The Capital of Kingdom of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is located 314 km southwest of Siem Reap, Kingdom of Wonder and lies on the confluence of three rivers –The Mekong River, Bassac River, and Tonle Sap. The city consists in many French colonial remains, ministries and banks at the south part of the city.
Over a past few years, the main city has been developed remarkably –commercial activities are springing up sustainably and tourism is one again booming. Nowadays, due to its economic stability Phnom Penh has become a home for about 2 million residents. Although Phnom Penh is the most populated city, it is more traffic at the heart of the city only and all tourism attractions are a bit of town so tourists can visit them any part of the day as they are listed below:
Royal Palace was erected in 1866, is now located on the site of Banteay Kev, a citadel founded in 1813. Royal Palace contains a couple building –First the Kings' coronation room called Prasat Tevea Vinichay and also the room for official reception and traditional ceremonies. Another room is the Chan Chaya Pavilion a venue for dance performances. Next is the King's official residence called Khemarin, the architecturally incongruous Napoleon III Pavilion. Final building is the Silver Pagoda, a worth visiting hall. It is also known as the 5,000 silver tiles weighing 1kg each which cover the entire floor.
Entry Fee: $3.00/person, $2.00/camera, $5.00/video camera.
Time to visit: Open everyday, 7:30am-11:00am / 2:00pm-5:00pm.
The Phnom Penh National Museum is the largest museum of Cambodia located north of the Royal Palace. The National Museum is the secondary attraction after Royal Palace. The museum is housed in a graceful terracotta structure of traditionally architectural design. It was built in 1917 and inaugurated for public in1920. On display inside are more than 5,000 works of art, ranging from the 7th to the 13th century. Treasures include sculptures, 19th century dance costumes, royal barges and palanquins. Visitors can rest by the peaceful, palm-shaded central courtyard and lotus ponds and contemplate one of Asia's riches cultures.
Entry Fee: $3.00/person
Time to visit: Open everyday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
Wat Choeung Ek is known as the major killing field of Cambodia during Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979). This violated killing field is the site of the brutal executions of about 8982 men, women and children, most of whom had first suffered through interrogation, torture and deprivation in the S-21 Prison (now the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum) in Phnom Penh. The Choeung Ek Memorial is a mass grave containing 86 holes. The most remarkable holes are the first hole for beheaded men, the second one is for men with heads on and the third one is for women and children. Now thousands of human skulls and long bones are on display at The Choeung Ek Memorial Monument. The memorial is about a 40 minute drive from down town.
Entry Fee: $2.00/person
Time to visit: Open everyday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
Set on top of a 27 meter-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 Lady Penh. Hence the city name Phnom Penh or 'hill of Penh'.
The main entrance to Wat Phnom is via the grand eastern staircase, which is guarded by lions and naga (mythical serpent) balustrades. Today, many people come here to pray for good luck and success in school exams or business affairs. When a wish is granted, the faithful return to deliver on the offering promised, such as a garland of jasmine flowers or a bunch of bananas (of which the spirits are said to be especially fond).
The vihara (temple sanctuary) was rebuilt in 1434, 1806, 1894 and 1926. West of the vihara is a huge stupa containing the ashes of King Ponhea Yat (r 1405–67). In a pavilion on the southern side of the passage between the vihara and the stupa is a statue of a smiling and rather plump Penh. A bit to the north of and below the vihara is an eclectic shrine dedicated to the genie Preah Chau, who is especially revered by the Vietnamese. On either side of the entrance to the central altar are guardian spirits bearing iron bats. In the chamber to the right of the statue are drawings of Confucius, as well as two Chinese-style figures of the sages Thang Cheng (on the right) and Thang Thay (on the left).