Phnom Penh Overview
Used to be one of the better-preserved French colonial towns in Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh - the Pearl of Asia lying at the confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle Sap Lake
, is an exceptionally important place for political, economic and particularly cultural reasons.
Phom Penh is an important part of Cambodia Holiday Packages
as that is easy to catch a flight from other cities in Indochina to Phnom Penh. You may visit Phnom Penh and around for 3 days to 5 days before moving to Siem Reap for the tours in Siem Reap
What to see and what to do in Phnom Penh?
Besides a swing through the sobering Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21) and a run out to the Killing Fields, where Cambodia’s harrowing history is narrated in a clear and incredibly moving way; the charming Royal Palace and quaint National Museum, both of which offer glimpses of Cambodia’s richer history; the Silver Pagoda
, Wat Phnom and Wat Ounalom – the center of Cambodian Buddhist religion, you will also have other interesting places to go.
For example, Cambodian Living Arts is a not-for-profit organization giving you a chance to experience the rich, vibrant culture of Cambodia; local marketplaces like the Central Market, Russian Market, etc are an ideal destination for a leisurely day tour where you can find the best gifts and souvenirs, carvings, silk, silver, paintings, gems and even antiques; Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue where you can get closer to the lovely animals.
To start your day like a local, let’s wake up early to go to the Olympic Stadium or public gardens, where you can take part in an aerobics class, which often takes place around 6 am to 7 am in the mornings with other locals.
It seems to be hard to find other foreigners in sight working up a sweat with a combination of dance and aerobics. For a sunny day, it is amazing to join an excellent cyclo tour to explore the gritty streets graced with fine buildings from the French colonial era, charming shop-houses, secret Chinese temples, and striking modernist structures.
At the end of the cyclo tour, culinary adventurous can go to the handsome art deco Phsar Thmey (central market), where there are many food stalls selling home-cooked curries or stir-fried noodles.
When the sun goes down, do not miss to visit the Foreign Correspondent Club at Sisowath Quay for a requisite sundowner, while admiring views of the fast-moving Tonlé Sap flowing into the Mekong River.
What to eat and drink in Phnom Penh?
Street food in Phnom Penh is amazingly delicious and cheap. According to experienced travelers, special dishes which you should taste are Amok (coconut milk based curry), K’tieu (noodle soup), Crab cooked in Kampot Pepper, Pork cooked with ginger.
Recommended restaurants are Mails Restaurant (Dining Khmer Style), FCC (Phnom Penh Institution which brings colonial atmosphere and excellent food) and Elephant Bar (Offer classy drinking in elegant settings).
When is the best time to visit Phnom Penh?
The warm and humid tropical climate of Phnom Penh with the average temperature of about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature of about 16 degrees makes this capital city beautiful throughout the year.
However, September and October, when the city experiences the heaviest precipitation and some countryside roads may be impassable, are not the best time for those who plan to travel extensively by road.