Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and truly one of the undiscovered gems of Asia, the city is a metropolis that manages to hold onto its enchanting history. There is no other place in the world like it, and there is something for everyone in the vibrant city.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Cambodia then the best time to visit is from November to March. If you prefer to dodge the crowds and go when prices are lower, the best time to visit Cambodia is from May to early October.
Top Places to Visit in Phnom Penh
1. Wat Phnom
The town’s only hill, Wat Phnom, has a storied history. Local legend maintains that pagodas were first built on the tree-covered knoll in 1373 to house Buddha statues washed up by the Mekong River. Visitors can explore the storied area only by climbing a grand staircase guarded by mythical serpents and lion statue.
2. Royal Palaces
The city’s skyline is dominated by the Royal Palace. Its ornate gilding and classic roofs are stunning examples of Cambodian architecture, and the protective walls hide soaring ceremonial buildings and lush gardens.
3. Silver Pagoda
Inside the complex of Royal Palace, lies the Silver Pagoda, whose floor is covered with more than five tons of the precious metal. A Buddha made of Baccarat crystal sits on a golden pedestal, and another solid-gold Buddha is displayed nearby. The statue glitters with over 2,000 diamonds, some of which weigh up to 25 carats. Bronze and gold figurines outline the story of the religious figure’s life, and miniature relics from Sri Lanka are displayed in glass cases.
4. Phnom Tamao
Visitors can get up close and personal with many of Cambodia’s most interesting animal species at Phnom Tamao, the city’s zoo and safari park. It is one of the best animal sanctuaries in the region, and the animals are enclosed in large natural habitats. The tiger population is thriving, elephants sometimes show off their painting skills for visitors and the walk-through area is teeming with rare birds and macaques. The sanctuary also boasts one of the largest collections of Malaysian sun bears and pileated gibbons in captivity.
5. The Phnom Chisor Temple Complex
Less extravagant but still stunning. The Phnom Chisor temple complex is definitely worth exploring. The brick and laterite main temple is surrounded by the ruins of a windowed gallery, and inscriptions from the 11th century can still be seen on the walls. Visitors enter through carved wooden doors to view many statues of the Buddha.
Other sights worth seeing in the capital include the sanctuaries of Sen Thmol,Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, the French Embassy, the ruins of the Vihear Preah Ath Roes, the seated Buddha at Vihear Preah Ko, the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which offers more information about Khmer Rouge crimes, the Ta San Mosque, the Independence Monument, the graceful National Library and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to an outstanding collection of Khmer sculpture.