The buzzing capital of Cambodia is home to a swathe of skyscrapers, ancient Buddhist monuments and the remnants of bygone empires, as scooters, tuk-tuks and cyclists weave through the streets.
Wander the bustling city, stopping at street food stalls to sample the likes of num chet chien (battered, deep-fried bananas covered in black sesame seeds) and nompang sak koh (barbecued beef marinated in lemongrass and chillies, served in a baguette). Discover the lavish Royal Palace, with its jewel-encrusted gold Buddha sculptures and Italian marble Silver Pagoda, and the surrounding ornate vihara houses. As part of our Cambodia Discovery tour, you’ll visit the lotus-shaped stupa (dome-like structures that typically house Buddhist relics) of Cambodia’s Independence Monument. Pause and take a moment to reflect or meditate in the 15th century Wat Langka temple.
Ascend the steps of the Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh’s tallest religious structure, and admire the meticulous attention to detail of the many murals lining its walls, before shopping for handmade souvenirs and jewellery in the pulsing halls of the art deco Central Market. Learn of Cambodia’s extraordinary past at the sobering Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the terracotta National Museum of Cambodia, then take a relaxing sunset cruise down the Mekong River.
Your Cambodian adventure continues on to the historic ruins of Siem Reap and its ancient Ta Phrom temple, reclaimed by nature and situated in dense jungle. You’ll explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom, observing the stone faces of the South Gate and the timeless Bayon Temple, before strolling along the corridors of the expansive, awe-inspiring Angkor Wat temple complex.
Temple Tour Cambodia
“You must sample the street food here – from sizzling Yakitori chicken skewers and fried egg noodle dishes to the delicious bai sach chrouk (barbecued pork marinated in citrus juices, sprigs of onion and rice) – Phnom Penh is heaven for foodies.”
“The bustling Central Market is a hive of activity – I loved the atmosphere here. There are thousands of stalls selling all sorts of souvenirs, t-shirts and hand-crafted jewellery. You could lose hours here admiring the vibrant ceramics and rugs on offer.”
“Make sure to catch a show at the National Museum. The museum regularly hosts traditional performances, including opera, drama and dancing. Immerse yourself in the culture and embrace the arts.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use US dollars in Cambodia?
Though the official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian riel, US dollars are widely used across the country. We recommend, should you intend to use US dollars, you have both currencies on hand, as not all businesses and vendors will accept US dollars – especially larger denominations like the $20 note.
Is there a dress code for visiting the Wat Phnom temple?
As a sacred religious site, you’re required to cover your shoulders, back and legs, or you risk being refused entry. There may be nearby vendors selling sarongs for you to wear, however you should not rely on this and should dress accordingly.
What’s the best way of getting around in Phnom Penh?
For a day of exploration, cycling is an efficient way of getting around the city, but for longer trips you may wish to take a tuk-tuk ride, as navigating the hectic streets can be difficult for first-time visitors, and you’ll be free to enjoy the sights as a passenger.
Phnom Penh’s contrasting cityscape of ancient Buddhist temples, modern high-rises, lavish palace complexes and thriving marketplaces makes for an unforgettable stop-off during your Cambodian escape.
Why you'll love Phnom Penh...
• Sampling the rich flavours of fish amok (a spicy fish curry blended with ginger, lemongrass and chillies) and Yakitori chicken skewers
• Shopping for hand-crafted gifts at the lively Central Market
• Meditating at the Wat Langka temple
• Exploring the manicured grounds of the Royal Palace and the treasures of the Silver Pagoda
• Observing the traditional Royal Ploughing Ceremony during late April and early May
• Gliding down the Mekong River on a guided cruise
• Learning of Cambodia’s history at the National Museum and sombre Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
• Gazing up at the spires of the Wat Phnom temple and appreciating its ancient murals
Did you know?
• Amongst the simmering delights of its chicken skewers, some vendors here also offer tarantula kebabs.
• During the monsoon season (December to April in the northeast, May to November in the southwest), Tonle Sap River changes direction and forms a large lake, before returning back to its normal flow and running into the Mekong River.
• Visitors in October will witness the Pchum Ben festival, which translates to the ‘time of gathering’. Here, locals will visit the city’s many pagodas and make offerings of food, flowers and trinkets to aid their ancestors in the afterlife.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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