Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, a millionaire city, another Asian miracle. Here, as throughout Asia, religion coexists with everyday life, ancient temples stand in the backyards of modern shopping centers, the originality of culture is reflected in the architecture, national cuisine and lifestyle of the Cambodians.

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Phnom Penh is built at the confluence of two rivers. According to legend, it was founded by the nun Peng, who received a blessing from the Buddha. The location is really good: fertile land, dense sunny forests, the beauty of which attracts travelers. But tourists come here not only to enjoy the virgin nature: relic treasures are stored in Buddhist stupas, precious statues of deities stand in pagodas, palaces are covered with gold and silver. The architecture of the city is wonderful. No less amazing is its history, which you can get acquainted with in local museums. Despite the bloody wars of the late 70s, Phnom Penh has retained its friendliness and is open to tourists.

Phnom Penh Hotels

The number of guest houses, hostels and hotels in Phnom Penh is growing every year. Wealthy tourists prefer to settle near the Royal Palace and the embankment. Four- and five-star hotels are concentrated here, offering guests maximum comfort. A standard room will cost 600,000-800,000 KHR, and these are some of the highest prices in the city.

In the capital of Cambodia, it is easy to pick up a more budget option: an overnight stay in a “treshka” with breakfast included costs 160,000 KHR. The cheapest accommodation is in the Boeung Lake area: a bed in a guesthouse can be rented for 20,000 KHR per day. But the option is not the best: not the most prosperous citizens live here, you should not walk here at night.

  • LIUXERS: Culture and traditions of country Cambodia, including language, religion and holidays.

What to bring

Shopping in Phnom Penh is not developed. But the tourist has something to see: the city has many markets, antique shops and souvenir shops.

Travelers often complain about the poor quality of goods: it is not easy to find decent products that will not break after a few days. Do not take the word of antique sellers offering “rarities”: most likely, a cheap fake is given out as an antique.

In order not to be disappointed in shopping, it is better to pay attention to traditional Cambodian goods. Here, natural and sufficiently high-quality silk is made, which is then exported to neighboring Asian states. You can choose a scarf, shawl or cape at the Central Market (Kampuchea Krom, Str. 128).

A popular gift from Phnom Penh is jewelry. Original rings and massive bracelets make an indelible impression, but it is recommended to purchase them only if the store issues a certificate for precious metals and gems. A good souvenir will be wooden utensils, national clothes and spices. Here they cost a little, and the choice is huge. Another “delicious” gift is Cambodian coffee sold by weight in local markets.

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Cuisine and restaurants in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh has many small restaurants and cafes scattered throughout the city. There are often stalls with pans on the streets where local delicacies are baked, boiled and fried – the Cambodian analogue of fast food.

One of the most popular dishes is amok. Cooked in coconut milk, seafood or poultry is served right in the nutshell. As a side dish, rice is usually served, generously poured with curry sauce. Amok is a fusion of Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisine, fragrant, sweet and hearty dish that you can try in any cafe. Tourists are also recommended to try Kiteu soup (a very heavy and fatty dish that is eaten for breakfast), and Bi Cha pork rice. Average check for dinner for one person with moderate alcohol: 60,000 KHR – in the city it is easy to eat varied, tasty and inexpensive.

Exotic dishes are sold on the streets: fried frogs, dried cuttlefish, crispy insects. The Cambodians themselves rarely include them in the diet, but among travelers these extreme foods are in demand.

Entertainment and attractions

At the end of the 20th century, civil war swept Cambodia: the Khmer Rouge methodically destroyed religious and cultural centers and caused serious damage to the beauty and history of Phnom Penh. But the city is gradually being restored and attracts travelers with its originality.

The main attractions of Phnom Penh are the Royal Palace of Cambodia, on the territory of which stand the Silver Pagoda, the villa of Napoleon II and the statue of the Emerald Buddha. To see all the beauty, it is better to allocate a whole day to visit the palace. The main value is the 59-meter tower with a gilded roof: on sunny days it is visible from different parts of the city.

Another highlight is Wat Phnom Hill. This is a shady and ennobled park, in the depths of which the temple of the same name is open. The entrance to it is guarded by the stupa of the seven-headed serpent. It is generally accepted that Phnom Penh began to grow and build from this hill, which has now become a place of worship for the Buddha.

There is another famous temple in the city: Wat Ounalom. This is a traditional Buddhist complex on the city embankment, where the head of the local religious community lives, and in one of the stupas, according to legend, a hair from the Buddha’s eyebrow is kept.

For a long time, Wat Ounalom was the largest library of Cambodian Buddhism. However, during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, about 30 thousand ancient scrolls were destroyed.

But there are also gloomy monuments in Phnom Penh: for example, the infamous Choeng Ek Killing Fields. These are places of mass graves of victims of the genocide that occurred in the 70s. last century. According to rough estimates, 17 thousand people are buried here.

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Museums in Phnom Penh

The museums of Phnom Penh are also of interest to travelers. Near the Killing Fields, the Tole Sleng Genocide Museum was opened in a former school building. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, it was turned into a security prison. Over 17 thousand Cambodians who did not fit into the imposed political regime passed through its dungeons during 4 years of dictatorial rule. The exposition of the museum tells about these sad days: documentary footage of the victims is presented, archival documents are exhibited. In total, during the reign of the Khmers in Cambodia, 3 million citizens were exterminated.

The second major museum in Phnom Penh introduces visitors to the more peaceful periods of the country’s history. The National Museum of Cambodia is open in a beautiful terracotta building built in the national style. The main pride of the collection is the bronze statues of Vishnu and Shiva, as well as the sculpture of the king, carved in the 12th century.


The climate is humid and hot, with a pronounced influence of seasonal monsoons. In early autumn, they bring tropical showers: the rainy season begins, lasting from September to November. Then dry, sunny weather sets in sharply. Late autumn and early winter are considered the best time to travel to Cambodia: there are no showers or suffocating heat, it is comfortable to travel around the country. The water level in rivers and lakes is being leveled: floating villages are being opened for visiting, and an established water communication with Phnom Penh is being established.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia