Top 7 Things to Do and See in Phnom Penh
by Blake Johnson Feb 20, 2017
Having an excursion to the Land of Wonder, almost visitors can’t wait discovering Phnom Penh once known as the Pearl of Asia first. The capital of Cambodia becomes one of the popular travel destinations due to its beautiful and classic architecture as well as the harmony of the past and the present showed in the life of local people. The following Top 7 things to do and see in Phnom Penh partly help you expand your understanding about this city
1. Royal Palace
The Royal Palace complex built in 1860s is a must-see site for any visitor. 9 buildings located in this complex are great examples of the splendid, beautiful and detailed Khmer architecture, especially, the Throne Hall on the left of the main entrance. It is well-known for its 59-meter tower which has beautiful roof decorated with golden colored tiles. Beside visitors have a chance to contemplate sculptures, busts of the Kings, 3 Thrones and an entirely golden sculpture. This building is still used for official celebrations and religious events nowadays.
2. Silver Pagoda
The proper name of Silver Pagoda is Wat Preah Keo Morokat which means the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It has the common name Silver Pagoda because of its solid silver floor tiles. A special thing that makes Silver pagoda different from others is no monks live there, but it is the place where King converses with the monks. In addition, visitors can feast their eyes on several beautiful buildings, statues and gardens around this pagoda such as model of Angkor Wat, Stupa of HM King Noradom or Keong Preah Bath containing Buddha footprints.
3. Wat Phnom
Cambodia is famous for several unique and beautiful temples. The particular one is Wat Phnom which is situated in Phnom Penh. Wat Phnom or Mountain pagoda in Khmer was built in the 14th century in order to dedicate to Buddha. It is considered as the highest religious structure in this city which is 27 meters in height. It attracted visitors by the stairway decorated with Buddha statues on two sides, the altar inside it, the beautiful gardens and paintings which depict stories of Buddha or worship on the wall.
4. National Museum of Cambodia
If you want to have a close glimpse into the culture of Cambodia, you should not miss a visit to this destination. The National Museum of Cambodia makes impression on travellers by its red roof, traditional Khmer structure as well as the beautiful garden. Moreover, visitors can see over 14,000 exhibit including bronze and wooden sculptures, ceramic items from prehistoric to the decline of Angkor, for example, the statue of Lord Vishnu from the 6th century.
5. Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes
One of the testaments to the crime of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia is Tuol Sleng Museum which is located in the southwest of Phnom Penh. Before Khmer Rouge had power, it was Tuol Svay Prey High School. Later, it became prison known as Security Prison or S-21. Visitors can find many tiny cells in classrooms as well as the portrait of prisoners which partly support them to understand more about the tragic time in Cambodian history.
6. The Killing Fields
Another place where visitors can see the horror of Khmer Rouge is the Killing Fields. It is usually referred as Choeung EK Memorial and 17 km far from the south of Phnom Penh city. A mass grave of 17,000 people who had been detained at S-21 and the skulls put on the Memorial Stupa really revealed the darkest time in Cambodia’s history. Beside visitors can have a chance to listen the stories recorded by those who survived from the slaughter of Khmer Rouge.
7. Central Market
Going shopping seems to be an essential part which makes your trip in Phnom Penh more interesting and memorable. Central Market which is known as Phsar Thmei was built in X shape with 4 wings and a central dome. The large and clean place with several products for sale is an ideal destination for shopping. A lot of shops selling books, jewelry, clothes, household items, food are available for visitors to choose and buy things as souvenirs for friends and family.
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