Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s largest and wealthiest city. It is also the country’s cultural, commercial, and political hub. Temples, museums, and the Royal Palace are among the many cultural and historical sites in the lively capital.
Phnom Penh’s accommodation options range from small guesthouses to 5-star hotels, attracting visitors from all over the world. In addition to a broad food scene, Phnom Penh features a vibrant and varied nightlife.
Phnom Penh is situated at the confluence of three rivers: the mighty Mekong River, Tonle Bassac, and the great Tonle Sap Lake, which was once considered the “Jewel” of Indochina.
The city breathes provincial charm and tranquility with French colonial mansions and tree-lined avenues amid Angkor’s monumental architecture. Phnom Penh is a true oasis compared to the modernity of other capitals in Asia. The country’s famous hospitality awaits visitors to the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
In the city, there are many interesting tourist sites to visit, including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, National Museum, Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Choeng Ek (The Killing Fields), and Wat Phnom.
In addition to its tumultuous markets, where you can find crafts, paintings, silk, silver, precious stones, and even antiques, the city gets its name from Wat Phnom, or Temple Hill, which was built in 1373 to house five Buddha statues on a 27-meter-high artificial hill. These five statues were floating on the Mekong River on a Koki tree when a wealthy widow named Daun Penh (Grandma Penh) saved them and put them on this hill to worship them.
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With its glimmers of gold, the Royal Palace is one of the most splendid buildings in Phnom Penh. The palace was built in 1866 by Majesty Preah Norodom, the current king’s great-grandfather. The place chosen to build the building was studied by ministers and astrologers to find a place where the king would live and rule on earth under the influence of heaven. Inside the Royal Palace, visitors can find spectacular spaces such as the Throne Room, which has a 59-meter tower and is decorated with gold tiles.
North of the Royal Palace is the Silver Pagoda, which is also known as the Emerald Buddha Pagoda, as the statue of this deity is made of emeralds. A beauty that is completed by the 5329 real silver tiles that cover the floor. Inside the temple, the wealth is superb, as there are up to a total of 1650 objects of art, most of which are Buddha figures made of gold, silver, bronze, and other valuable materials. Some are decorated with diamonds.
Another of the most popular touristic places is the Independence Monument, an Angkor-style tower located in the heart of the capital. It was built in 1958 to celebrate the recovery of independence from the French protectorate on November 9, 1953.