Phnom Penh Capital & Surroundings
Once considered as the most beautiful of the French built cities of Indochina, Phnom Penh’s enduring colonial charm has managed to transcend its once tumultuous past. A stroll through the leafy suburbs will find beautiful wide boulevards, sprawling colonial buildings, pavement restaurants, glittering palaces and pagodas, vibrant markets, and a bustling riverfront that made it the Paris of the East before 1970.
Before civil war broke out, Phnom Penh was nicknamed “The Pearl of Asia” as it was considered one of the finest cities in the region. Located at the junction of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh has been Cambodia’s capital for most of the last six centuries. Having recovered from the dark legacy of the Pol Pot era in the 1970s, Phnom Penh today is a vibrant economic center with a population of two million. Cafes, restaurants and hotels line the riverfront while boutique shops and art galleries sprout along smaller side streets. Even as it undergoes urban development, Phnom Penh has retained much of its old world charm as evident in the French colonial architecture and traditional ornate temples. Rich in history, the city offers a number of cultural and historical sites.
Spending a few days in the capital city, visitors will not only uncover the historic sides of the country but also experience the true vibe of an emerging Phnom Penh capital.