Phnom Penh is one of those cities that is always hot even when it’s supposed to be cold, taking the meaning of humid to a new level. Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, holding 3 million of the 14 million people who reside within Cambodia, making it a very busy city. Phnom Penh is Located in southeast of Cambodia and is about a 7 hour drive from Siem Reap.
Being the capital gives for an abundance of things to do throughout the city, and provides travellers with an array of experiences from the local cuisine to the city nightlight life.
But if you want to know what to do during the day, and how to spend a very busy weekend in Phnom Penh, I have suggested the best of the best, things for you to do.
History is what I thrive for, and in each country I make the effort to understand the leadership behind it. So of course the Royal Palace was on my to do list. Visiting the Royal Palace, you must wear long pants and t-shirts covering the shoulders, if you don’t have clothes like this or they are at the local laundromat, they have clothes there that you can hire.
Also for all you architectural enthusiasts, the architecture here is one to die for. With its golden rooftops and white pillar poles around the exterior, you’ll be sure to be in palace heaven.
It wouldn’t be Cambodia without coming across a temple or two would it? Wat Phnom is a Buddhist temple 27 metres above sea level, believed to be standing on top of the only hill in the city. The temple admission is US$1, so who could possibly pass this up?
The National Museum in Phnom Penh is US$5 entry and takes you through a lifetime of Cambodia’s history.
The Killing Fields is an emotional trip, and out of respect to the deceased and events that took place there, you should wear appropriate clothing. The Killing Fields was a site in which murders took place through the period of the Khmer Rouge. It is now the grave to many victims who passed through the time of 1975-1979.
Admission is US$6.
Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes
This museum is a former prison where the victims of the Khmer Rouge were kept before they were taken to the killing fields.
When I visited the museum, I had the privilege to meet two survivors. These two men survived because they had a talent, one was an artist who drew the leader, Pol Pot on several occasions. The other was a technician and was able to fix the typewriter that had broken. These talents proved that these men were not a part of the opposing party and these talents kept them alive.
The Genocide Museum is free for students, US$2 without a guide and US$6 with a guide. The Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields can both be done in a half day.
If you’ve read my blog, you will know that street exploring is my ultimate favourite thing to do travelling. The streets here are endless mazes taking you through cultural journeys and past steaming hot street food.
Phnom Penh is big on bag snatching, so make sure when you are out and about that you wear a money belt under your clothes with all of your personal belongings. Try avoid carrying a bag if possible and leave large amounts of money and your passport in the safe at your hotel.
The main set of markets in Phnom Penh is located in an old train station. The train station was built during World War 2 but was never actually used, so as you can picture it is a pretty huge set of markets. These markets are the best in Cambodia, and sell everything from electronics to clothing and beyond.If you have travelled to Phnom Penh and would like to talk about anything else, please comment. I would love to hear about your favourite thing to do.