Phnom Penh is a mixture of Cambodian hospitality, Asian exotica and Indochinese charm await the visitor to Phnom Penh. Situated at the mouth of three great rivers – known as the ‘Chaktomuk’ (four faces) of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers – Phnom Penh is a city of more than 2 million people, the capital of Cambodia and the country’s commercial, economic and political hub. It is still a comparatively fresh travel destination. These days bistros and boutique hotels line the riverfront, smart little silk shops and art galleries dot the side streets and the city still enjoys a heady dusk-to-dawn nightlife.
Phnom Penh Capital Of The Kingdom Of Cambodia
As the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is fairly young, only rising to the role in 1866, but is still a city steeped in tradition and history, offering several cultural and historical sites. Much of the central city including the Royal Palace and National Museum was built during the French period. You may notice the old French buildings in classic colonial yellow amongst the Southeast Asian shop houses and traditional Khmer pagodas and markets. The National Museum in Phnom Penh is the most significant public repository of Khmer artifacts in the country, displaying many important Angkorian artifacts and rare pieces from later periods. Historical sites from the Khmer Rouge period include the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Memorial. Other historical sites such as the old capital of Oudong and the Angkorian ruins of Phnom Chisor and Phnom Da lay within an easy day-trip of Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh Hotels & Guesthouses
Phnom Penh offers a wide and varied range of accommodation. Hotels and guesthouses are spread across city, though there is a greater concentration toward the city center, especially in Boeung Keng Kang 1 area and popular riverside area. Mid-range a/c rooms run $15-$90/night with CTV, fridge and hot water at the low end and well-outfitted, boutique style rooms at the top. Business class starts at about $120. Fan & bed budget digs can be had for $3-$10/night.
Eating Out In Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh offers the best dining in Cambodia, with choice, depth and authenticity exceeding the tourist towns. The Cambodian food is made-for-the-locals authentic whether street food or 5-star dining. There is a wide range and variety of foreign restaurants with most western and Asian cuisines as well as contemporary dining well represented. Given Cambodia’s long relationship with Gallic gastronomic traditions; it is no surprise some of the best venues in town are all in Phnom Penh.
Nightlife Bars & Clubs – Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is a good little party town, offering a heady dusk till dawn nightlife and a variety of places from which to choose -dance clubs and discos, sports bars, neighborhood pubs, hostess bars and more. Bars and clubs are scattered across the town, but as the city is fairly compact it’s never more than a 5 or 10 minute ride between places. Making it even easier, there are several little clusters of bars around town allowing you to easily hop from one to the next
Phnom Penh – Shopping , Markets & Boutiques
Whether you’re looking for traditional Khmer handicrafts or chic contemporary fashion, Siem Reap is an excellent place to shop for all things Cambodian. In addition to classic Cambodian souvenirs, Siem Reap has a unique and growing variety of contemporary art galleries, fashion boutiques and trendy shops. Shopping venues are scattered across the town with a concentration of places along Sivutha Blvd., and near Phsar Chas (the Old Market) and Pub Street.
Phnom Penh – Getting Around
The majority of international visitors arrive in Cambodia by air at the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports. Visas are available on arrival at both airports as well as most overland border crossings. Phnom Penh receives direct flights from more than a dozen Asian cities. There are also regularly scheduled air-con buses offering direct service between Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam and Phnom Penh that travel daily.Phnom Penh’s points of interest are largely historical and cultural, but they are only part of exploring the city. Exotic shopping, unique dining, indulgent spas and a fair bit of nightlife complete the Phnom Penh experience. For the sights, set aside two or three days for the major points. Though it is possible to squeeze the most important sights into a single day, this leaves very little time at each location. Popular sights include the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Read more about visas & travel to Thailand click here for more information.
Useful links and videos –
Cambodia map – http://www.ezilon.com/maps/asia/cambodia-maps.html
Phnom Penh map – http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Phnom-Penh-Tourist-Map