, DAH Export, Peace Handicrafts, Psar Chaa, Open Book and Smateria.

    Timings – Depends on the markets. Most of them are open from around 6.30AM to 5.30PM, whereas the Night Market is open from 6pm to midnight.

    Price – Depends on goods bought. Negotiations skills are a must. Clothes are available from as low as USD2.50

  • 02Boating

    Just like any other capital city, Phnom Penh too is very busy and noisy most of the times. In order to go past the busy roads of this city, boat tours are the best.

    Highlights – Enjoy the early morning, afternoon and sunset rays of Phnom Penh through relaxing boat tours. It takes around 1 or 2 hours to cover the streets of Phnom Penh. Visit the majestic Royal Palace and the beautiful skyline of Phnom Penh through these boat tours. If you want to enjoy to the maximum, you can get food and drinks as well on the boat.



    Location
    – Boat tours are available all over Phnom Penh along the Tonle Sap, Mekong River and Sisowath Quay.

    Timings – Boat trips are available throughout the year.

     Price – Depends on the type of boat chosen and duration of trip. Small boats charge USD15 per hour, Medium boats charge USD20 per hour and big boats charge USD25 per hour.


  • 03Go Karts (Kambol Village)

    If you are an adventure lover and are looking for some source of entertainment in Phnom Penh, you can enjoy karting in the Kambol Village, which is located in the outskirts of the capital city.

    Highlights – If you though go Karting was just for fun, you have to change your views when you look at the professional lanes and circuits of the Kambol Village in Phnom Penh. Once you gear up properly with the necessary accessories, you are all set to go. Get the thrill of racing on professional lanes along a rural setting in the Kambol Village.



    Location
    – Kambol Village is located at about 2km off the road that takes you to Sihanoukville and 8km from the airport.

    Timings – Can be done anytime during the day.

    Price - It costs around USD12 for a 10minute of karting session.


  • 04Cycling

    Bicycle tours are not only great for observing natural beauty, but also for one’s health. Almost all the hotels in the capital city of Phnom Penh offer cycles on rent to tourists to go around the town and explore its beauty.

    Highlights – Almost all cycle tours in Phnom Penh come with English speaking tourist guides for the benefit of international tourists. Get on rented cycles with your own accessories and tour around some of the lesser-known beauties like Phnom Chisor Temple Complex. Cycle tours are very flexible here. You can choose the one that suits your time and budget limits. There are half-day, full-day and multi-day tours here. As you drive along the tricky Oudong Mountain, you cannot help but wonder at the local Cambodian lifestyle of the people here.



    Location
    – All over Phnom Penh.

    Timing – Cycle tours are available all through the year.

    Price – For a cycle tour which lasts between 3 and 8 hours costs anywhere between USD20 and USD50.


  • 05Cruising

    When there is a possibility to cruise along the magnificent water bodies of any place in the world, it makes the place look all the more beautiful than it ever. The same is the case with Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.

     Highlights – If you have not enjoyed the river cruises and sunset cruises in Phnom Penh, your trip to this beautiful city is incomplete. Lots of tour operators run cruise tours in Phnom Penh. Sunset Cocktail Cruises, Cocktail Cruises, Lunch Cruises, Explore Cruises, Silk Cruise, Bassac Cruises, Honeymoon cruises and private cruise tours are some of the types of cruise tours that you have to try while you are here. Enjoying the wonderful landscapes of Phnom Penh atop the magnificent cruises with your loved ones is an incredible experience.



    Location
    – Mekong River. Timing – Depends on various types of tours. The maximum and minimum time for these packages is 8 hours and 1 hour respectively.

    Price – Around USD49 for adults and USD24.5 for kids for an 8-hour package.


  • 06Visit Kam-Air Wake Park

    If you are a water sports, you will absolutely love the Kam Air Wake Park located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    Highlights – It is the first and one of its kind water sports park in Cambodia. Led and guided by a team of professional wake boarders, Kam Air promises unlimited fun and excitement for guests. As you surf along the waters with the help of a rope and pulley powered by generators, the thrill that you get from this experience is enough to last for a lifetime. Invoke the child within you as you surf past the towers at this cable park, one of its rare kinds of entertainment in Cambodia.



    Location
    – 15km from the Phnom Penh National Highway, this park is located across the famous Tonle Sap Lake and Prek Tar Sak.

    Timings- 10AM to 5PM from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, courses are available when booked well in advance. The park remains closed on Sundays.

    Price – USD20 per hour on weekdays and USD30 per hour on Saturdays (includes gear).


  • 07Quad Biking

    For an experience that is filled with adventure, excitement, thrill and safety, quad biking is the right activity for you. There are lots of quad biking tours available in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh.

     Highlights -–This is the best way to experience the natural extravaganza of this city and the traditional lifestyle of Khmer people. As you pack your bags and travel through your ATV quad bikes (Honda 125cc) and go through rice fields, you cannot help but sink in the goodness of the place. Cover the famous tourist spots in Phnom Penh, with the help of these bike tours and cover the rough terrains in with a great deal of confidence.

    Image Credits : Jason Judge



    Location
    – Covers all the tourist spots in Phnom Penh.

    Timings – ATV Quad Bike tours are available all through the year. Timings will depend on tour operators.

    Price
    – Cost depends on the duration and kind of bike used. Price is within the range of USD25 to USD110.


  • 08Go Fishing

    With quite a few brilliant lakes and rivers in its premises, it is not surprising that fishing is one of the favourite pass-times of tourists coming to the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.

    Highlights – Enjoy the various river, lake and sea fishing tours in the capital city as there are many authorised tour operators who offer these to guests. Rods and refreshments are served as part of package costs. Watch in wonder as experienced guides teach you to catch different varieties of fishes like Mekong Spot Catfish, Asian Catfish, Redtail Catfish and many more. If you have already have experience in fishing, you should be prepared to see Snakeheads , Tomans and Giant Catfishes in your fishing net.



    Location
    – All lakes and water bodies in Phnom Penh.

    Timings
    – Take up fishing tours during the Water Festival to enjoy boat tours and fireworks.

    Price
    – Private fishing – USD30 for an hour and it goes up to USD55 per hour per person.


  • 09Visit Royal Palace

    This is one of the top tourist attractions in Phnom Penh. This gives you a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal people.

    Highlights – The Royal Palace still serves as the residences of Cambodian rulers. The construction of this palace was started during 1866, when Phnom Penh became the new capital of Cambodia, replacing Oudong. You cannot help but wonder at the similarity in the architecture style found in the Royal Palace found in Thailand. You should remember to dress appropriately as you witness this majestic Khmer architectural marvel to pay respects to the royalty staying here. The exact part in which the royal people stay, is still closed to the public, though.



    Location
    – Phnom Penh.

    Timings- Royal Palace is open from 7.30AM to 11AM and from 2PM to 5PM.

    Price – Entry fee of USD3 per person; additional fee of USD2 for taking pictures.


  • 10Visit Killing Fields

    Some tourist spots in the world bring back painful memories of the past. Killing Fields of Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh, is one of them.

    Highlights – This is one of the areas which represents the genocide of Cambodia that happened during the notorious rule of the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. This was the area which is a mass graveyard where close to 1.5 lakh people were brutally tortured and murdered as a result of the Khmer Rouge policies, diseases and other natural calamities. Close to 20000 burial sites were identified in this name and one of the journalists who escaped the trauma of this rule, gave this place, the name of “Killing Fields”.



    Location
    – Phnom Penh.

    Timings – Open all through the year for local and international tourists.

    Price – USD6 per person for international tourists and no charge for local tourists.


  • 11Visit 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.


  • 12Visit National Museum of Cambodia

    When you visit Cambodia with intent to learn more about its history and archaeology, you should definitely visit one of the top tourist hot spots in the country – National Museum of Cambodia.

    Highlights – This was established during the 1920 and it is the largest museum in Cambodia housing exquisite cultural and historic items representing the authentic Khmer culture. There are close to 14000 items here including bronze and ceramic items, damaged statues from many centuries ago of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, wooden and pottery items belong to pre-Angkorian era and many other impressive items. The museum is set up in an attractive terracotta building including an awesome courtyard garden, which attracts many.



    Location
    – Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh.

    Timings – 8AM to 5PM on all days of the week.

    Price – Entry fee of USD5 for foreigners and around USD0.1 for local tourists.


  • 13Tuol Sleng Museum

    Image Credit :  Clay Gilliland
    Cambodia is the land of heritage, culture, temples, beaches and games. There are quite a casinos on the beaches and seaside gambling spots that you can enjoy in the little Sihanoukville coast in Cambodia.

    Image Credits : BRJ INC



    Highlights – Almost all the casinos in Sihanoukville are open 24hours a day unlike other casinos that operate only during the evening and night hours. Most of the hotels apart from offering luxury accommodation also have luxurious casinos that have games like Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack and the like. Free drinks, snacks and cigarettes are provided when you take up gaming packages at any of these casinos. Owing to the large number of tourists coming here, casinos at Sihanoukville employ people who are adept at speaking many languages.

    Location – About 4.5km from South Cambodia.

    Timings – Open all through the day.

     Price – Casino games are available from USD4 per game if you are looking only for gaming and not staying at these hotels.
  • 14Visit Phnom Udong

    If you are a mountain and stupa lover, Phnom Udong, in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh, is the most apt place for you to visit.

    Highlights – Phnom indicates mountain in the local Khmer dialect. Prior to establishing Phnom Penh as the capital city of Cambodia, Udong served as its capital for a long time from 1618 to 1866. Today, though the place has lost out to other cities in terms of development and tourism potential, there is still one major attraction here - Mount Udong. Today, there are couple of humps left of this mountain. The most attractive feature is that these humps have various stupas adorning them. Don’t miss out on the Phnom Preah Reach Throap (Hill of the Royal Fortune), Phnom Vihear Leu (small sanctuary), famous stupas of Damrei Sam Poan, Ang Doung and Mak Proum. Lots of Buddha temples, relics, statues, figurines and carvings decorate this peak.



    Location – Udong.

    Timing – Open all through the year.

    Price – A full tour costs about USD12 per person for one day.


  • 15Visit 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.


  • 16Visit Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

    As the name suggests, this is a centre that rescues abandoned and endangered animals. This is a must-visit place for any animal lover. It was established during 1995 and has been doing a phenomenal job in animal conservation since then.



    Highlights
    – This is the largest zoo in Cambodia and one of the top tourist attractions. There are close to 1200 animals belonging to over 102 species in this rescue centre. You can find rare species like Siamese crocodiles, tigers & elephants from Asia, Malayan sun bears and more. If you are looking for an interactive wildlife experience, this is the place that you have to be.

    Location – at about 25 miles from the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
     
    Timings
    – 8AM to 5PM on all days of the week.

    Price
    – Behind the scenes tour of the zoo costs around USD150 for one day.
  • 17Visit Wat Phnom

    Image Credit :  ronan crowley
    Hill temples have a general attraction about them that makes them worth visiting. Wat Phnom in Cambodia is one of them and it is truly special because, it is probably the only proper hill in the entire country.

    Highlights – The Wat Phnom was founded in 1373 in order to install four statues of Lord Buddha here. Over the years, this 27m tall hill temple has undergone many restorations. The main altar of the temple consist of a huge bronze statue of Buddha. Lots of people come here every day to offer their prayers. Today, this temple is considered to bring in loads of luck to people coming here. Lots of murals, figurines and statues of various respected revered genies/sages are found here in plenty.

    Image Credits : Matthew Klein



    Location
    – Phnom Penh.

    Timings – The temple is open from 7AM to 6,30PM on all days of the week and the museum in this complex is open from 7AM to 6PM.

    Price – Entry fee is USD1 for temple and USD2 for museum.