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Phnom Penh Attractions

Phnom Penh is the vibrant, charming and bustling capital of Cambodia.

There are a lot of thing to see in Phnom Penh that most people are astonish as they make a stop in the Cambodian capital heading to or from Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat.

Phnom Penh is a mix of interesting historical, cultural, it’s not all about the Khmer Rouge or Cambodia’s painful past either.

Silver Pagoda, Royal Palace and National Museum of Khmer Arts and see River Front Park and Wat Phnom. A sunset cruise on the Mekong River is a must for any visitor to Phnom Penh as is a stop at the New Central Market located in an impressive art-deco building are all tours are reasonably priced. See our personally researched guide to the best attractions in Phnom Penh below.

1. Silver pagoda and Royal Palace


The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are set adjacent to each other, spanning 174,870 square meters of lush greenery and breathtaking Khmer architecture. Visit The French building of Royal Palace in 1866 and it is not far from the banks of the Tonle Sap River. Among various buildings within the walls the Throne Hall ranks as most important. This Khmer-style building was erected only in 1917. It is used only on special occasions. Attached to the Throne Hall is a tower, 59 meters high.

Silver Pagoda (or the temple of the Emerald Buddha), formerly a wooden building, was rebuilt in 1962 in concrete and marble. The pagoda is floored with over 5000 silver tiles each weighing 1 kilo. It is famous for its 90 kg solid gold Buddha made in 1907 and an emerald Buddha said to be made of baccarats crystal

2. National Museum


The National Museum of Cambodia is the country’s largest archaeological and cultural history museum. It enables you to have a glimpse into the cultural side of Cambodian history dating back to the 4th century. There are over 13,000 interesting exhibits that are arranged according prehistoric, pre-Angkor, Angkor, and post-Angkor eras, each of which comprises bronze and wooden sculptures, ceramic items, ethnographic items and stone articles. One of its most spectacular exhibits is an eight-armed statue of Lord Vishnu that dates back to the 6th century

National Museum of Arts is to the North of the palace grounds, on the opposite side of 184th street. A French architect designed the building in Khmer-style in 1920. The most important artifacts are sculptures from the Angkor era and before.

3. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison)


Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was formerly Tuol Svay Prey High School before it was turned into an interrogation, torture and execution center by the Khmer Rouge regime.

Visit S-21 Prison the museum of genocidal crimes in late 1970).

Today the building houses exhibits, paintings, and photographs of many of the victims. Visitors can see the crude cells built in the classrooms and the torture devices used to extract confessions in the purges of the regime.

4. The Killing Fields


Visit Killing Fields or Cheung Ek is situated 15 kilometers south-west of Phnom Penh and made famous by the film of the same name "Killing Field". It was a place where more than 17,000 civilians were killed and buried in mass graves. This place is a chilling reminder of the brutalities of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.

Half-day tours to this memorial and S-21 Prison feature informative audio guides in many languages as well as testimony from survivors and guards of the regime

5. Central Market (Phsar Thmey)


Central Market is located in the heart of the Phnom Penh. The Khmer name of the market is Phsar Thmey translates as “new market”. The Central Market was built in 1937 during the French colonial period.

It is probably the cleanest and most airy market you will find in Phnom Penh. The Market is filled with stalls selling gold and silver jewelry, electronic equipment, clothing, fake watches and bags, suitcases, dried and fresh foodstuff and lots of souvenirs.

6. Koh Dach Island


Koh dach, Kandal is a picturesque island located on the banks of Mekong River, on the upstream of Phnom Penh. Kandal is one of the provinces in Cambodia offering a vast range of sightseeing places and historical sites. Koh dach, is one of the popular tourist destinations in the province as well as in Cambodia. The entire area of Koh dach island covers 30 square kilometers of land lying on the shores of Mekong River. The travelers, who want a break from the buys and hectic life, can land to this secluded and sleepy island. The tourists can reach the island within a minute from Phnom Penh by availing boats. The island is located on the National Road No. 6a in Koh Dach Commune.

The tour rides along dirt roads near the Mekong River which take the tours for sightseeing charming villages of the east part of the island and past picturesque views of the river. The tour will take you to visit different farms like arum farm, ginger farm, and dry-season rice field.

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