Phnom Penh is a city that is thrilling, vibrant, shiny and quite congested. The city is a combination of the old and new with buzzing back streets, markets and temples that blend well with the more modern aspects that make this thriving, turbulent city evermore popular with the tourists.
Why not discover more about this emerging travel destination by reading our Phnom Penh Travel Guide.
When to go to Cambodia
The preferred time to experience the Cambodia tour packages can depend on the season. In the low season (April to June and September to October) the temperature is at its hottest and can reach 40°C. During the months of September and October the weather can be quite wet but you do get to see awesome cloud formations and storms throughout this period. During July and August, Cambodia is at its wettest with high humidity that can leave the landscape a brilliant green. This is quite a busy period with Western visitors escaping for the summer holidays. The best time to explore start the Holidays to Cambodia is throughout the high season (November to March) when the weather is quite Mediterranean like and can be cool and windy. But it is essential to book the accommodation early throughout this period as the available hotels and guesthouses are often booked up solid at this time.
Getting to Phnom Penh
There are regular international flights to use on the Cambodia travel packages, which arrived at either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Visas are required for tourists that arrived in this country and are easily purchased at most of the overland crossings or at the main airports. Phnom Penh is able to benefit from plenty of direct flights from the local Asian cities, while it is also possible to benefit from scheduled bus tours from Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. The countries that share borders with Cambodia make it relatively easy to cross into the country, with the Bavet/Moc Bai crossing in Vietnam one of the most convenient. Additionally, there are several opportunities to sign up for overland travel from the surrounding countries such as Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
Getting around Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is a relatively small city which makes it very easy to get around, although the traffic is increasing year after year, which is resulting in significant traffic jams in the early morning and evening rush hour. There are plenty of travel options including the cyclo, taxi, hire car and tuk-tuk. The cyclo is a great way to travel around the city and make it very easy to admire the sites as you pass through the town. However, this type of transport is more effective for the short distance travel. A single day on this type of transport can cost in the region of $10. For the more traditional form of transport the taxi is quite cheap and less than $1 per kilometer, but they are difficult to flag down on the road, so it benefits to use your hotel or guesthouse to call a taxi on your behalf.
Hotels & Guesthouses
Phnom Penh has a wide range of guesthouses and hotels. For the budget conscious traveler, it is possible to stay the night at a guesthouse for as little as three dollars. There are plenty of guesthouses and hotels right across the city, although there are certain areas that are more attractive to the tourist which seems to concentrate a lot of the best accommodation. A mid-range room with air conditioning can cost as little as $15 per night, while the more luxurious business class accommodation can start to increase to about $120 per night. Additionally, there are many boutique hostels that are showing up and give the opportunity for slightly more comfort
Dining & Restaurants
There is plenty of great dining and restaurant opportunities listed in the Phnom Penh travel guides with great authenticity and depth that cannot be found in other tourist towns. The food can range from the five-star dining to the street food and includes most types of Asian and Western cuisines. Also, Cambodia has a long relationship with France, which means that there is a great choice of French dishes available in this city. The dining options in this city continued to evolve quickly, which means that the tourists have a very wide choice of upscale and contemporary cuisine to enjoy on the holiday.
Shopping and Galleries
For the best holidays to Cambodia you really want to experience the shops and galleries. A visit to the shops in Phnom Penh is certain to be quite pleasing with the choice of the chic boutiques and traditional markets. Some of the most popular souvenirs in this country include the traditional handicrafts, and pounded silverwork, Buddhist themed carvings and fine hand-loomed silks. Also for the tourist in search of the more contemporary stores, there are plenty of boutique shops around the local area that include fashion inspired gifts and accessories.
Things to See and Do in Phnom Penh
The National Museum
The fascinating national museum is home to thousands of pieces of art and artifacts that are able to showcase parts of the Cambodian history. Many of the 5000 pieces relate to the Angkor period. Additionally, the actual building is regarded as an architectural masterpiece that includes a large and impressive courtyard.
The old royal palace is situated in the center of the city which is rich in impressive architecture and temples. However, the Royal Family is no longer in attendance. A tour of the Royal Palace gives plenty of information on the interesting temples, the amazing courtyard and the history of the Royal family. Even though it is not the most luxurious palace, it is still well worth seeing and the admission fee is relatively cheap.
The Cambodian Performing Arts Center
The Cambodian Performing Arts Center is a great destination for the tourist that wishes to watch the dancers from the school while they are training or even to witness a full costumed performance.
Phnom Chisor Temple
Even though the Phnom Chisor Temple is about a 42 km drive from the city it is still well worth a visit to the impressive ruins and the surrounding views. The climb up the base of the temple is quite steep, so it is generally best to visit this site outside of the warmest hours of the day.