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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Top 05 Tourist Attractions in Phnom Penh – Pulsating Hub of Cambodia
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Top 05 Tourist Attractions in Phnom Penh – Pulsating Hub of Cambodia

Phnom Penh is Cambodia's tourist hub, from busy boulevards to quiet alleys and modern vibes to a rich history. The city serviced by the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers is a huge attraction, not just for the fab street food and remains of its violent history but also for culture and tradition; do read on


1. Explore the Royal Palace

Serving as the seat for the royal family since 1860, the Royal Palace will definitely be the highlight of your tour. Go marvel at the majesty and beauty of the place boasting spired roof pavilions harking back to Khmer style architecture, the elegant Throne Hall and the Silver Pagoda which sits amidst a stunning manicured-garden. All these venues are open to the public and deserve a browse. Within the Silver Pagoda is the iconic Emerald Buddha, as well as a gold Buddha statue weighing 90kgs. If you are looking for short term apartment rentals Phnom Penh has to offer, consider an apart-hotel located close to the main attractions, many like Somerset Serviced Residence, offer easy access to places like the Royal Palace which has so much to explore.


2. Cambodia National Museum

The Cambodia National Museum is housed in a beautiful vintage, 1920's Khmer style building. The perfect elixir for anyone hankering for a taste of the rich history Cambodia is inerrant to the place boasts over 1,800 artefacts. One of the highlights is the Vishnu Head, which was unearthed from the iconic Angkor Wat temple. In fact, the stunning collection of Angkor relics is the most impressive; these include statues from Angkor Thom and Koh Ker temples. There is a very impressive collection of pre-Angkor items as well, which takes one back to the time of the Chenla and Funan periods of Cambodia.


3. Choeung Ek

A sombre reminder and testimony to the brutality of the Khmer Empire, the killing fields of Choeung Ek exude a sense of sadness and great loss. The place is a reminder of the huge demise of citizens the nation faced under the rule of Pol Pot; a time when many Cambodians died of hunger and disease while a majority were murdered, including the nation's most intellectual, such as doctors and teachers, suspected of opposing the Khmer rule. Over 17,000 people are believed to have met with death in Choeung Ek home to 129 mass graves. There the memorial stupa harbouring over 8,000 skulls is a stark reminder while the Tuol Sleng Museum which you can explore, was once a school transformed to a Khmer owned high-security prison, still exudes dark undertones.


4. River Boat Cruises

Surrounded by two rivers, the best of Phnom Penh is reflected via a relaxing riverboat cruise. Take a sunset cruise, departing daily from the tourist boat dock at 5 pm. These cruises take you across the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers; while chartering a private boat will allow you to explore the waters at any time you want.


5. Wat Phnom

Located on an extremely flat plane, the Wat Phnom sits on the only hill in the area; thus rising 27 metres in height the shrine cuts a pretty picture across the landscape. The very first religious building erected on the land was a shrine built in the 14th century, however, over time many temples have been built and rebuilt on the spot; the present wat was constructed in 1926.