10 Best Things To Do in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh travel guide will introduce you to the long history of what Khmer people have faced over the time of their lives. From Vietnamese taking control, had been colonized by French, the darkest days of Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot) killed millions of their own kind. The story is sad, but I would highly recommend you to dive into it. The city is currently in repair, landmarks and colonial buildings has been restored. The locals was so nice, considered from what they had been through, you cannot help but to treat them with kindness

Phnom Penh Travel Guide & Things To Do

1. Wat Phnom Daun Penh

One of the most prominent landmark in Phnom Penh located on the 100m high hilltop in the middle of the town. The sacred temple that was built by Madam Penh by collecting the statues from Mekong River and gradually built it into the prosperous city of Phnom Penh. The peaceful temple that hosts a sacred wooden Buddha statue where most of the local come to pray for good luck and success. You can also enjoy Phnom Penh cityscape view on top of the mountain or ease your mind walking through the garden around the pagoda


Tips: Entrance Fee 1USD for temple and 2USD for museum, Open Daily 07.00-17.00


2. Royal Palace

A complex buildings that was inspired by the Bayon of Angkor Wat is a official residence of King Sihamoni. The main compound is closed as a private area. Only the throne hall, outer area and the garden is open to the public. The palace located near the riverfront where locals hangout or take on the biking route along the river, famously known as ‘The sunset bike’


Tips: Entrance Fee 10USD, Open Daily 07.00-10.00 and 14.30-16.30

3. Silver Pagoda

The temple located next to the Royal Palace that was originally constructed of wood and has been restoration overtime. The floor covered with gleaming silver leading to the main pagoda where it contain the Emerald Buddha. Wat Preah Keo has a wide collection of precious metal Buddha statues, bejeweled ancient pieces and the old wooden murals that well represent the charming of Khmer civilization


Tips: The temple is connected with the Royal Palace and can use the same ticket entrance

4. National Museum of Cambodia

Dive into Cambodia rich culture and history in the largest archaeological museum of the country. One of the unmissable destination in your Phnom Penh travel guide, the Khmer art history is housed in the red sandstone structure known as traditional Khmer architecture, designed by George Groslier


The treasures of Cambodia that has been collected dates back to the 4th century from prehistoric to pre-Angkor period. The exhibition showcase the objects that separated into bronze, ceramics, stone, and wooden room

Entrance Fee Adult 10USD and Child 5USD, Open Daily 08.00-17.00

Phnom Penh Travel Guide


5. Choeung Ek Genocidal Center

‘would you please kindly show your respect to many million people who were killed under the genocidal Pol Pot Regime’

The killing field or execution site of S-21 was used by the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. You can take the audio that has been translated into several languages and walk through a now-peaceful field that well portrayed how men, women, and children were brought to torture or even dig their own grave and were killed by the cheap, heavy, and easily find equipment. The Memorial Stupa located in the middle of the site, collected the skulls arranged by sex and age, clothing, and killing instruments

Tips: Entrance Fee Adult 6USD, Open Daily 07.30-17.30

6. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

The memorial site of S-21 (Security Office 21) has turned the school into torture center in Khmer Rouge Period from 1975-1979. The classrooms were converted into prison cells and torture chambers, electric barbed wire was used to prevent the prisons from escape, the playground equipment was replaced with large traditional water jars to extract the confession by hanging the prisoners upside down from the gallows

Thousands of people who were suspected as political enemies were detention, interrogation, torture and extermination. I highly recommended to buy the ticket with the audio translation that will take around 2hrs to complete. Disclaimer: The story is hard to listen, you can find the comfortable place in the garden while listening to the story instead of walking through the building where the prisoners where kept and torture

Tips: Entrance Fee Adult 5USD + Audio 5USD, Open Daily 08.00-17.00

7. Phnom Penh Local Market

Looking for local goods and Khmer authentic experience? Make a visit to the market that sale variety stuffs from food, souvenirs, household items, jewelry, clothing, woodcarving and handicraft. The Central Market (Phsar Thmei) and Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung) is a bit touristy but you can still have a glimpse of how Cambodian’s live

Phnom Penh Travel Guide


8. Silk Island

Learn more about the traditional silk wavering process on Koh Dach in Phnom Penh. The perfect getaway from the city center to lift up your mood after visiting the genocide center and killing field. You can hire a tuk-tuk to Japanese bridge to cross the ferry to Silk Island that located on the bank of Mekong river. Experience the friendly yet authentic of Khmer’s life in slow pace in a laid back island


Tips: The ferry ride will cost around 10USD. Most of the hotels will offer a TukTuk ride including ferry that will cost around 30USD (2ways)

9. Phnom Penh Independence Monument

The independence symbol of Cambodia from France was built in 1958. The Angkor style monument locate in the heart of Phnom Penh city center, surrounded by the big open park and fountains. A proud Khmer’s landmark that it’s hard to miss

10. Bassac Lane

The night couldn’t complete without a drink or two. If Pub Street in Siem Reap is where people go for pub crawl, Bassac Lane in Phnom Penh is perfect for it. The street is full places for drinking, dining, buying clothes and accessories, classic cocktail bars or even Salsa dance

How To Visit Phnom Penh

Traveling To Phnom Penh

As Phnom Penh is a capital city of Cambodia, both international and domestic flight will take place in Phnom Penh International Airport


Tips: The airport located around 12km from city center, you can hire a taxi or call Grab car, TukTuk that will take around 30mins drive

Traveling in Phnom Penh

Grab is widely used in Phnom Penh and available until very late at night. Most of the attractions are within the city center, you can choose to walk, take a grab, hire a TukTuk or rent a motorcycle (normally will cost around 10USD per day)

The traffic is a bit challenging, so please pay attention to the motorcycles around you (if you drove in Vietnam before, Cambodia is a piece of cake)


Tips: Choeung Ek Genocidal Center and Silk Island is quite far from the city center, it will take around 30mins drive. Plan a trip early in the morning would be wise, as the weather in the afternoon is quite hot and dry

Traveling to Phnom Penh

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Where To Stay in Phnom Penh

Consider ‘The Independence Monument’ as a center, choose the place to stay around that area will be very easy to get around. Phnom Penh offers a wide-range of accommodation from budget to luxury, decorated in Khmer style, modern or even in French colonial architecture

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