Phnom Penh, an emerging city of Asia once dubbed The Peal of Asia, is the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, is situated where the Mekong, Bassac, and Tonle Sap rivers converge.
The city is split into three distinct areas:
- The north, a lovely residential neighborhood
- The south, or French sector of the city, with its government buildings, banks, and colonial homes
- The center, or the heart, with its winding streets, markets, shops and eateries.
The city has seen enormous development over the past few years; enterprises are continuously sprouting up, and tourism is once more booming.
In order to further encourage investment, Cambodia has one of the most lenient investment regulations.
As a result, the country has managed to maintain its beauty and character, as evidenced by its people, who are usually smiling, its vast boulevards, ancient colonial buildings, parks, and green areas.
THE ROYAL PALACE
The Royal Palace, which was constructed on the site of the 1813-built Banteay Kev fortress, is only a short distance from the Tonle Sap and includes –
- The Prasat Tevea Vinichhay Throne Room, which is used for royal coronations, state receptions, and traditional ceremonies
- The Chan Chhaya Pavilion, which serves as a location for dance performances
- The Khemarin, the king’s official residence; the Napoleon Pavilion; and the magnificent Silver Pagoda
It’s worth exploring this pagoda. The 5,000 silver tiles, each weighing one kilogram, that cover the whole floor are what gave it its name.
The monument was erected in 1958 as a representation of Cambodia’s 1953 independence from France.
Following their defeat at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in May 1954 by the Vietnamese, the French completely gave up on their interests in Indochina.
On November 9, Cambodia celebrates its independence. The monument, which also serves as a memorial to Cambodian patriots who gave their lives for their nation, has an unusual and odd design.
Immediately north of the Royal Palace is an elegant, traditional-style terracotta building that houses the National Museum of Cambodia.
It was erected between 1917 and 1920. Entry costs $10 and is available every day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Inside, photography is not allowed. The headquarters of the École des Beaux-arts are located in a building behind the main structure.
Wat Phnom, located in the northeast of the city on a 30-meter-high hill covered in trees, is another place you might like to visit.
According to legend, the first pagoda was constructed in 1373 to house four Buddha sculptures that had been left here by the Mekong River.
Penh was the person who found it. As a result, Phnom Penh means “the hill of Penh”.
The locals consider this temple to be powerful because they think that anyone who makes a wish will be given one.
It is not surprising to see a large number of people come here to pray for healing or protection. As offerings for prayers being answered, many people bring lotus blossoms.
A little zoo is located at the base of the hill, but its cutest inhabitants are the monkeys that live above your head.
TUOL SLENG MUSEUM
When Pol Pot’s security forces took control of Tuol Svay Prey High School in 1975, they converted it into Security Prison 21. (S-21).
It quickly rose to the status of the largest detention and torture facility in the nation. Detainees who pass away as a result of torture are buried in mass graves on the grounds of the prison.
Over 17,000 persons who were imprisoned at S-21 were sent to the Choeung Ek extermination camp to be killed.
CHEUNG EK KILLING FIELDS
Between 1975 and 1978, around 17,000 people who had been imprisoned and subjected to torture at S-21 prison (now Tuol Sleng Museum).
Among them were nine Westerners, moved to be exterminated to death in order to save valuable ammunition.
NEW CENTRAL MARKET
It is imperative to pay a visit to the markets and market halls since they provide an opportunity to learn about the local produce of the nation and to purchase textiles, antiques, gold, and silver jewelry.
There are several stalls offering gold and silver jewelry, antique coins, clothing, clocks, flowers, food, textiles, shoes, and luggage along the four wings of the Central Market’s yellow structure.
TUOL TOM PONG (RUSSIAN) MARKET
Go to the Tuol Tom Pong Market, sometimes referred to as the Russian Market, for some excellent paintings or if you prefer antiques.
A word of warning, though: you need hone your haggling abilities because the pricing in this area can be absurdly exorbitant.