Phnom Penh is the vibrant and bustling capital of Cambodia. It is the nation’s most populous city and economic, industrial and cultural centre. Phnom Penh is the site of many attractions many of which stem from its rich heritage. Despite changing and becoming increasingly international, the city has never lost its edginess. At times an assault to your senses, Phnom Penh is never dull.
Shoppers can head to the Phsar Thmei or Central Market for bargains or soak up the market atmosphere. It is located beneath a shining central golden dome with four arms branching out into vast hallways with innumerable stalls of goods. The French colonial architectural building has been operating since 1937 (with the exception of war time).
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is not an easy visit but a necessary one to understand the complete and sometimes unpleasant history of Phnom Penh. It is a museum chronicling the Cambodian genocide. The site is a former secondary school which was used as Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. An estimated 20,000 people were imprisoned there. It is one of many torture and execution centres by the Khmer Rouge and a reminder of a dark time in Phnom Penh’s history.
The Royal Palace is the royal residence of the king of Cambodia and one of its most famous attractions. It is one of the finest examples of Khmer architecture and has a slight French touch. Inside the Royal Palace is the Silver Pagoda which is a compound on the South side of the palace complex. Its main building houses many national treasures. The Royal Palace also includes the Throne Hall and Moonlight Pavilion. The beautiful gardens add to the palace’s scenic beauty.
This booming city offers layers upon layers of things to explore. Full of photogenic scenes, it is truly a haven for photographers. No wonder it was once deemed as “The Pearl of Asia”.