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Phnom Penh Attractions

Overview of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation’s center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security, politics, economics, cultural heritage, and diplomacy of Cambodia.

Once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, it was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s. Phnom Penh, along with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, are significant global and domestic tourist destinations for Cambodia. Founded in 1434, the city is noted for its beautiful and historical architecture and attractions. There are a number of surviving French colonial buildings scattered along the grand boulevards.

Situated on the banks of the Tonlé Sap, Mekong and Bassac rivers, the Phnom Penh metropolitan area is home to more than 2 million of Cambodia’s population of over 14 million. The city is the wealthiest and most populous city in Cambodia and is home to the country’s political hub.

Phnom Penh, with a tropical climate, has hot weather all year round, but temperatures are slightly cooler between November and January. The hottest month is April, when temperatures can soar to over 104F (40C). The wet monsoon season runs from June through October, bringing strong winds, high humidity and very heavy rains

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Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom

This wat is the headquarters of Cambodian Buddhism. It was founded in 1443 and comprises 44 structures. It received a battering during the Pol Pot era, but today the wat has come back to life. The head of the country’s Buddhist brotherhood lives here, along with ...

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Angkor_TaProhm

Ta Prohm

The laterite temple of Ta Prohm was built by King Jayavarman VII (r 1181–1219) on the site of an ancient 6th-century Khmer shrine. Today the ruined temple is surrounded by colourful flowers and plants, affording some great photo opportunities.The main sanctuary ...

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PhnomPenh_Independent_Monument-1

Independence Monument

Modelled on the central tower of Angkor Wat, Independence Monument was built in 1958 to commemorate the country’s independence from France in 1953. It also serves as a memorial to Cambodia’s war dead (at least those that the current government chooses to remember). ...

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ChoeungEk

Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

Between 1975 and 1978 about 17,000 men, women, children and infants who had been detained and tortured at S-21 were transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek. They were often bludgeoned to death to avoid wasting precious bullets.The remains of 8985 people, ...

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National Museum of Cambodia

Located just north of the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia is housed in a graceful terracotta structure of traditional design (built 1917–20), with an inviting courtyard garden. The museum is home to the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture ...

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Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

Set on top of a 27m-high tree-covered knoll, Wat Phnom is on the only ‘hill’ in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong River and discovered by Madame ...

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Phnompenh_TuolSleng

Tuol Sleng Museum

In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot’s security forces and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). This soon became the largest centre of detention and torture in the country. Between 1975 and 1978 more than 17,000 people ...

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SilverPagoda

Silver Pagoda

The Silver Pagoda is named in honour of the floor, which is covered with more than 5000 silver tiles weighing 1kg each, adding up to five tonnes of gleaming silver. You can sneak a peek at some of the 5000 tiles near the entrance – most are covered for their ...

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RoyalPalace

Royal Palace

With its classic Khmer roofs and ornate gilding, the Royal Palace dominates the diminutive skyline of Phnom Penh. It is a striking structure near the riverfront, bearing a remarkable likeness to its counterpart in Bangkok.Being the official residence of King Sihamoni, ...

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