Cambodia Holidays - Angkor Wat 2

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Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Cambodia Holidays - Monk in Phnom Penh

Many visitors spend only one night in Cambodia's pleasant capital city, taking the opportunity to visit the fabulous Royal Palace complex and the National Museum before moving on elsewhere.  If you have the time available, however, Phnom Penh merits staying a little longer.

Despite the ravages if the Khmer Rouge era, Phnom Penh retains much of the charm of French colonial days, with its wide avenues shaded by jacarandas and tamarind trees and the (for the time being, at least) lack of high-rise architecture.  The capital's lively riverfront is lined with restaurants, cafés and bars and is a pleasant place to stroll.  There's no public transport but you can get around the city easily and inexpensively using the ubiquitous cyclos and tuc-tucs.

In the late afternoon you can take an enjoyable cruise on the Mekong and watch the sun set behind the graceful towers of the Royal Palace (below).

There are several temples worth a visit, such as Wat Ounalom, dating back to the 15th century, or Wat Phnom (the hilltop sanctuary that gave its name to the city).

For those who have an interest in the more recent history of Cambodia, there is the harrowing Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, or further afield outside the city, the infamous 'Killing Fields' (the Choeung Ek Memorial - below).  Visits to these moving sites can be easily arranged.