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7 places to visit in Phnom Penh city
Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is a must-visit destination when you travel to the country. It offers a variety of magical things to do and places to visit, from historical sites to luxurious restaurants and hotels. With so much to offer, I have selected the following favorites that you should not miss as a tourist:
The Royal Palace is a must-visit during your stay in Phnom Penh. It provides you with a unique perspective on how the Cambodian monarchy has ruled and become the symbol of the Khmer people. Inside, you will see an exhibition of Cambodian culture and tradition that dates back thousands of years, specially guided by royal tour guides. One highlight is the Silver Pagoda, where you can witness exquisite craftsmanship in royal jewels, traditional royal gowns, and more, including culinary masterpieces. You can also see beautiful wall paintings and various stupas of kings.
National Museum of Cambodia
Just a 2-minute walk from the Royal Palace, you can visit the National Museum of Cambodia, where you can again see through the history of the Cambodian people from the very beginning through inscriptions on stone. You can spend about 2-3 hours exploring the museum, depending on your level of interest.
The Independence Monument is an important landmark in Cambodia, signifying the day that the Cambodian people gained independence from French colonization, which had ruled the country since 1863. This monument was built to celebrate Independence Day, which is celebrated annually on November 9th. The building is extremely significant and stands out, so you should not miss visiting it and learning about its history.
King Sihanouk Statue
Just to the east of the Independence Monument is a statue of the late King Sihanouk, the hero and father of independent Cambodia. The late King was beloved by generations of Cambodian people for his heroic actions in fighting against the French for independence and for building Cambodia during the rise and fall of geopolitical wars in the 1970s.
Wat Phnom Historical Site
Wat Phnom is like the Central Park of Phnom Penh, but it is also recognized as the birthplace of the city. There is a pagoda called Phnom Daun Penh, which is the only hill in the city. It is believed to have been built by an old woman named Daun Penh, who lived by the river since 1372 after she discovered five Buddha statues inside a log. She built this hill as a sanctuary for the five Buddha statues before there was any significant development in the area, such as the King Stupa of King Punhea Yat, who arrived and built the city in 1434.
S-21 and Choeung Ek
These two places are must-visits when you are in Phnom Penh. They offer a great opportunity to learn about the recent history of the Cambodian people, who lived through the darkest era of their existence, when about half of the well-educated, healthy, and young professional population was killed during the Khmer Rouge regime. Visiting these two genocide museums will help you understand how the Cambodian people are trying to rebuild and recover from this recent and devastating regime.
You can book the Phnom Penh tour with us.