Top 8 must-visit attractions in Phnom Penh

Welcome to Phnom Penh! As the capital of Cambodia, this mysterious and bustling city will lead you into a world full of history, culture, and cuisine. Phnom Penh not only boasts stunning ancient monuments but also blends a modern atmosphere with unique charm. You can explore the ancient Royal Palace and temples, experience the chilling history of the Killing Fields, and find pleasure in charming night markets. Phnom Penh will bring you an unforgettable travel experience. Let's embark on this exciting journey together!

Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, also known as the Grand Palace, takes its name from its location at the confluence of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers. Built by the King of Cambodia between 1866 and 1870, the palace showcases traditional Khmer architectural styles and religious influences. It is the residence of the King of Cambodia and is surrounded by a series of golden roofs and walls, with exquisite architecture and grandeur. It includes more than 20 palaces of various sizes, such as the Throne Hall, the Gold Pavilion, the Silver Pavilion, the Moonlight Pavilion, and the Treasure Hall, each with pointed spires symbolizing prosperity and affluence. The main colors of the palaces are yellow and white, representing Buddhism and Hinduism, respectively. The corridors of the palace are adorned with beautiful relief paintings in the style of the Angkor temples, depicting the achievements of past dynasties and religious stories.

National Museum of Cambodia in Cambodia

The National Museum of Cambodia features traditional Khmer architecture with its sloping roof, ornate doorway, and ancient temples, blending Khmer architecture with the French colonial style. Currently, the museum houses around 15,000 artifacts, with about 2,000 pieces displayed at any given time. The collection is rich and diverse, covering different historical periods including prehistory, early, middle and late Angkor period, and more. The collection is primarily classified into four categories: stone, bronze, ceramics, and wood. In addition, the museum also houses a small collection of oil paintings, textiles, and images, as well as other archival materials.

Tonle Sap River in Dongrak Mountains

The Tonle Sap River is located in the heart of Cambodia and merges with the Mekong River, connecting the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River. This region is also the source of the world's fourth largest freshwater fish resource, with over 150 species of fish inhabiting the river, making freshwater resources abundant. The abundance of freshwater resources is mainly due to the unique "reverse flow" phenomenon of the Tonle Sap River. From June to September each year is the rainy season, and the melting snow of the Himalayas leads to a rapid rise in the water level of the Mekong River, causing the water to flow upstream into the Tonle Sap River and changing the flow direction of the river. From October to May of the next year, the river water flows back into the Mekong River backwards.

Independence Monument

The Independence Monument is a must-visit attraction in Cambodia, showcasing the Angkor style of artistic design. It was built to celebrate Cambodia's complete independence from French colonial rule on November 9, 1953. The Independence Monument is located at the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard, in the center of Independence Square. Designed by the famous Cambodian architect Van Molyvann, it was completed in March 1958 and stands 37 meters tall with seven levels and a top featuring 100 snakes symbolizing Cambodian culture. The monument's structure resembles a blossoming lotus flower with five layers, making it both beautiful and magnificent. Every year on National Day, the Cambodian king or his representative holds a grand celebration here, making it a place of great historical significance.

Wat Phnom Temple

Climbing the tower and overlooking the city landscape, you can admire the exquisite Angkor-style stone caves. Phnom Penh, meaning "Lady Penh" in English, is a symbol of Phnom Penh and stands at an altitude of about one hundred meters on the top of Phnom Penh's birthplace, Phnom Penh Mountain. The temple of Phnom Penh Mountain is located on the mountaintop, about 30 meters high, with a quiet and peaceful environment. The temple is filled with Khmer-style reliefs, magnificent and spectacular. When you climb to the top of the mountain and ascend the tower, you can overlook the beautiful scenery of the entire city. There is also a moving story about the temple of Phnom Penh Mountain. Legend has it that in the 14th century, a woman named "Penh" discovered a Buddha statue drifting along the Mekong River here. She placed the Buddha statue on a small hill and built a temple to worship it. Over time, this place gradually developed into a prosperous town. In the 15th century, the capital of the country was moved from Angkor to this place, and it was officially named "Phnom Penh," meaning "Lady Penh's Mountain" in Cambodian, while the local Chinese immigrants called it "Phnom Penh." This story tells the origin of the temple of Phnom Penh Mountain and its close connection to the naming of the city.

Silver Pagoda

The Silver Pagoda, also known as the Silver Temple, is located within the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and is a sacred place where past kings have paid homage to the Buddha. The temple is adorned with 9,584 diamonds and the floor is decorated with over 5,000 silver tiles, weighing a total of 5 tons, making it a grand and luxurious sight to behold. The temple is made of wood and was expanded in 1962 by King Norodom Sihanouk. Inside the temple are numerous precious artifacts that showcase the brilliance and richness of Khmer culture. Among the hundreds of gold and silver objects is a 90kg 18K gold Buddha statue, encrusted with thousands of diamonds in honor of King Sisowath's reign, which is breathtakingly beautiful. Surrounding the outer walls of the Silver Pagoda are various exhibits that fully exhibit the excellence of Khmer art, including exquisite classical dance masks and dozens of pure gold Buddha statues with exquisite designs and intricate craftsmanship, all of which demonstrate the magnificence and excellence of Khmer culture.

Wat Ounalom

Exploring the daily life of monks is an experience not to be missed for curious tourists. Wat Unnalom is one of the oldest and largest temples in Phnom Penh, with its name meaning "holy eyebrow" as it is said to enshrine the eyebrow of a high monk. Today, it serves as the headquarters of the Buddhist organization in Cambodia, where visitors can observe the monks' studying and discussing life scenes. Inside the temple, there is a Buddha relic brought back from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1890. Therefore, many dignitaries like to build ash towers in the temple to store the ashes of their ancestors near the Buddha, forming a group of towers over time.