Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s bustling capital, is located in the center of the country. It’s a terrific place to start your Cambodian travels because it’s home to some of the country’s most important cultural and historical monuments.
This travel guide to Phnom Penh will help you plan your journey whether you’re traveling for a weekend or as part of a backpacking tour around Cambodia.
Things to do in Phnom Penh, where to stay, eat and how to get there. Hanoi Voyages will take you around Phnom Penh to discover this.
The best time to visit Phnom Penh, Cambodia, largely depends on your weather preferences and the type of activities you want to pursue. Phnom Penh experiences a tropical monsoon climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.
The best time to visit Phnom Penh is during the dry season, particularly from November to February, when the weather is most comfortable for exploring the city and its attractions. Keep in mind that Cambodia’s climate can be unpredictable, so it’s advisable to check the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared for some variation in weather conditions, especially if you visit during the transition months of May and October.
Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, offers a mix of historical, cultural, and modern attractions. Here are some things to do in Phnom Penh:
The National Museum of Cambodia houses the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture, spanning millennia of outstanding Khmer design. It is housed in a charming terracotta structure of classical architecture (constructed between 1917 and 1920), close north of the Royal Palace, with an appealing courtyard garden.
Visit the Royal Palace with traditional Khmer architecture. The Royal Palace is a complex of buildings that serves as the principal residence of the King, Queen, and the royal family. It is a major site to see in Phnom Penh.
Visitors can still explore parts of the palace compound, including the ceremonial Throne Room, the ornate gardens and the Chan Chhaya Pavilion. The highlight, however, has to be the Silver Pagoda, an extravagant structure with a floor made out of five tonnes of silver.
* It is especially very crowded on Sundays when the Palace sees its highest visitor numbers. Please choose carefully the best time for your trip !
Situated within the Royal Palace compound in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. It’s a significant cultural and religious site in the country. The Silver Pagoda is named after the stunning silver tiles that cover the temple’s floor. The floor contains over 5,000 silver tiles, which together weigh several tons.
The Silver Pagoda is a prominent example of Khmer architecture, characterized by its tiered roofs, ornate carvings, and richly decorated interiors. The temple houses many important Buddha statues, including a life-sized gold Buddha statue known as the Emerald Buddha of Cambodia. This statue is made of Baccarat crystal and adorned with over 9,000 diamonds. There are also many other Buddha images and relics on display.
*You should dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees. It’s also customary to remove your shoes before entering the temple. The site is open to the public, and guided tours are often available.
Stroll through the Central Market , selling jewelry, electronics, antiques, spices, clothing and souvenirs, alongside just about everything else under the sun.
The historic art deco Central Market, located in the center of Phnom Penh, is a terrific spot to witness the hustle and bustle of Cambodian life.
While the entrance is adorned with tourist-oriented kiosks, a peek inside reveals a tangle of sellers offering everything from clothing to electronics. Make sure to haggle here! A wet market and food court on the outskirts are bustling with folks enjoying breakfast every day.
The S-21 prison is one of more than 200 secret prisons in Cambodia where people have been imprisoned, tortured, and murdered.
In the four years that the Khmer Rouge regime ruled over Cambodia, over three million people died. Peopled died either by torture or murder in these secret prisons and killing fields, or from starvation in the fields. Somewhere between 12,000 and 20,000 Cambodians were housed in the S-21 prison, and only 12 survived.
* See the photos of their dead bodies hanging above the metal beds where they were tortured, and hear horrendous stories of all that went on here.
The Choeung Ek Genocidal Center is the most well-known of the killing fields. As you wander around the property, you’ll have an audio guide to explain what exactly you are looking at. You’ll hear stories from survivors. You’ll see the tree where children were picked up by their feet and then swung into the massive trunk, head first, killing them in front of their mothers. And you can see bits of clothing and bone fragments in the dirt all along the path.
Sitting on a 27 meter-high lush meadow with scattered trees is Wat Phnom, a pagoda that’s said to have first been built within the 1300’s. Climb the wide staircase lined with Buddha statues and lions and you’ll be met with a conventional sanctuary with an exceptional reason.
Domestic to 4 statues of Buddha, Wat Phnom presently serves as a put for nearby school kids to implore Buddha for great marks on their school exams and for gamblers to implore for great luck within the casino. Attempt it out for yourself- it couldn’t be harmed.
Go all out with an extravagant 2-hour encounter counting a body scour with Himalayan salts, a smell rub, and a scalp rub.
For the “Royal Indulgence”, spend 3 hours with a homegrown steam treatment, a body scour, a Balinese knead, and a revival facial.
There are Khmer Massages, detox treatments, and even massages for babies. This place does it all for great prices, in a truly serene environment and by professional relaxation specialists.
The Mekong River and the Tonle Sap River converge right near the touristy area of Phnom Penh and watching a sunset on the water is something you must do in Phnom Penh.
Boats leave twice a day from Monday to Sunday:
If you are wondering about things to do in Phnom Penh before catching that late evening flight, a trip to Independence Monument should top your list of things to do in Phnom Penh near the airport. Built to mark Cambodian independence from French rule, the monument is a surreal sight, right in the heart of Phnom Penh city. The panels and nagas of the seven-tiered memorial are an immortalization of Khmer architecture.
When choosing a hotel in Phnom Penh, consider your budget, preferred location, and the amenities you desire. Keep in mind that the city has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels, so you can find something that suits your needs. It’s advisable to read recent reviews and check for updated information before making a reservation. In this article, we will answer your questions about the best 5-star hotels in Phnom Penh.
Nestled in the heart of Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. Sofitel is a renowned French luxury hotel brand, and Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra exemplifies the brand’s commitment to elegance, sophistication, and exceptional service. Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra is not only a luxurious place to stay but also a destination in itself, offering a perfect blend of French sophistication and Khmer warmth. Whether you’re traveling for business, leisure, or a special occasion, this hotel promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Cambodia’s vibrant capital.
Rosewood Phnom Penh is conveniently located in the middle of Phnom Penh, just a few steps from Vattanac Capital. Every visitor at the 5-star facility gets access to a fitness center and can enjoy river views from their rooms. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk and currency exchange for guests. Each room at the hotel has a closet, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. Some units at Rosewood Phnom Penh have city views, and all rooms have a coffee machine. The facility serves an American breakfast every day. There is an on-site restaurant serving a range of Asian dishes.
The Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh is the capital’s newest five-star luxury hotel, strategically located in the middle of the city. The 247 revitalizing rooms and suites appeal to both business and leisure travelers, with innovative décor, sumptuous facilities, five distinctive dining experiences, nine multi-functional conference spaces, a 24-hour fitness facility, and the Regency Club.
The Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel is situated on the peninsula. The hotel is located across from the Royal Palace and around 13 kilometers from Phnom Penh International Airport. Sokha Phnom Penh presents the tranquil, less busy sides of the packed metropolis, with a stunning view of the stately Royal Palace, Chaktomuk River, and a vast sweeping vista of the pristine verdant rural beauty opposite of Phnom Penh center. The hotel has 523 big rooms starting at 52 square meters. All rooms have hardwood floors, spacious bathrooms with separate showers and bathtubs, a Japanese high-tech washlet, a 47-55-inch LCD TV, free wireless internet access, and a complimentary mini-bar.
As part of the Ibis Budget brand, this hotel offers budget-friendly accommodation options, making it suitable for travelers seeking comfortable lodgings without breaking the bank.
While Ibis Budget hotels provide a comfortable and budget-friendly stay, they don’t offer the same level of luxury or amenities as upscale hotels. However, they are a practical choice for travelers who prioritize affordability and a convenient location in the heart of Phnom Penh.
Phnom Phenh’s Raffles is a municipal institution that has been in operation since 1929. It is deeply exquisite and has many restored original features, as well as modern amenities such as blackout curtains, soundproofing, and a spa. The 175 rooms also provide classic comforts like silk bathrobes, claw-footed tubs, ceiling fans, and Raffles toiletries. Jackie Kennedy once stayed here, which is commemorated in the hotel’s cocktail, Femme Fatale, which was developed for her. This is available in the famed Elephant Bar, which also serves gin and afternoon tea. Then there’s Le Royal, the city’s only restaurant serving Khmer dishes from the Royal Family, as well as Cafe Monivong, the Writers Bar, and a poolside terrace for drinking and dining.
From traditional Khmer cuisine to foreign fare, Phnom Penh’s cuisine will leave you with lasting recollections. In this travel guide, we will look at some of the best cuisine and beverages to try while in this city.
Phnom Penh is known for its vibrant street food scene, where you can find a variety of delicious and affordable snacks. Some of the must-try street food items include Khmer noodles, grilled meat skewers, and fried bananas. You should check out the night markets for some of the best street food options.
Phnom Penh offers a diverse and vibrant dining scene, with options ranging from street food stalls to upscale restaurants.
This weirdly called Keralan restaurant dishes up colorful, chili-infused southern Indian cuisine — curries and thalis, with plenty of seafood — as well as beer, lassis, and south Indian and Malaysian-style teas. Sop it up with well-made Keralan-style roti, a flaky fried bread, and the Kadala curry, prepared with black chickpeas and studded with black mustard seed and curry leaf.
Come in for breakfast and have a fantastic dosa, a crisp, crepe-like pancake prepared from a lightly fermented rice and lentil batter with your choice of filling, a masala mixture of aromatic potatoes, onions, spices, and creamy ghee, or a couple of fried eggs.
54 Langeach Sros
Definitely one of Phnom Penh’s culinary bright spots, 54 Langeach Sros is a local Khmer-style barbeque and beer garden that serves a mean plate of ribs — tangy with a hint of sweetness and slightly spicy. Don’t bother ordering just one plate. The ribs can take a half-hour to arrive, but they’re always worth it. Goats with black ants, “fried fish on the fire lake” (a complicated dish that involves a whole deep-fried fish cooked at the table in a pool of coconut curry), and crab with young green pepper are all excellent and remarkably affordable. Many nights there’s often a live cover band. It’s worth a visit to get the full Cambodian experience.
Sovanna II used to be the second restaurant in the Sovanna empire, but now Sovanna I has been closed. Sovanna II is the newer, more upscale restaurant of the two, and the menu has something to offer just about everyone. Even though Sovanna II doesn’t have the dirty-beer-garden feel of the original, the food is still very good. The grilled beef and pork, tender, smokey and slightly sweet, are the standouts, but the Sngor Chrouk trey, fish soup with a lemongrass broth, lime juice, and fresh herbs, is not to be missed. Their menu has photographs and English translations, making this a good first Khmer BBQ experience for out-of-town visitors.
Kanji Japanese Restaurant on Sothearos Cambodian celebrity chef Luu Meng’s latest venture. The culinary delights at Topaz, like those at his other restaurants (Malis, Topaz, and Yi-Sang), are not inexpensive. The restaurant is unquestionably premium, making it ideal for impressing a business associate or romantic partner.
The cuisine at Kanji is fairly comprehensive, the menu is quite extensive, covering the gamut from sashimi to soup and teriyaki to teppanyaki. It’s pricey by Cambodian standards, but not outrageous when compared to similar restaurants around the world.
If you don’t want to fly, the most common way to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh is to take a tourist bus. Taking the bus is not only the cheapest alternative, but it is also relatively quick, pleasant, and convenient.
The bus ride takes about 6.5 hours on average, but it can take longer depending on traffic and how congested the border is when you arrive.
If your travel budget allows, flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh is the quickest and most convenient option. Many airlines, notably Vietnam Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, and VietJet, operate direct flights between these two cities.
There are ten flights a day between Bangkok and Phnom Penh, but you could also consider making the journey by train, bus, and boat. Read on to find out more about each of these different options
This is the quickest way to travel between these two cities but also the most expensive. There are six different airlines offering direct routes from the Thai capital. Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile, Vietjet, Cambodia Airways, and Lanmei Airline flights depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport while Thai AirAsia flies from the Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok.
It takes between 11.5 and 13 hours to travel by direct bus from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, depending on traffic conditions and any delays crossing the border into Cambodia. There are night buses and morning buses departing from Bangkok with Virak Buntham Express, leaving at 02.00, 06.00, 07.00 and 09.00 daily. A couple of daytime minibuses are also available with Travel Mart, but they take longer.
There are budget-friendly solutions available, but some are prettier and more comfortable than others. The journey by road usually takes between 5 and 7 hours, depending on your mode of transport, traffic, and the ever-changing condition of the road.
Taxis from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap typically cost $75 to $95, but are more expensive during Cambodian holidays.
The journey takes between 4 and 6 hours, depending on traffic and how frequently you must stop. If you book online, you will be given a large SUV cab, usually a very comfortable Lexus 44 that comfortably accommodates four people with luggage in the back. When you book online, you may pay in advance by credit card and avoid arguing with the driver about last-minute price adjustments.
Hundreds of buses make this journey along national road 6 in both directions every day. With improvements to the road over the last few years, journey times are often down to 5 hours on a good day
Cambodia Angkor Air is Cambodia’s national airline. It runs twice daily flights from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, and Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. Flights currently cost between $80 and $200 one-way, and are scheduled to take about 50 minutes.
Phnom Penh Postcode is the range from 120101 to 121208. This city’s former official name is Krong Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol.
The time in Phnom Penh is 7 hours ahead of UTC and 5 hours ahead of Amsterdam. The timezone in Phnom Penh is Indochina Time (ICT). Phnom Penh is not using Daylight Saving Time (DST).
The Royal Phnom Penh Hospital is a well-known medical facility located in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
This hospital provides a wide range of medical services and specialties, including general medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, orthopedics, dermatology, radiology, and more. Moreover, the hospital is equipped with modern medical equipment and facilities to offer high-quality healthcare services.
The hospital typically provides emergency medical services, so it can be a crucial resource in case of medical emergencies while you are in Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh is served by Phnom Penh International Airport (IATA code: PNH). The airport is located about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) west of the city center of Phnom Penh, making it easily accessible from the city.
There are two passenger terminals at Phnom Penh International Airport: one for international flights and another for domestic flights. The airport has customs and immigration facilities for international travelers. Visa on arrival services are available for many nationalities.
Furthermore, the airport features duty-free shops, retail outlets, and dining options where travelers can purchase souvenirs, snacks, and meals.
You can easily find a map of Phnom Penh by using popular online mapping services such as Google Maps or OpenStreetMap.
Phnom Penh offers a range of cinemas where you can enjoy the latest movies.
Phnom Penh’s 2023 population is now estimated at 2,281,198.
Cambodians make up the vast majority of Phnom Penh’s population, accounting for roughly 90% of the city’s total population. Kuy, Chong, Thai, and Budong are some of the other ethnic groups. Over 90% of the city’s population is Buddhist.