Having all the beguiling sights, sounds and smells of Southeast Asia, not all about Cambodia’s tragic past or the Khmer Rouge either, with a little faded colonial grandeur thrown in, Cambodia’s capital has all to please any travelers. Islands, museums, Khmer era temples and art performances are all easily accessible in reasonably priced tour. Travel to Phnom Penh with: Indochina tours Cambodia
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison)
Formerly Tuol Svay Pray High School before it was turned into an interrogation, execution and torture center by the Khmer Rouge regime, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S-21 Prison, is a notorious venue in Phnom Penh. Only 7 of an estimated 17,000 Cambodians entering this site managed to survive following the end of the regime. Including classrooms divided into tiny cells, most rooms have been left in the state they were found in January 1979. Displaying 6,000 haunting portraits of its prisoners for travellers to understand the recent tragic Cambodian history, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is an essential stop while visiting Phnom Penh. Touring the old prison is an intense experience and will undoubtedly give travelers plenty of food for thought.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 AM– 5:30 PM
- Address: Street 113, Tuol Sleng, Phnom Penh
- Price Range: US$2 or $6 with guided tour
Central Market (Phsar Thmey)
Whether you are a tourist interested to be a part of bustling crowd, a shopping enthusiast who wants to gauge your haggling skills, or simply keen to discover (and photograph) Phnom Penh’s unique architectural designs, Central Market (Phsar Thmey) caters to just about any travelers. This indoor market, which was designed by French architects Wladimir Kandaouroff and Jean Desbois, was the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia when it was built in 1937. From women and men’s clothing, fresh produce, flowers, jewellery and shoes to local handicrafts and gemstones, you can find a wide assortment of goods in Central Market (Phsar Thmey). Cambodia travel packages
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Address: Street 130, Phnom Penh
Ta Phrom Temple at Tonle Bati
Dating back to the late 12th century, Ta Phrom Temple at Tonle Bati, which features well-preserved bas-reliefs and stone carvings of Hindu mythology, is similar in style to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. There is an entrance fee of US$3 to visit the temple, which is accessible within an hour’s drive from the city center of Phnom Penh, making it an affordable and convenient choice for travelers who are spending their time in the capital city of Cambodia. Tonle Bati Lake, a popular picnic spot amongst locals and Yey Peo Temple (located 200 meters north of Ta Phrom Temple) are other attractions in Tonle Bati. Renting hammocks and huts at relatively low prices is great for unwinding after visiting the temples.
- Location: 30 kilometers south of Phnom Penh, Takeo Province
- Price: US$3
A 10-minute walk from The Royal Palace with entrance free of charge, Wat Ounalom offers travelers a close look into the spiritual teachings, philosophies and history of Buddhism in Cambodia. Wat Ounalom which is the oldest and most prominent of five pagodas in the country is the center of Cambodian Buddhism and serves as the house of the Patriarch of the Mahanikai School of Buddhism. The shrine, which was built in 1443 to enshrine an eyebrow hair (ounalom) of Lord Buddha, was home to more than 500 monks and the Buddhist Institute’s library that held in its collection of more than 30,000 titles before the Khmer Rouge regime wiped them out. Miraculously surviving, the displayed Buddha’s eyebrow is the main draw amongst travelers all around the world.
- Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 18:00
- Address: Street 172 (Samdech Sothearos Boulevard) Phnom Penh
- Tel: +855 12 773 361
The Cambodian Living Arts
Being a non-profit organization that hosts traditional Khmer and Apsara dance performances at the National Museum of Cambodia, the Cambodian Living Arts revived the art by gathering surviving master artists to train and give their knowledge to younger generations. Dating back to the 18th century, traditional Khmer dance was almost lost under the Khmer Rouge regime. The troupe consists of live musicians and singers in traditional Khmer costumes, performing eight classical dances of ethnic minorities from all over this country.
- Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday from 7:00 PM onwards
- Address: National Museum, corner of Street 178 and Street 13
- Ticket price: US$15
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