List of Attractions
Phnom Penh (literally translated to mean, “Hill of Penh” or more loosely, “Penh’s Hill”) is the capital and largest city in Cambodia. Phnom Penh has been the main capital since French colonised Cambodia, and has become the center of the country’s economic system as well as industrial, commercial, cultural, tourism and historical source after 1979.
Once known as the “Pearl of Asia” it was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s. Phnom Penh, along with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, is a significant global and domestic tourist destination for Cambodia. Founded in 1434, the city is noted for its historical attractions. One of the surviving French colonial architectures is The Royal Palace.
Located on Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac River, Phnom Penh is home to more than 2 million of Cambodia’s population of over 14 million. Phnom Penh is the wealthiest and most populous city in Cambodia. It is also the country’s commercial, political and cultural hub
Serenely located on a grassy hilltop, Wat Phnom is the main temple and legendary founding place of Phnom Penh. According to folklore, in the 14th century, a woman by the name of Penh uncovered sacred Buddhist relics in the nearby river and purposefully placed the statues on the hill. This created a temple or pagoda to house the precious relics. The building of a “Phnom” meaning “hill” and a “wat” meaning small temple, allegorically resulted in what is known as Wat Phnom today. Over time, the surrounding area was acknowledged after the hill “Phnom” and its lady creator “Penh.”
Presently, Wat Phnom is a site of activities with a faithful stream of visitors to the shrines and fortune tellers located on top of the hill. At the foot lies an assemblage of street vendors and visitors where activities such as elephant rides are available. Also significant is Wat Phnom’s containment of the remains of King Ponhea Yat (1405 - 1467) who moved the Khmer capital from Angkor to Phnom Penh in the early 15th century. Additionally, the altar of Lady Penh is believed to be a special blessing to women.
Address : Intersection of Street 96 and Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace is a resplendent symbol of the Kingdom, serves as a venue for official court sessions and a palatial dwelling for the King. However, since King Sihanouk’s return to power, the actual Royal Palace has not been publicly accessible. Fortunately, there are still many eye-opening sights to explore.
Starting with the Throne Hall, a magnificently embellished 59-meter tower greets visitors as they explore. Within the Palace compounds, tranquility is present, lent by the high towering walls and regal buildings that envelope the beautifully manicured gardens in the likes of isolated islands. Its first institution was in 1866 when the capital was moved from Oudong to Phnom Penh, conducted during the reign of King Norodom and the French protectorate.
Address: Samdech Sothearos Blvd, between Streets 240 & 184, Central Phnom Penh
Opening hours: Daily from 7:30am-11:00am / 2:00pm-5:00pm.
Adjoining the Palace compounds is the Wat Preah Keo Morokat or the “Silver Pagoda.” The temple facility, library and its galleries were first constructed between 1892 and 1902. Appropriately named after its silver flooring, the Silver Pagoda’s exquisite significance is attributed by the congregation of the King with monks. Royal ceremonies are conducted on premises that also contain an anthology of invaluable Buddhist relics and historical artifacts including the “Emerald Buddha.”
Address : Samdech Sothearos Blvd, between Streets 240 & 184 Central Phnom Penh
Opening hours : Daily, 7.30am to 11.00am / 2.00pm to 5.00pm
The National Museum of Cambodia was built in 1917 and inaugurated in 1920 by King Sisowat. Designed in traditional Khmer style, the elegant terracotta structure is located just north of the Royal Palace.
Home to the world's prime collection of the earliest and rarest archeological, religious and artistic Khmer artifacts from 4th to 13th century, a wealth of heritage and historical insights await the visitor. The museum comprises four (4) courtyards that overlook a garden, within which, there are in excess of 5000 displays. Another fascinating feature is found in the roof space, a habitat to the largest bat colony in the world in an artificial structure. It is quite an awesome sight, to witness these nocturnal creatures swarm out of their resting domain and flutter about every night.
Address: Street 178 & Street 13, next to the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Opening hours: Daily from 8:00am-5:00pm
Psah Thmay, translated to mean ‘new market’ shines as an intricate art décor building and a historical landmark of Phnom Penh. The distinct bazaar was constructed in 1937 and is now commonly referred by tourists as Central Market. Its high-vaulted ceilings distinguish it from other markets, not to mention a more pleasurable and comfortable shopping experience. Shoppers would be delighted by the diverse range of merchandise, from traditional souvenirs to clothing, footwear, local food and a barrage of fresh produce. Although prices tend to be on the higher scale compared to other markets, one would benefit from the quality, variety and a touch of good-spirited bargaining.
Address : Between streets 126 and 136, Phnom Penh
Opening hours : 6.30am to 7.00pm (sunrise to sunset)
In commemoration of Cambodia’s independence from France, the 20-meter high statuesque in red-stone monument was erected in 1958. The honor was commissioned by King Sihanouk's father, King Norodom Suramarit, who reigned as King from 1955 till 1960.
Established Cambodian architect, Vann Molyvann, was designer of the monument. Inspired by the lotus flower bud, adorned with Naga heads or many-headed cobras, the monument is evocative of Angkor Wat’s design. The Independence Monument is located in the centre of the traffic circle at the intersection of Norodom Blvd. and Sihanouk Blvd.
In addition, the Independence Monument also serves as homage to Cambodia’s casualties of war. Presently, Independence Day is on 9 November in Cambodia.
Address: Corner of Norodom & Sihanouk Blvds, Central Phnom Penh
From colorful scarves to banana leaves filled with sticky rice and bananas, Psar Tuol Tom Pong, also commonly known as the Russian Market, is a bustling marketplace not to be missed. Situated in the southern part of Phnom Penh, the market’s name was coined after its rising interest amongst Russian expatriates during the 1980s. Carrying a wide variety of items such as local snacks, traditional handicraft, gems, hand-woven Chinese and Cambodian silk and antique furniture, shoppers looking to find an exotic gift or souvenir will be delighted by the choice and intricacy of work. Adding to the list are silverware, books and maps, handbags, shoes and clothing, custom-made jewelry, suits and many other interesting finds. It is no wonder tourists, expatriates and local Cambodians tend to agree the Russian Market is indeed a savvy shopper’s paradise on earth.
Address : Corner of St. 440 and St.163, south of Mao Tse Tung Blvd, Phnom Penh
Opening hours : 6.30am to 7.00pm (sunrise to sunset)
An inspiring sight awaits visitors of the temples of Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The temples of Angkor were built in the early years of the 12th century for King Suryavarman II as his state temple and capital city. Standing at the foot of the temples, one would agree Angkor Wat is one of the most breathtaking structures humankind has ever constructed. With an impressive 100 stone temples in all, these represent the surviving remains of a striking religious, social and administrative metropolis.
The contemporary translation of the name, “Angkor Wat,” refers to "City Temple" and is the best-preserved temple at the site. Additionally, it is the only temple to have maintained a significant religious centre since its inception. Originally, a shrine to the Hindu god Vishnu, then the shift towards Buddhist influence. One of the major draws of the temple, in addition to its opulent architecture, is its extensive bas-reliefs and the numerous guardian spirits adorning its walls. The temple is the epitome of the superior classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and is the country's prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat is easily accessible from Phnom Penh via domestic flights by Air Cambodge. There are several daily flights at different times of the day.
Address : Siem Reap, Northwestern Cambodia
Opening hours : 5.00am to 6.00pm
Art street 178:
Stroll along art street & own an original Cambodian sculpture.
Russian market; Central market:
ideal place to buy souvenirs.
City Mall; Sorya:
Experience local mall shopping
Experience cambodian arts & culture apsara performances, puppet shows, peacock dances etc...
visit sovanna phum khmer arts, meta house, java café & gallery, chinese house.