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Travel to Phnom Penh: Places to visit and Things to do

In Phnom Penh places to visit are numerous as it’s the capital city of Cambodia. Find out the top-rated attractions in Phnom Penh and things to try.

In Phnom Penh places to visit are numerous as it’s the capital city of Cambodia. Although this city has a fast rate of modernization, there are still a wide variety of historic spots for you to discover such as The Royal Palace, Tuol Sleng Museum, The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek… Let’s find out the best attractions of Phnom Penh in the following post!

Best Phnom Penh places to visit: Discover Cambodia’s history

Cambodia National Museum

Cambodia National Museum is where you can find the national collection of over 1.800 objects being displayed. This is definitely a not-to-be-missed place for a history buff as you get to learn more about the ancient Khmer empire. You’ll be astonished to see the intricately made Vishnu head, the statues excavated within Angkor Thom and the temples of Koh Ker and many other pre-Angkorian artifacts.

Where to visit: Street 13, Phnom Penh

Cambodia National Museum is one of the best places to visit in Phnom Penh

Cambodia National Museum is one of the best places to visit in Phnom Penh (Source: Collected)

The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

If you’re keen on finding out more about Cambodia’s history, don’t miss the chance to visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. This is a place that reminds us about the brutal regime of Khmer Rouge, which lasted 1975 to 1979. Under four years, Cambodians lived in terror as the Pol Pot’s took away the lives of millions of people, among which were doctors, teachers, intellectuals and regime opponents. About 17.000 people were killed at Choeung Ek and you can still easily see the mass graves.

Tuol Sleng Museum

Tuol Sleng Museum is another reminder of the Khmer Rouge. It was formerly called the Security Prison S-21, where the Khmer Rouge executed the awful torture atrocities. 1975 to 1978, there were estimated over 17.000 people kept in this prison. On the walls of Tuol Sleng Museum, visitors can observe the photographic evidence of the Khmer Rouge’ brutal crime.

Where to visit: Street 113, Phnom Penh

Visit Tuol Sleng Museum and learn more about Cambodia’s history

Visit Tuol Sleng Museum and learn more about Cambodia’s history (Source: Collected)

Best Phnom Penh places to visit: Explore the spiritual life of Cambodians

The Royal Palace

One of the most iconic tourist spots in Phnom Penh is the Royal Palace - the home of Cambodia’s royal family. This complex is strongly influenced by Khmer architecture, which can be easily recognized if you look at the spired-roof pavilions. Travelers are permitted to visit the Silver Pagoda and the Throne Hall.

As for the Silver Pagoda, it’s well-known for the Gold Buddha statue and the Emerald Buddha statue. While visiting the pagoda, you can admire the stunning artifacts and the ceiling mural with the depiction of the Reamker - Cambodian’s famous epic poem.

Where to visit: Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh

Wat Phnom

Although Phnom Penh’s landscape is relatively flat, there’s still a hillock that’s 27 meters high where they built Wat Phnom temple. This religious building is said to have appeared during the 14th century and the main temple sanctuary dates back to 1926.

Where to visit: Norodom Boulevard, Phnom Penh

Wat Phnom is the most sacred pagoda in Cambodia

Wat Phnom is the most sacred pagoda in Cambodia (Source: Collected)

Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom is where Cambodia’s Buddhism headquarters are situated, that’s why it’s considered the principal temple complex of the country. Wat Ounalom is believed to be constructed in 1443 and during the Khmer Rouge regime, lots of its religious iconography and statues were lost or damaged. However, you can still admire the beautiful Buddha statue, the statue of Huot Tat and a stupa that has a Buddha’s eyebrow hair.

Where to visit: Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh places to visit and things to do

Cruising along Phnom Penh's Rivers

Being a riverine town, Phnom Penh is best seen while you’re cruising on a boat. You can head to the riverfront and board tourist cruises, which usually departs 5:00pm to 7:30pm. These boats will take you along the Tonlé Sap and Mekong river. Travelers can also opt for a private boat to explore the riverscape of Phnom Penh anytime they want. Cruising along Phnom Penh’s rivers will give you a different perspective about the locals’ life and an escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Where to visit: Tourist Boat Dock, Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh

Go on a leisure boat trip cruise along the Phnom Penh rivers

Go on a leisure boat trip cruise along the Phnom Penh rivers (Source: Collected)

Strolling through the Russian Market

The Russian Market is where you can buy Cambodian silks, beautiful souvenirs, local wooden handicrafts or astonishingly cheap clothing. Experience the local life while strolling through this market, and remember to go for an early morning visit 6:00 a.m to avoid high temperatures. Visiting the Russian Market is also a good chance to hone your haggling skills.

Where to visit: Street 155, Phnom Penh

Visit Phnom Penh's Independence Monument

A Phnom Penh trip is never complete without paying a visit to the iconic Independence Monument. It was constructed to commemorate the day Cambodia was freed the French colonialists. This monument is made of sandstone with a structure that symbolizes an Angkorian-style temple.

Where to visit: Sihanouk Boulevard, Phnom Penh

There are many other Phnom Penh places to visit that travelers definitely don’t want to miss out on their trip. If you’re having a difficult time planning your Phnom Penh trip itinerary, make a phone call to Sao La Tours’ hotline and we’ll answer all of your questions. Our tour programs are fully customized for each and every of our customers.

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