The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is a fast, exciting and thoroughly captivating place. From its bustling markets to the gleaming architecture of the Royal Palace, for many visitors this wonderful city – sitting at the meeting point of the iconic Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers – truly epitomises the essence of southeast Asia. Still bearing the scars of revolution and conflict, today’s Phnom Penh is now starting to gain its share of skyscrapers, shiny shopping malls and other Western influences. It also boasts a well deserved reputation among visitors as one of the friendliest capitals in Asia.
The tragic recent history of the Khmer people is certainly still in evidence, but today’s Phnom Penh is nothing less than positive, upbeat and optimistic. Phnom Penh’s central area – the riverside – pulls in a lot of visitors thanks to its plentiful cafes, restaurants and local colour. This is a fantastic place to simply sit, relax, meet the locals and experience some authentic Cambodian culture.
An undoubted highlight of Phnom Penh is its incredible Royal Palace, with magnificent pagodas and the magical Temple of the Emerald Buddha. As well as gazing at the amazing architecture – built during French colonial rule in the 1800s, but using genuine Cambodian designs – this also offers a calm, harmonious refuge from the noise and bustle of the city beyond.
A few of the fabulous treasures of the ancient Angkor kingdom are on display at the National Museum of Cambodia, which is packed full of Hindu gods, art, artefacts and its centrepiece, the statue of King Jayavarman VII in meditation.
Sisowath Quay is a pleasant esplanade running along the city’s river banks, and is popular with tourist, expats and locals alike. Early evening is a great time to visit - once the heat of the day has started to fade - when you can experience a wonderful carnival atmosphere and enjoy the area’s cafes and bars.
Finally, for those interested in Cambodia’s recent, tragic history, Tuol Sleng is an important place of pilgrimage – once a school, the site was converted into one of the country’s most notorious prisons by the Pol Pot regime.
Accommodation in Phnom Penh
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 19:00 GMT
Related articles for Cambodia
Cambodia NewsBrowse all Cambodia News
The lavish new Six Senses Krabey Island is already taking bookings following an announcement that the resort is on schedule for its expected opening this December. The eco-friendly property, which will have its own glass water bottling plant and organic market farm, will add to Cambodia's selection of sustainable properties with an enviable beachfront setting on an exuberantly green private island.
The Telegraph recently published a piece on how guests travelling to Cambodia and staying at Shinta Mani Angkor – Bensley Collection in Siem Reap could do more than invest in days of pampering and comfort for themselves. A firm believer in giving back, the brand designer has created a foundation that uses part of the hotel’s income to help 22 impoverished villages in the surrounding area.
Emirates has announced that it will launch new flights from Dubai to Phnom Penh in Cambodia in July this year. With the number of British travellers visiting Cambodia doubling between 2006 and 2015, the airline will introduce the new service to keep up with demand. The flight will operate daily from Dubai using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with two class categories, and will travel via Yangon in Myanmar.