Phnom Penh

Bird view of Phnom Penh Central Market
Glorious architecture, a tangible sense of history and a diversity of attractions make this a small city with big ideas. Take time to explore Phnom Penh! Before civil war broke out it was one of the finest cities in the region, nicknamed 'The Pearl of Asia'. Now, Phnom Penh is regaining this reputation: yellow-ocher buildings, squares and cafes, and tree-lined boulevards give it an appealing atmosphere.

So, how do you find orginal branded clothes in Phnom Penh? My advice here is to dig-dig-dig. My mom being a QA for one of the garment factories in Cambodia taught me how to spot the original. For shirts, make sure that the stitches inside are thick and clean.

Rose Condominiums Phnom PenhWithout doubt the most obvious change to Phnom Penh in the last ten years is the building boom that is literally changing the face of the city.

There is construction work going on everywhere

The most eye catching buildings are the numerous skyscrapers going up, and not all stylish (see to the left, these Rose Condominiums would fit perfectly in North Korea).

Smaller five to ten story apartment blocks are going up in virtually every street of the Cambodian capital.

New Khmer Architecture Chaktomuk Theatre Phnom Penh
In the 1950s en 1960s Prince Norodom Sihanouk gave the impulse to an enlightened development policy encompassing the whole of the kingdom with the construction of new towns, infrastructure and architecture of the highest standard. Undoubtedly, the most talented architect was Vann Molyvann, who completed more than a hundred buildings in just 15 years time. He contributed largely to the unique and authentic style of the New Khmer Architecture.

Cell at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom PenhCambodia is a beautiful country and Phnom Penh a truly welcoming and attractive city. But Cambodia's recent history is dark and to understand the Khmers better, a visit to the genocide museum and the killing fields is a must.

Having seen the shocking exhibition, you will be even more surprised by the friendliness of the Cambodians today.

Central Market - Psar Thmei - Phnom PenhThe capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is located at the confluence of three rivers - the Mekong, the Bassac and Tonle Sap.

Over the past years, the city has undergone tremendous changes – businesses are springing up constantly and tourism is once again booming. Phnom Penh has managed to retain its charm and character – cyclos that weave through traffic with ease, broad boulevards, old colonial buildings, and above all its people who always have a smile for you.

First time visitors may be scared by the chaotic traffic in Phnom Penh. Well, it’s not as bad as it seems. Motorised traffic in the city is usually quite slow and rarely you’ll see drivers getting angry. On the contrary, Phnom Penh drivers are extremely tolerant. Here we give you some ideas on how to get around Phnom Penh.

If you want to escape Phnom Penh, there are quite a few day trips to be made from the capital. You can go on a boat trip to Mekong Island, discover the ancient capital of Oudong, or visit Tonle Bati and the zoo at Phnom Tamau.

Yes, Phnom Penh and its surroundings are worth more than just a day visiting!

View from Sisowath Quay blocked After years of extensive works by the Japanese to improve Phnom Penh's drainage system, Sisowath Quay is back as the capital's main boulevard, situated along the Tonle Sap river. But..., is it better than before? Well, hopefully the flooding in the centre of Phnom Penh will be less, but it seems the Quay itself has lost quite a bit of its charm.

The women selling food, fruits, snacks, and toys or foreseeing your future have all gone. Instead of the green spaces, large swats have been paved. And who is the one responsible for those new and ugly lampposts?

The General Post Office Phnom Penh, French colonial architecture

The General Post Office Phnom Penh, French colonial architecturePhnom Penh once was known as the Pearl of Asia. The old heart of the city was build during French colonial times and many of the old buildings still remain, although quite a few are neglected and some are even in disrepair.

Fortunately, more and more people realise the city should make every effort to preserve these structures, as they are an integral part of Phnom Penh's identity.