Phnom Penh - Cambodia's capital city
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia with an estimated population of more than one million people. It is much smaller and easier to get around than many other capital cities in Asia and it is definitely a good place for visitors to spend a few days. It is often bypassed by many travellers who fly in and out of Siem Reap to visit Angkor Wat however you won’t be disappointed with your visit. Many travellers often regret not spending more time in Phnom Penh so take your time and enjoy what it has to offer
At the confluence of three rivers – the Mekhong, the Bassac and the Sap, Phnom Penh’s riverfront is a draw card for not only visitors but many locals who love to spend their evenings picnicking along the river front
Close to the riverfront is the Royal Palace which gives the visitor a bird’s eye view of Cambodia’s Royal Family – both past and present. Guided tours can be arranged to show the visitor the Throne Hall, the beautiful Silver Pagoda (with its beautiful silver tiles and many Buddha statues), the Iron building donated by France’s Napoleon III and a display area depicting Cambodia’s way of life
Adjacent to the Royal Palace is the National Museum - a beautiful building with many wonderful Khmer artefacts and a lovely inner courtyard
Cambodia’s recent grisly past can be experienced by visiting Tuol Sleng Museum (a former prison and torture centre) and the 'Killing Fields' of Choueng Ek where the thousands tortured at Tuol Sleng were transported and killed
There are various markets to visit in Phnom Penh and the range of goods is astonishing. Food (ready to cook or already prepared), household items, clothes and shoes, artefacts, electrical goods, precious stones, tailors making clothes, cobblers making or repairing shoes are often to be found under one roof! The colours, smells and hive of activity is worth experiencing. Markets include the Russian, Central, Olympic, O’Russei, Bang Keng Kong – tell us what interests you and we will ensure you enjoy your visit to a market
There are numerous temples (‘Wats’) in Phnom Penh that are worth visiting. These include the popular Wat Phnom (with a large clock erected on the lawns at the foot of the small hill), Wat Lanka (close to our accommodation) and Wat Ounalom (where Cambodia’s head Buddhist monk resides)
The Independence Monument (erected in 1958), close to Wat Lanka is not easy to miss and is often used as a landmark by visitors
Other things to do in Phnom Penh
Visit the palace and the museum in the morning before enjoying lunch at ‘Friends the Restaurant’ close to the Museum or enjoy a local Khmer lunch at another local restaurant
In the afternoon visit Wat Phnom, Wat Lanka or Wat Ounalom, view the city sites including the Independence Monument and one or two markets
Visit Tuol Sleng then the Killing Fields in the morning
Eat lunch in a Khmer restaurant and hear about Souen's own experiences before, during and after the Pol Pot regime
Visit the Russian Market in the afternoon, take a massage, sit by the river, go shopping or take a rest!
OR for those with limited time in Phnom Penh
Visit Wat Phnom, Royal Palace and National Museum in the morning
Lunch at Friends, Romdeng, Boat Noodle or Khmer Surin restaurant
Visit Wat Ounalom or Wat Lanka before heading to Tuol Sleng then the Killing Fields in the afternoon
These are just suggestions - we organise private trips to suit your interests, fitness level and time so let us know what you would like and we can give you a quote
'.....It is hard to describe how extraordinary our experience in Cambodia became, and how much we were deeply enriched by our time in and around Phnom Penh with Frances and Souen. One comes away humbled by all Souen and his family have faced, and enriched by his ability to "bounce back' and now share this reality with his visitors in such a positive enlightening manner.....'
'.....It was definitely a unique lifetime experience and one that I would recommend in a heart beat. What a trip it was!!! We will be processing it for years.....'
'.....We have never had an experience that measures up to this one......Souen's delightful sense of humour and compassionate local experience has given us the holiday of a lifetime......'
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