Phnom Penh Capital

Old meets new in the bustling Cambodian capital at the meeting of four rivers

Phnom Penh Capital

Once dubbed the Pearl of Asia, Phnom Penh has been reborn as a thriving commercial and cultural hub at the meeting of four rivers in the heart of Cambodia. Luxury restaurants and bars line streets resplendent with colonial and Buddhist architecture, from the golden spires of the Royal Palace to the modern majesty of Vattanac Tower. Here, we break down the best of the best of what this flourishing capital has to offer.

Where to visit and things to do?

Suggested 2-night stay or more to explore all of the city’s main sights adequately
The Royal Palace
Just before the sun sets, the golden light that strikes the Royal Palace’s ornate stupas, tiered pagoda roofs, and pointed spires stretching mightily towards the sky will give any visitor an aura of calm. Constructed in 1866 as the seat of Cambodia’s royalty, it now houses regal treasures, from ancient swords to jewel-encrusted snuff boxes. Highlights include the throne hall, which is still used for coronations and official ceremonies, and the Silver Pagoda - admiring the 5,000 silver tiles covering the floor and the collection of shiny golden Buddhas.
National Museum
A stone’s throw from the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia houses the country’s largest collection of historical artifacts and is a great jumping-off point for any visitor planning a trip to the Kingdom’s most ancient temples. The treasure trove of sculptures and pottery dating back more than a millennium is housed in a beautifully ornate Khmer building, and the tropical garden of the surrounding courtyard is perfect for taking a breather and absorbing an aura of calm. The museum’s vast collection includes sacred statues that have been returned from the West after they were looted from their original sites decades ago.
Tuol Sleng And Killing Fields
The legacy of one of the 20th century’s greatest tragedies – which saw around two million people killed, at the time almost a quarter of Cambodia’s population – still sits heavily in the nation’s memory, despite relative peace since the early 1990s. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a high school-turned-detention centre in the centre of Phnom Penh, and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields, an execution site on the capital’s outskirts, offer visitors a haunting yet important insight into the horrors of these days. Any trip to the Kingdom is incomplete without a visit here.
Sunset Boat Cruise on the Mekong River
An experience not to be missed! relax on a wooden boat cruising along the mighty Mekong River. Watch a spectacular sunset over the Phnom Penh skyline and Royal Palace and witness this charming capital’s beauty at dusk.
The Central Market "Phsar Thom Thmei"
Phnom Penh’s Central Market "Phsar Thom Thmei" is an Art Deco landmark built by the French in 1937, and was once thought to be the biggest market in Asia. It's survived war and genocide to remain one of Asia's most unique historical structures. Featuring a grand central dome at its heart, this iconic historical structure is a hub of activity, with endless stalls hawking tourist knickknacks and a whole host of other goods. Today, this beautiful market has become a prominent landmark in Phnom Penh.
The Sacred Oudong Mountain
The mountain that rises above the quiet town of Oudong – around 40 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh – is dotted with spires shooting dramatically toward the sky. Oudong served as a royal residence and capital of the Kingdom for over 250 years before it was shifted to Phnom Penh by King Norodom in 1866. Oudong remains a sacred place where the construction of a huge stupa has recently been built to store and conserve the relic of Preah Serei Roek Theat (Ash of the Buddha). The views from the top of the surrounding green countryside are worth the mighty 500-step climb, the architecture offers rare insight into a key period of Cambodian history.

Tours & Experiences in Phnom Penh & Surroundings

Recommended

The Highlights of Cambodia

7 Days 6 Nights
Phnom Penh & Siem Reap
Strolling around the vibrant Phnom Penh capital and witnessing its tumultuous past.
Discover Sambor Prei Kuk – Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura.
Explore Angkor Wat at its stunning time – at dawn and sunrise.
Discover remote temples & Tonle Sap Lake.

Ultimate Cambodian Adventure

23 Days 22 Nights
Phnom Penh, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Battambang, Koh Kong, Kampot/Kep, Sihanoukville
Embark on an ultimate journey of discovering the Wonders of Cambodia through the heart of Cambodia, a land of ancient temples, vibrant culture, wonderful nature & wildlife, and resilient people.

Recommended

The Essence of Cambodia

12 Days 11 Nights
Phnom Penh, Kep-Kampot,Sihanoukville, Siem Reap
Explore the bustling Cambodian capital and understand Cambodia’s tumultuous past.
Head south for a taste of the good life, the perfect riverside retreat to relax and recharge.
Uncover the the glory days of the Khmer empire while exploring the temples of Angkor.

Recommended

Cambodia Discovery

14 Days 13 Nights
Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh, Kep-Kampot,Sihanoukville
Step back in time to the glory days of the Khmer empire while exploring the temples of Angkor.
Explore the charming French colonial town and understand Cambodia’s tumultuous past – the depredations of the Khmer Rouge.
Relax in the tranquility of the southern coast.

The Delights of Phnom Penh Capital

From$95

Half Day (1.30 p.m – 6.30 p.m)
Phnom Penh
Strolling around the vibrant city of Phnom Penh
Memorial sunset cruise on the Mekong River to witness the beauty of this charming capital at dusk

The Highlights of Phnom Penh

From$90

Full Day (8.30 a.m – 5.30 p.m)
Phnom Penh
Strolling around the vibrant city of Phnom Penh – visit the spiritual Wat Phnom, the glittering Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda
Witness its tumultuous past as you visit these genocide memorials