Phnom Penh Vacations

Known as the “Pearl of Asia” in the 1920s, Phnom Penh saw some rough times through war and revolution in the late 20th Century. Today, however, this capital of Cambodia is newly awakened, and to a high degree. Chaotic streets, dramatic market scents, and less than perfect infrastructure can feel overwhelming at first, but the traveler willing to ... Read more
settle in and look a little deeper will find a city full of life. Lively nightlife makes the evening fly by while cultural heritage like the 5000 silver floor tiles at the Silver Pagoda will have you slipping on your sunglasses. Monks in orange robes and streets lined with blooming pink flowers are bright spots of color, while the Tuol Sleng Museum commemorating the Khmer Rouge genocide paints a different, sadder picture. New restaurants and luxury hotels like the Raffles Hotel Le Royal have sprung up to serve the new rich, while the under the Art Deco dome of the Central Market you can buy almost anything you fancy. Out of the ashes of war have sprung a new city, undefeated and growing.
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Phnom Penh reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Backpackers
  • 9.8
    Adventure Travelers
  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 7.5
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 7.3
    Nightlife Lovers

Member Reviews(166)

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Houston, Texas, USA

The first place I visited in SE Asia and a great place to start a trip hopping through SE Asia. Locals really enjoy visitors, tourism is actually built into building their economy back up. A lot of local history to be seen that most don't even know went on in Cambodia. Temples, the Genocide Killing Fields (although sad you can learn a lot about Cambodian history there), and great places to eat.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersBackpackersHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers
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Xi'an, China

The drinks are cheap. There's a dedicated tuck tuck all day. Me Mate's Place has wifi, geckos and it's damn cheap!

Recommended for:Budget TravelersBackpackersSolo Female Travelers
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Southern California, California

Great community and the locals are friendly. Pretty pricey for the tourists actually. You'll need to have great bargain skills to keep costs low.

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New York City

Cambodia's largest city which rests on the banks of the Mekong has a special appeal about it . . . an appeal that is chotic, colorful and to me romantic. This is a place that has not been over "westernized" yet like so many Asian cities have. I love the crazy sort of "wild west feeling" of the place. The traffic with the thousands and thousands of motor scooters, the spirited markets, the remains of old French colonial buildings. There are some most see highlights; the Royal Palace with it's Khmer designed roofs, the National Museum, and sadly the Tuel Sleng Museum of Genocide. This is one of the buildings ( a former high school) where the Kymer Rouge created their horrific actions. A very sobering hard experience but important to see,

Recommended for:Budget TravelersBackpackers
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Klang, Malaysia

A misture of Cambodian hospitality, Asian exotica and Indochinese charm await the visitor to Phnom Penh. Set at the confluence of three great rivers - the Chaktomuk or 'four faces' of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers - Phnom Penh is a city and the capital of Cambodia.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersHistory Buffs
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Sydney, Australia

The Cambodian capital is one of Mainland SE Asia's most overlooked (and most enjoyable!) spots. With an incredible dining scene, a beautiful waterfront, great markets, cool sights, and some hella friendly people, it was one of the most pleasant surprises on my tour thru the Southeast Asia circuit. It's a shame that Phnom Penh is a name synonymous with the infamous "Killing Fields" and Tuol Sleng Prison (aka S-21), because it's also one of the most relaxed and enjoyable spots on the circuit. Certainly, for a sober taste of history, see those two sites, but also check out the lovely Silver Pagoda, take a Khmer cooking class at Frizz, nosh on gourmet pizza at the Foreign Correspondents Club, and enjoy the blissfully chilled-out riverwalk at the meeting of the Mekong and Tonle Sap!

Recommended for:FoodiesHistory Buffs
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Busan, South Korea

It is a shame this gem of a city is often overlooked and skipped out in favour of the grand temples of Siem Reap, for this city is an attraction in it's own right. It is caught in between a darkened history and a precarious future given the amount of corruption still prevalent within the society. This in itself makes PP a fascinating place to visit.

Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBackpackersHistory Buffs
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Oakland, California, USA

I like Phnom Penh. I was responsible for the design and construction of the InterContinental Hotel, Phnom Penh. At the time, it was both the tallest building and the first 5 star hotel in the city.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversBusiness TravelersLuxury Travelers
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Brooklyn, État de New York, États Unis

A fascinating city and an interesting counterbalance to what comes sometimes feel a bit like Disneyland in Siem Reap. Gritty, raw, and bound to elicit emotion -- whether it be because of the dark history memorialized by its museums or the tragic present still evident in the sex trade.

Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersHistory Buffs
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Santa Clara, California, USA

Phnom Penh is a halfway point between a sleepy Southeast Asian city and a chaotic town hurling fast foward towards the future. Rundown delapitated buildings coexist alongside old colonial style verandas. Buddhist monks slowly walking across the temples for their morning alms are juxtaposed with motocyclists driving everywhere. It's these images, along with Phnom Penh reconciling with its violent Khmer Rouge past, that makes this city fascinating.

Recommended for:Backpackers
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