If you have done some research before finalising the decision to travel to Phnom Penh, you will know that the city of Phnom Penh offers extensive cultural and historical attractions. The sad history that is attached to some of Phnom Penh's attractions is what makes the city even more worth exploring. Another highlight of Phnom Penh is the few surviving French colonial buildings which were built during the late 19th century. Phnom Penh was even referred to as "The Pearl of Asia" due to this reason. Also being the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is one of the three most visited cities in Cambodia besides Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.
Phnom Penh International Airport serves as the country's main international gateway. The airport has two terminal buildings, one for the international and the other for domestic operations. More than 20 airlines operate in the Phnom Penh airport, including Philippine Airlines. There will be some traffic getting to the airport, so it is advised to go there earlier. Do not worry if you have some time to kill, the Phnom Penh International Airport caters to several restaurants and a bar, as well as a Monuments book store, U Care pharmacy and a handful of boutiques that sell handicrafts, clothes and electrical items.
For budget-minded travellers, Phnom Penh is a travel destination that will not burn a hole in your pocket. Plus, if you play your cards right, you can save even more on flight fares. Be sure to survey for flight fares on Traveloka. The Traveloka website functions as a one-stop search engine for all your pre-travel necessities including bookings for your flights, hotels, airport transfers and more.
Weather is pleasant from November to January with the temperature being the highest at only approximately 30°C. However, starting from February the temperature begins to rise, and by March the temperature gets up to 35°C - 38°C daily making it scorching hot. If you plan to travel during this period, make sure always to be UV protected and stay hydrated. Then it is followed by the rainy season. Unpredictable rains and thunderstorms should be expected during the rainy season and occasionally, there are massive downpours that can subject to major flooding, making parts of the city inaccessible. Also, the city's drainage system is distinctly lacking so you can expect floods whether it’d be major or not.
1. Cambodian Genocide – The sad history that is attached to Cambodia is something that we should reflect on and be thankful for the peace that has washed over the country today. To pay respect and honour the genocide victims during the Khmer Rouge era in the 1970s, monuments and memorials have been built and preserved as a point of interest for those visiting Cambodia. These places are the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Memorial (The Killing Fields). Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was previously a high school which was converted into a concentration camp. The buildings at Tuol Sleng has been preserved and you can see the displays of thousands of photographs of genocide victims, torture tools used for integration, prison partitions and a lot more. Choeung Ek Memorial also known as The Killing Fields is a memorial, marked by a Buddhist stupa. It was on these grounds where the Khmer Rouge regime executed over one million people between the year 1975 and 1979. Here you can see the stupa which has acrylic glass sides and is filled with more than 5,000 human skulls.
2. Phnom Penh Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda – In 1866, the Khmer-style Throne Hall was built to serve as the residence of the King of Cambodia, his family and foreign dignitaries. The palace is surrounded by exquisite gardens and architecture thus making it a very picturesque destination. Moreover, the Silver Pagoda which is located on the south side of the Royal Palace has its floors inlaid with 5,329 solid silver tiles, giving it its famous name. The temple is home to many national treasures including Buddha statues made from gold and decorated with jewels.
3. Chaul Chnam Thmey – Chaul Chnam Thmey is the Cambodian New Year which is celebrated for three days every year during April 13th to 15th. This festival marks the turn of the year based on the ancient Khmer calendar and also marks the end of the prior year harvest. Chaul Chnam Thmey is an occasion that is increasingly popular with tourists mainly because of the unique party atmosphere whereby water gets thrown around along with dancing and music.