Located on the confluence of Tonle Sap and Mekong river, Phnom Penh is the largest city and thecapital of Cambodia. Since the days of French Colonization, this city has grown in importance to become Cambodia’s center of cultural heritage, politics and diplomacy and trade.
Along with Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Koh Rong island, Phnom Penh is a major tourist hub in Cambodia. So if you are planning a visit to Southeast Asia, this city is a must visit place. Below are 10 reasons to travel to Phnom Penh:
1. The Picture Perfect Countryside – 20 minutes out of the city, a beautiful lush green countryside awaits your exploration.
2. Cheap food – There are hundreds of food cuts in Phnom Penh. Sample fresh fruits, fried noodles, boiled cocoons or grasshoppers.
3. Fantastic Massage – Massage offered here are cheaper than the ones offered in Thailand and better than the ones administered in Vietnam
4. Marvallous Museums: Tuol Sleng and Cheoung Ek museums – In the late 70’s about 2 to 3 million citizens of Cambodia were murdered by the oppressive Khmer Rouge regime. Their collective memory is stored at the Tuol Sleng and Cheoung Ek Museums.
The National Museum – The beautiful items on display here date as early as 12th century. They include; sculptures, textiles, pottery, bronze items, ceramics etc.
5. The Royal Palace – The 1860’s Khmer architectural masterpiece lies pretty in the heart of the city. The Buddha Statues, the Temple of Emerald Buddha, 4,000 silver tiles, golden temple nagas display the grandness of the Khmer royalty.
Image: travel to Cambodia
6. Wat Phnom – This is the temple from which the city takes its name. Wat Phnom means (Temple in a Hill) while Phnom Penh means Penh’s Hill. Legend has it that the temple was built in 1373. It is where the locals meet for the Pchum Ben Festival (festival of the dead).
7. A friendly people – After suffering the Khmer atrocities in the 70’s, this country’s psyche was deeply wounded. The citizenry is keen to move on. They will treat you like a great friend wherever you find them in the streets, bars, cafes, restaurants etc.
8. The wow transport – To get around the city, you use tuk tuks, motorbikes, cycle rickshaws etc. You will enjoy the best views of the city.
9. Heavily discounted 5-star hotel – For less than US$50, you can stay in a 5-star hotel with all the amenities you can think of.