So many people know about Cambodia because of Angkor Wat and ancient Cambodian temples and ruins. The major contribution towards its popularity among travellers goes to the Phnom Penh which is the biggest and most prosperous city of Cambodia. Being the cultural centre, Phnom Penh is also the tourism hub of this country. There are countless things which made Phnom Penh renowned across the globe that’s the reason it since recognised as the “Pearl of Asia” and the most enchanting french built cities.
Yes, a lot more said in its behalf, lets quickly put some light on this glorious city of Cambodia and discuss all it travel aspects so that this year you should consider it in next travel bucket list.
A Quick Insight of Phnom Penh
The cheerful and vibrant Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s heartbeat. Spread out along the banks of both the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, this bustling capital is a city of broad central walkways and thin narrow streets, where both new and old blends together. It is also a pivotal destination for anyone interested in exploring Cambodia’s 20th-century past since it is home to two of the most iconic sites in the world.
Being the capital city, it houses some of the remarkable places to explore such as the Art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace, Beautiful Silver Pagoda and extensive cultural and historical attractions for travellers from all over the world. However, apart from travel allure, this bustling city offers diverse dining options as well as vibrant and varied nightlife to enjoy to the fullest.
Big Attractions & Famous Things to do at Phnom Peh
Phnom Penh offers plenty of things to see and do – you’ll often be surprised when making a stop in the Cambodian capital. Those who don’t make a stop off in Phnom Penh will often miss out on so many interesting historical, cultural and environmental attractions in the city.
Visit Iconic Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
The Royal Palace is a Khmer-style Throne Hall and it is the major landmark of Phnom Penh. This palace was constructed in 1866 to serve as the residency of the King of Cambodia and his family. Thus this royal palace is a symbol of the Kingdom. The Emerald Buddha of Royal Palace is the most revered icon at the Phnom Penh and is constructed of Baccarat crystal dating back to the 17th century.
The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are set adjacent to each other showcasing astonishing Khmer architecture encircled with lush greenery. The highlight is its spired-roof pavilions of the complex and its divine ambience which it offers to travellers.
The Silver Pagoda is renowned for being the abode of an enormous statue of 90 kg of Gold Buddha adorned with thousands of diamonds. The Silver Pagoda survived the Khmer Rouge reign’s ruthless devastation and thus still contains some beautiful artefacts.
The inner ceiling of the wall depicts the Cambodian epic poem, the Reamker, that is based on the tale of Ramayana, the Indian mythology. In 1962, King Sihanouk widened the old wooden Pagoda and adorned its floor with 5,329 silver tiles thus it named as Silver Pagoda.
Learn Cambodian History at the National Museum
As you are on the cultural trip, so visiting the National Museum of Cambodia is a must for you. In this museum, you can find the cultural side of Cambodian history dating back to the 4th century. In 1920 the museum was opened as the Musee Albert Sarraut in French Colonial Age, with an impressive red sandstone building as you can see in below image.
It is a fine example of traditional Khmer architecture. There are over 15,000 fascinating displays, each of them is either of bronze and wood sculptures, many ceramic artefacts, ethnographic and stones, organized from the various medieval era, also pre-Angkor and after Angkor time. Besides this, you can also check out impressive shows, including Lord Vishnu’s eight-armed statue from the 6th century. Visiting this national museum is a must-visit for everyone if you love exploring Cambodian history.
Snap Your Picture With Independence Monument
The Independence Monument is an iconic landmark in the centre of the city centre of Phnom Penh. Known today as Vimean Ekareach, this means the liberation of Cambodia from the French who colonized the nation between 1863 and 1953. National festivals such as Independence Day and Constitution Day and other functions are organised here and visitors can also take part in the thriving celebrations.
The best time to visit on most days is at night since the Independence Monument and its surroundings are illuminated by blue, red and white floodlights. The structure in sandstone is a temple of Angkor, furnished with Nagas. After that, you can also take a stroll from the monument to the lush green Wat Botum Park,
Enjoy Cruise Ride at the Mekong River
If you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh and venture into a state of peace and serenity, Mekong river is where to go. Around 15 km north of the city centre, the island is located. Phnom Penh is a riverine town, and one of the most relaxing ways to go sightseeing in the city is by cruise rides.
From the riverfront between 5 pm and 7.30 pm, there are frequent sunset cruise tourist boat departures going along the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. Apart from this, you can also hire a private boat nearby to get out on the water at any time of the day. This is a perfect way to get away for an hour from the busy motorbike streets and soak up in serene ambience.
Escape to Oudongk Town
In Cambodia, at the base of Phnom Udong Mountain, northwest of Phnom Penh, Oudong /Oudongk town is situated. From the 17th to the 19th centuries, it was the site of the royal capital. It is dotted with stupas and shrines dedicated to former kings. The destination offers an escape to the rural countryside with the hilltop overlooking vast plains
This site is also famous for cultural heritage and simple to reach and inexpensive for a day trip. You can easily appreciate history, culture and nature. The natural scenery makes a nice change from the crowded streets of the city and it is a perfect place to take it easy and slow down the pace of the game by a few notches.
Capture Cambodian Live Arts Performance
Traditional Khmer classical dance originated in Cambodia’s royal courts and now become the prominent highlight of Phnom Penh. There are a few theatres shows in Broadway across Cambodia today where costumed dancers adopted this elegant dance form to recreate epic poetry and legends. Many localities and tourists from worldwide enjoy these art performances.
If you’re in Phnom Phen, witness Cambodian Living Arts is the ideal way to see this first-hand dance show tour. The tour begins at the Phnom Penh National Museum, where you can explore the gardens and see beautiful examples of Khmer architecture and sculpture.
So what are you waiting for? I think for a cultural trip this Phnom Penh will do justice your itinerary.