Enjoy the exotic charm of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is a city full of exotic charm and cultural heritage. Here, you can find a rich history, beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine, and hospitable people. Whether you are interested in history or want to delve into the local culture, Phnom Penh will leave a deep impression on you. This guide will recommend five must-see places for you to fully experience the exotic charm of Phnom Penh.

French Embassy

You can experience the unique and beautiful combination of French and local architecture at the French Embassy, which allows you to experience the colonial history of the past. The French Embassy is located at the northern end of Monivong Avenue in Phnom Penh, and this building played an important role in the dramatic events of the downfall of Phnom Penh regime on April 17, 1975. The architectural style of the embassy combines French and Cambodian styles, presenting a unique charm and beauty.

National Museum of Cambodia in Cambodia

The National Museum of Cambodia combines Khmer traditional architecture with French colonial style through its use of a gabled roof and carved doors. The museum currently houses around 15,000 artifacts, with around 2,000 pieces on display during each exhibition. The collection is rich and spans different historical periods, including prehistoric times and the early, middle, and late periods of the Angkor dynasty. The museum mainly showcases artifacts of four types: stone, bronze, ceramic, and wood. Additionally, the museum holds a small collection of oil paintings, textiles, photographs, and other archival materials.

Independence Monument

The Independence Monument was built to celebrate Cambodia's complete independence from French colonial rule on November 9, 1953. It is located in the center of Phnom Penh, at the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard, in the center of Independence Square. Designed by the famous Khmer architect Van Molyvann, the monument was completed in March 1958. It stands 37 meters high and has seven levels, adorned with 100 statues of the seven-headed snake god, a symbol of Cambodian culture. The monument's shape resembles a blossoming lotus with five petals, and it is spectacularly beautiful. Every year on National Day, the King of Cambodia or his representative holds grand celebrations here, commemorating this historic event.

Central Market

The building has a unique and distinct French style. The cross-shaped dome design is magnificent, resembling a UFO landing. It is one of the busiest markets in Phnom Penh, known as a landmark and a museum of living art. The market is divided into different areas, each with small stalls. Stalls that tourists often visit primarily sell crafts, jewelry, souvenirs, Buddha statues, second-hand or pirated books, postcards, and other goods. Local residents purchase clothing, small appliances, daily necessities, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and even computers, photography equipment, and office furniture. There is also a food area where you can experience local life and taste delicious food. Many stall owners can speak Mandarin, so communication with them is usually not a problem.

Tonle Sap River

The Tonle Sap River is located in central Cambodia and converges with the Mekong River to create a connection channel between the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River. This river is also the world's fourth-largest freshwater fish resource. The Tonle Sap River is home to over 150 species of fish, making it a rich source of freshwater resources. This abundance of water resources is primarily due to the unique phenomenon of the Tonle Sap River's "reverse flow". From June to September each year, the melting snow from the Himalayas causes a rapid rise in the water level of the Mekong River, resulting in a reverse flow into the Tonle Sap River, altering its direction. From October to May of the following year, the river water then flows back into the Mekong River. This reversal of flow allows the Tonle Sap River to maintain its abundant freshwater resources.