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Phnom Penh Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3 days

Best Time: October to May Read More

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"On the lands of tragic history"

Phnom Penh Tourism

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. Serviced by Phnom Penh International Airport, the city is also well connected to other parts of the country by regular buses and taxis. This ever-growing city contains in it all at once - the ancient Khmer glory, the unfortunate recent past, and a progressive future. Sitting at the junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh inherits a phenomenal blend of Khmer and French architectural beauty. The city can be easily picturized with lively markets, royal buildings, thriving bars, and sensuous local food scenes.

Known as the 'Pearl of Asia' once upon a time, under French Rule, Phnom Penh became known far and wide as one of the most beautiful cities in the early 20th century. Today it is among Cambodia's top three destinations and is highly popular for its historical attractions. The city showcases, on the one hand - busy narrow streets, struggling sounds of life, tinges of an old French colony, and an age-old riverside romantic charm, while on the other - industrial expansions, commercial buildings and budding workforces and modern-day restaurants and shopping centres. The top experiences in Phnom Penh include visits to the Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields, sight-seeing in Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and a shopping spree in markets like Psar Thmei and Russian Market, and some quiet time by the riverside.

Must Know Before You Travel to Phnom Penh

1. The US Dollar is widely accepted in the city, and most shops will even quote prices directly in this currency. Tourists can carry cash in the form of US Dollars and get about in the city.

2. The city has sufficient ATMs, exchange centres and banks where visitors can withdraw money.

3. Cambodians greet by joining their hands at chest level with a bow.

4. It is recommended to dress conservatively, especially when visiting a religious place.

5. Tipping isn't customary here, but tourists can consider paying up to 10% tip as a kind gesture.

6.  English and French are widely spoken in most tourist-centric areas, so it easy for tourists to get by. 

Top Hotels In Phnom Penh

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Shopping in Phnom Penh

Shopping in Phnom Penh is a diverse experience - you'd find a number of local markets, shopping malls, as well as boutique shops and art galleries throughout the city. Some of the popular shopping spots are -

  • Russian Market
  • Central Market
  • Street 240
  • Aeon Shopping Mall
  • Night Market

Nightlife in Phnom Penh

Nightlife in Phnom Penh is inexpensive and full of life. Most of the pubs and bars are scattered around the riverfront area and Street 51. Plenty of clubs, beer bars and hostess bars can be spotted around the city.

Daily Budget for Phnom Penh

For a traveller on budget, its easy to manage the expenses at about KHR 45,000 (approx. USD 11). Mid-ranged tourists can expect the expenditure around KHR 110,000 (approx. USD 26). If you're on an high-end vacation you'd require an estimate of KHR 246,000 (approx. USD 60) on a daily basis.

History of Phnom Penh

If legends are to be believed, the credit for the founding of Phnom Penh goes to an old lady Daun Penh. It is said that while collecting firewood one day along the riverside, she spotted a koki tree floating in the river. When she fetched it out of the water, she found a few statues of Lord Buddha and Vishnu in it. People took this as a sign of God to shift the capital from Angkor to this place. She got a temple made on the hill (Wat Phnom), and this gave the name 'Phnom Penh' to the area. Phnom Pehn has witnessed a lot of ups and downs. Once known as the 'Pearl of Asia', the city lost its charm due to the unfortunate Khmer Rouge control, from which the residents seem to have finally coped up.

Religion of Phnom Penh

Most of the population in Phnom Penh follows Theravada Buddhism. Other religions followed by minority population are Christianity, Islam, and Animism.

Best Time to Visit Phnom Penh

How to Reach Phnom Penh

How to Reach Overview

You can make your way to Phnom Penh by landing on the Phnom Penh International Airport which is located 7 km west of the city. Various Asian airlines fly to and from the city.

How to reach Phnom Penh by flight

The best way to reach Phnom Penh is by air. The airport in the city enables you to land directly on the outskirts of the city, from where you can take a bus or taxi to get in. You can also take flights from some prominent cities in Cambodia to save your time while taking trips to multiple cities in the country.

How to reach Phnom Penh by bus

You can travel to Phnom Penh from nearby cities like Siem Reap, Battambang, Sisophon, etc. by bus. There are two bus stations in the city: one near the Central Market, and another near the Night Market.

How to reach Phnom Penh by waterways

Ferries can be taken from Siem Reap as well as Mekong Delta (Vietnam) to reach Phnom Penh.

Local transport in Phnom Penh

The most popular way to get around the city is hiring a tuk-tuk or remork-moto. The other local transport options include pedicab (cyclo) and moto. If you're willing to explore the city streets on your own, you can hire a bicycle, motorbike or even a car- there are several places where you can get a vehicle on rent for varying charges. But before making your mind for this, ask yourself if you'd be able to cope up with the chaotic traffic in the city.

Phnom Penh Photos

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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FAQs on Phnom Penh

What are the top hotels in Phnom penh?

There are 439 in Phnom penh which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Phnom penh are Phnom Penh Apartment Olympia Mall, Yunfan Hotel, 尘外精品民宿酒店, ALL SPORTS BACKPACKERS, 中国之家, East & west guest house. You can see all the hotels in Phnom penh here

What are the places near Phnom penh?

The top places near to Phnom penh are Kep which is 126 km from Phnom penh, Siem reap which is located 232 km from Phnom penh, Sihanoukville which is located 2 km from Phnom penh, Kirirom national park which is located 11 km from Phnom penh, Oudong mountains which is located 34 km from Phnom penh

What are the things to do in Phnom penh?

The top things to do in Phnom penh are Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, National Museum of Cambodia, Psar Thmei, Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields, Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields), The Royal Palace. You can see all the places to visit in Phnom penh here

How much does a package cost for Phnom penh?

The packages for Phnom penh start at INR 45493 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What is the best way to reach Phnom penh?

You can make your way to Phnom Penh by landing on the Phnom Penh International Airport which is located 7 km west of the city. Various Asian airlines fly to and from the city.
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What is the local food in Phnom penh?

Phnom Penh is a great city to taste traditional Khmer cuisine. The most popular dishes include Fish Amok (fish mousse with coconut curry), Nom banh chok (Khmer noodles), grilled pork, Lok lak (beef topped with salad), Balut (cooked duck egg), Steam pork bun (hard-boiled bun stuffed with pork and egg), and pickled fruits. Some great places to check out are Khema, Rustic restaurant, Mok Mony, Friends the restaurant, Sesame noodle bar, and Lucky Pho.
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What is the best time to visit Phnom penh?

Dry season (Oct. to May) makes for the best time to fly down to Phnom Penh. You would find better road conditions, ample amount of sunshine and a large number of fellow tourists. You can also opt for a trip during the wet season (May to Oct.) to dodge the crowds, and enjoy majestic greenery and spectacular waterfalls. Note: Avoid visiting Phnom Penh around August and September as it rains heavily during this time of the year.
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