Phnom Penh, capital city of Cambodia, is by far the largest and most developed city in the country. While life in the Cambodian provinces has real third-world feel (Siem Reap aside, perhaps) Phnom Penh is very much a modern Southeast Asian city, with all the sights, sounds and smells that implies - street vendors selling noodles outside of multinational banks, beautiful gilded pagodas and shrines set in areas of heart-rending poverty, chic boutiques side by side with counterfeit DVD sellers.
Phnom Penh Tourist Attractions
Phnom Penh's most famous draws are the Khmer Rouge sites - the Tuol Sleng (S-21) prison and killing fields at Choeung Ek. These are an uncomfortable reminder of the trauma that Cambodia has been through in our lifetimes, and they are not easy sites to visit, and some visitors choose to avoid these illustrations of the Khmer Rouge's "government" of Cambodia.
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, offers some truly beautiful views of happier times in Cambodia's recent history, and the views of the Palace (which is still in use by the Royal Family) and the Silver Pagoda are stunning.
Visitors to the National Museum should also take the opportunity to visit the many boutiques along Street 178 - while there is much that is the "same same" as in any tourist shop, there are real gems to be found. Start your dive training here, before heading to Sihanoukville to complete your Open Water qualifications, take the family to the Ta Mao wildlife sanctuary or see traditional shadow puppets - investigate our Phnom Penh Tourist Attractions pages for more inspiration and information.
Phnom Penh Hotel Accommodation
Phnom Penh now boasts a small number of luxury hotels. Familiar international names such as Sofitel (opening late 2010), Raffles and InterContinental as well as local 5* hotels such as the Las Vegas-style NagaWorld hotel and entertainment complex. For those favouring a more intimate feel, then a range of luxury and mid-range boutique hotels include the Amanjaya Pancam, or the family-friendly Kabiki.
Phnom Penh Travel Tips
Visiting Phnom Penh, like any large capital city, it can be difficult to find the best places, the places that the locals go to. Whether you want the best in boutique shopping, or where to find the best Western food after your weeks of living like a local in Asia - our travel tips can help you. The best Phnom Penh shopping, restaurants, bars and massage - all in our opinion, of course.