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The oldest structure in Phnom Penh is the Wat Phnom from the founding days of the city, constructed in 1373. The main tourist attractions are the Royal Palace with the Silver Pagoda, which dates to the mid-19th century; the National Museum, constructed during the French colonial era in the late 19th century in the classical Khmer style.

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» Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument

Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument

Built in the late 1970s, the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument is a statue located in a large reflecting pool that stands in honor of the former alliance between Cambodia and Vietnam. Located at the Botum Park near the center of Phnom Penh, not far from the Royal Palace, the monument is an interesting piece of history as it was built by the Communist regime that took power after the Cambodian-Vietnamese War and overthrew the leadership of the Khmer Rouge …

» Central Market (Pshar Thom Thmey)

Central Market (Pshar Thom Thmey)

This giant yellow dome first opened in 1937, and today, more than 70 years later, the Central Market is remains a destination for first-time visitors to Cambodia's capital city. Here, travelers can wander through hundreds of stalls selling bargain goods, antique coins, clothing, clocks, fabric, shoes, food and traditional souvenirs. A popular spot, heavy rains can flood the grounds, so it's a better bet in drier seasons …

» Independence Monument

Independence Monument

A 60-foot (20-meter) tall Angkor-style monument built in 1958, the Independence Monument was constructed to commemorate the Cambodians winning back their independence from the French in 1953. Renowned Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann designed the monument; the architecture is patterned after a lotus flower and adorned with five levels of Naga heads, which gives it a very distinctive look. Located in the heart of busy Phnom Penh …

» Kandal Market (Phsar Kandal)

Kandal Market (Phsar Kandal)

Kandal Market, or Phsar Kandal in Khmer, is the "market in the middle," or "central market" (not to be confused with the other, major Central Market in Phnom Penh). Though Kandal Market does sell goods such as clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry, it's primarily known as the food market for locals. There's no better way to get a real sense of place than by visiting a local market; take a trip to Kandal and immerse yourself in the colors, textures, smells and tastes of Cambodia …

» Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

A trip to this historic spot just 15 kilometers south of Phnom Penh is not for the faint of heart. Known as The Killing fields, some one million Cambodians were murdered here by the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. Nearly 9,000 bodies have been discovered-including former prisoners from Tuol Sleng. A Buddhist stupa marks the memorial, and visitors can gaze through its clear walls at some 5,000 human skulls-all victims of the bloody regime …

» Mekong River

Mekong River

The 2,700-mile-long Mighty Mekong is the 12th-longest river in the world and the main artery of Southeast Asia. Its flowing waters are the beating pulse for a region that includes the fertile delta in Ho Chi Minh City, the scenic hills of Laos, the thick forests in Thailand and Cambodia and even the Yunnan province of China and the Tibetan Plateau. The Mekong River serves as a hub for life in Southeast Asia, and it's home to some of the region's most unique biodiversity …

» National Museum of Cambodia

National Museum of Cambodia

The National Museum is home to one of the largest collections of Khmer art in the world. Well-kept galleries display choice artifacts that pay homage to Hinduism and Buddhism. Even daily objects, like household utensils, and items used in religious ceremonies are on display. Works in the museum, which opened in 1920, are divided into four categories: stone, metal, wood and ceramics. Be sure to check out the bronze standing adorn Buddha …

» Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

Lions and tigers and sun bears and elephants and deer and gibbons and snakes, oh my! At this sanctuary for rescued animals, guests can see a vast array of Cambodia's wildlife (which is usually very difficult to spot), ranging from the world's largest captive collections of Malayan sun bears and pileated gibbons to rare animals like greater adjutant storks and Siamese crocodiles. When possible, the center's residents are released back into the wild once they've recovered …

» Royal Palace

Royal Palace

Catch a performance of the Royal Dance Troupe at the open-air theater in the coronation hall or linger near the balcony, where the current king has been known to make an appearance. The private residence, built in 1866, houses an impressive collection of artwork, and the multi-purpose house of the white elephant, just outside the palace walls, is used for royal births, deaths and weddings. The current king may live in this well-known palace, but visitors can still tour most of its grounds …

» Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung Market)

Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung Market)

A place of magic, where it's conceivable that almost anything can be found for sale, the Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung Market) is a haven for tourists, displaying a wide variety of goods-most notably, designer brand knock-offs. The Russian Market got its name from the Russian tourists that frequented it in the 1980s; these days, you can hear a wide range of languages being spoken in its stalls …

» Silk Island

Silk Island

Known by locals as Koh Dach, Silk Island sits upstream on the Mekong near Phnom Penh and offers travelers to Cambodia's capital city a quick escape from the urban landscape into a village that feels worlds away. The rural community of Silk Island is comprised of dozens of local artisans-well-trained silk masters who hand weave some of the most glamorous fabrics from one of the nation's most prized resources …

» Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo)

Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo)

While visiting the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, it's almost impossible to miss the Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo), an impressive, opulent structure. With a floor that's covered with five tons of silver, a Baccarat-crystal Buddha perched on a gilded pedestal (known as the Emerald Buddha) and a life-sized solid-gold Buddha that weighs almost 200 pounds (90 kg) and is covered with 9,584 diamonds (the largest is 25 carats), a visit to the Silver Pagoda is one that is not easily forgotten …

» Sisowath Quay

Sisowath Quay

Take a tuk-tuk to the Royal Palace and begin the day along Phnom Penh's three-kilometer strip of shops, hotels and eateries. This scenic walk wanders along the river's edge and visitors can lounge easily at one of the numerous outside tables in popular cafes. Sisowath Quay is an ideal spot to sample local beer, strong coffee and real French baguettes. Travelers can comb through traditional handicrafts at Colours of Cambodia, or purchase a "happy monk" painting …

» Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

In 1975 the Khmer Rouge turned this former high school into a notorious killing center. Some 17,000 people were killed at Tuol Sleng, which was later referred to as Security Prison 21. It was one of at least 150 other death camps run by the regime. The prison, which reopened as a museum in 1980, held numerous leaders of the communist party, as well as doctors, teachers and other educated Cambodian citizens. Prisoners were subject to months of torture …

» Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom

Built in 1443, Wat Ounalom is perhaps the most important pagoda in Cambodia's capital city. Comprised of 44 structures, including a stupa thought to contain an eyebrow hair of Buddha, this impressive attraction was damaged during the Khmer Rouge and later restored. An early morning trip provides a quiet respite from the bustle of a busy surrounding city. In this peaceful setting visitors can hear monks chanting while they wander the pagoda, and even visit with them after Morning Prayer …

» Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is one of the most visited temples in the country. The original sacred temple was built atop a hill in Cambodia's capital city in 1373, however the spot where travelers visit today was rebuilt in 1926 and underwent a serious facelift in 1998. Traditional games take place on temple grounds to celebrate the Khmer New Year, and during the Festival of the Dead animists from across the country venture to the pagoda to make sacred offerings …

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« HomeAsia & PacificCAMBODIADiscover Cambodia • Phnom Penh

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Phnom Penh Tours, Travel & Activities

Phnom Penh's troubled past has given birth to an incredibly vibrant present. Visitors here can bear witness to the horrific remnants of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot Regime in places like the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, but there's still plenty to see that nods towards the nation's future and promise, too …

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Phnom Penh Hotels & Accommoation

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Despite its reputation as a 'rough' city, Phnom Penh is easy to get around and is a great introduction to Cambodia. Beautiful wide boulevards, fine colonial architecture and a parklike riverfront with restaurants aplenty …

Phnom Penh Hotels & Accommoation

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