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Top 12 Places To Visit In Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This sprawling capital, spread out beside the banks of both the Tonlé Sap and Mekong Rivers, is a city of wide central boulevards and skinny back alleys, where modern and old collide.

The Royal Palace complex is the city's must-do, but for anyone interested in exploring Cambodia's 20th-century history, Phnom Penh is also a vital stop, for it is home to two of the country's most sobering sites.

Here are the Top 12 Places to Visit in Phnom Penh, which are worth visiting on a Phnom Penh trip:

1. Royal Palace

The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are the most popular sights in the city. The compound in which these ornamental buildings lie is situated on the riverfront.

The Royal Palace serves as the King's residence and is used as a venue for court ceremonies. The Silver Pagoda or the Wat Preah Keo Morokat is a unique temple and is mostly known for its silver floor tiles. The Royal Palace compound also has a few couples of other Royal buildings having their own significance.

2. National Museum

The National Museum of Cambodia is located in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is the largest and the central museum in the country, consisting of more than 15,000 collections depicting various periods in Cambodia's history. If you are interested in history, you will enjoy getting to know the past with these massive collections. It is a highly recommended attraction for tourists while traveling in Phnom Penh.

3. Tuol Sleng Museum

The visiting experience is made even more visceral by the displayed photographic evidence hanging on the walls of the sparse cells next to empty beds. S-21 was exceedingly well-managed by Comrade Duch (the head of the prison) who made sure that extensive records were kept. As the prison was hastily abandoned when the Vietnamese took Phnom Penh in 1979, the detailed notes and photographs have survived.

4. Wat Phnom

This is one of the city's most important Buddhist temples and is often bustling with locals leaving offerings here and praying at the various shrines that surround the main sanctuary. The first religious building on this spot is thought to have been constructed in the 14th century and has been rebuilt several times, with the current main temple sanctuary dating from 1926.

5. Wat Ounalom

The most important temple complex in Cambodia, Wat Ounalom is the headquarters of Buddhism in the country. A stupa within the complex contains one of the Buddha's eyebrow hairs. The wat was first situated here in 1443 and although it suffered considerable damage during the Khmer Rouge era, with many of its statues and religious iconography destroyed, it is thriving again today.

6. Independence Monument

The patch of grass that intersects Sihanouk and Norodom Boulevards is home to Phnom Penh's Independence Monument, built to celebrate Cambodia's independence from French colonial rule in 1953. The sandstone structure represents an Angkorian temple, intricately decorated with nagas (multi-headed snakes).

7. Silver Pagoda

Silver Pagoda is a beautiful temple located next to the Royal Palace in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This temple is known for more than 5000 excellent intricately-decorated silver tiles adorning the floor of the central complex. It is one of the highly recommended attractions to visit in Siem Reap for its cultural value, grandeur, and elegant architecture.

8. Cambodian Living Arts

Cambodian Living Arts is an institute performing cultural shows in the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This private institute is a famous attraction among the tourists visiting the capital city for its vibrant, impressive dance performances that depict Cambodian heritage and culture narrated by a combination of storytelling with traditional art, dance, and music. It is highly recommended to visit the center while traveling in Phnom Penh.

9. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) is a wildlife center located to the south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is the largest zoo in the country consisting of over 1200 animals of more than 100 species and is among the top attractions. More than 2 million tourists visit Phnom Tamao every year. If you want to experience Cambodian wildlife in their natural habitats, this is a highly recommended attraction to visit while traveling in Phnom Penh.

10. Phnom Penh Sunset Boat Tours

A sunset boat tour is one of the great tourist activities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Blessed with the rich Mekong river surrounded by dense mangrove forests abundant in local wildlife and flora, a boat tour along in the evening offers incredible sunset views. A 2 to 3 hours typical boat tour takes travelers past the thriving wetlands in the Mekong, passing through traditional Cambodian villages practicing fishing, farming, weaving, and pottery. You will enjoy the lush green paddy and rice fields lined with palm trees, and watch local Khmer life up close, along with soaking in the vibrant hues of sunset. The tours offer complimentary drinks and snacks. Some of the trips also include dining by the river along with additional music and dance performances.

11. Russian Market

Phnom Penh's chaotic and lively Russian Market hums with local life and produces some great shopping opportunities as well. You'll find everything here from tacky souvenirs (much made in neighboring Thailand rather than locally produced) to beautifully-made local wooden handicrafts and Cambodian silks, along with bundles of stalls selling exceedingly cheap clothing.

12. The Night Market in Phnom Penh

The Night Market is located on the riverfront close to downtown Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. This local night market open only during the weekends is a famous attraction for the Cambodians as well as tourists who come to enjoy a cold night by the riverfront tasting local street food and beer, to shop for cheap clothes, souvenirs, and local jewelry. For tourists visiting Phnom Penh, exploring the local night market is a way of experiencing a Cambodian way of local life more than a destination for shopping.

Besides these, there is much more to explore in Phnom Penh!!!

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