Phnom Penh Description:
Phnom Penh is one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant cities. The capital of Cambodia since 1866, Phnom Penh’s splendid colonial architecture and wide boulevards lined with shade trees earned it the nickname “The Pearl of Asia” during its heydays in the 1920s.
Today, Phnom Penh is a buzzing metropolis where ancient Buddhist temples rest comfortably between palatial French Villas and modern hi-rise buildings. The city’s wide boulevards keep the seemingly endless parade of mopeds and tuk tuks on the move despite the ever increasing population, and though the city lacks a metro-rail system, it’s a very walkable destination with wide sidewalks boarding nearly every road.
There are more attractions, both ancient and modern, than can be easily explored while visiting this exciting capital. The city’s waterfront, almost always simply referred to as ‘Riverside,’ is the epicenter of Phnom Penh’s night life. A seemingly endless string of bars, restaurants, and clubs line the lane that runs parallel to the Tonle Sap River. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club is one of the few in the world open to non-journalists, and its tasteful interior of dark woods is one of the most relaxing places to have some of the city’s best cocktails day or night. The third floor of the FCC is open air, and has one of the best views of Sisowath Quay in the city. There are several docks along the street, and cruises along the Tonle Sap or Mekong Rivers can be easily arranged from here.
The Royal Palace has housed the Kings of Cambodia since the 1000s when Phnom Penh became the permanent capital of the country during French colonization. The compound is comprised of four main structures nestled in lush gardens. The Throne Hall is where the daily business of royal court was conducted. The ceiling for the interior above the dual thrones of the Cambodian Kings has a series of stunning frescoes representing the Reamker, a Khmer version of the Ramayana epic of the Hindu religion. The Khemarin Palace is separated from the rest of the compound by a low wall and still servers as the official residence of the King of Cambodia. The Moonlight Pavilion is an open air meeting hall where traditional Khmer performances are still held for the royal family, but the Silver Pagoda with its diamond encrusted Buddha statue is the main draw to the compound.
Best Time to Visit Phnom Penh:
The ideal times to visit Cambodia fall between December and May when the temperatures and humidity are both relatively low. The rainy season rolls in with June bringing high temperatures to the country that last until November. The frequent rains usually fall in short bursts in the morning or early afternoon brining a welcome respite from the heat to Phnom Penh’s streets.
How to get to Phnom Penh:
Phnom Penh is located at the convergence Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers in Cambodia. The nation’s capital is best reached by an international flight to Phnom Penh Airport.
Phnom Penh Highlights:
Cambodia’s Capital is a thrilling city with some of the best cuisine, luxury accommodations, ancient monuments, and stunning architecture to found in Southeast Asia. No luxury tour of Cambodia would be complete without spending at least a few days exploring this bustling metropolis on the banks of the Mekong River.
Appropriate Attire :
In general, western-style apparel choices are fine to wear while exploring Phnom Penh, but if you’re planning to stop by any of Buddhist temples or shrines (including the Royal Palace) it is best to dress in modest attire that covers shoulders to knees in keeping with traditions of modesty. Areas within Buddhist compounds may also require visitors to remove their shoes before entering.