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City Attractions

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh (Official Romanization) is the largest, most populous and capital city of Cambodia . It is also the capital of the Phnom Penh municipality.

Once known as the Pearl of Asia in the 1920s , Phnom Penh , along with Siem Reap , is a significant global and domestic tourist destination for Cambodia . Phnom Penh is renowned for its traditional Khmer and French influenced architecture, along with its friendly people.

It is also the commercial, political and cultural hub of Cambodia and is home to 1 million of Cambodia 's population of 11.4 million.

Cambodia 's modern capital is a vibrant bustling city nestling majestically on the banks of the confluence of the two mighty rivers of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap . These rivers then split again as the Mekong and the Tonle Bassac at a place known to the Khmers as Chaktomuk, meaning four faces. Phnompenh is a veritable oasis compared to the modernity of other Asian capitals. With wide tree-lined boulevards and low-rise buildings Phnompenh still harks back to the colonial days of this former French playground and the many older French colonial buildings, much in evidence, add to the ambiance.

The area surround the Royal Palace has magnificent Khmer towers and remains particularly delightful. There are many open spaces and parks in the center which the locals use for recreation and relaxation. Pedaled rickshaws, called cyclos, still ply the streets as in colonial days and provide an excellent opportunity for sightseeing and people watching as well as the taxi service.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh , Cambodia is a complex of buildings which are the royal abode of the Kingdom of Cambodia . Its full name in the Khmer language is Preah Barom Reachea Vaeng Chaktomuk . The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in 1866, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

Silver Pagoda

Silver Pagoda (or the temple of the Emerald Buddha), formerly a wooden building, was rebuilt in 1962 in concrete and marble. The pagoda is floored with over 5000 silver tiles each weighing 1 kilo. It is famous for its 90 kg solid gold Buddha made in 1907 and an emerald Buddha said to be made of baccarant crystal. Sharing the pagoda are many other interesting artifacts and jewels and was one of the few temples to remain intact during the Khmer Rouge regime. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance fee US$ 3 per person. Camera fee US$2. Video fee US$ 5. Photography is allowed in the outside exhibition areas only. Please remember that exposed knees and shoulders are considered disrespectful.

Wat Phnom

Located on a man-made hill twenty seven meters high in the middle of Phnom Penh , Wat Phnom is a revered place of worship for all Khmers and is the namesake of the capital. The original pagoda was built in 1373 to house four Buddha statues said to have been deposited by the waters of the Mekong . The temple is the focal point for many Buddhist ceremonies especially Pchum Ben and his highly revered by Phompenh residents. Wat Phnom has a unique atmosphere and is surrounded by various fortune tellers, mystics, faith healers and elephant rides around the site are available.

Independence Monument

Built in 1958 as a memorial to Cambodia 's war dead after the gaining of independence from France in 1953, the monument, built in the Angkorian style, consists of five levels decorated with 100 snake heads. It is at its most impressive later in the afternoon with shadows highlighting the complexity of the design and giving the structure a warm orange glow.

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