Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, sits at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers. Considered to be the loveliest of Indochina’s French-built cities, Phnom Penh features many temples, museums and other places of interest in and around the city. There has also been a recent boom of new hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubssprouting up through the city and a nightlife that promises fun and flavour.
What to do?
The main attractions of Phnom Penh are the Wat Phnom, the Silver Pagoda in the Royal Palace, the National Museum, the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Field Choeung Ek.
Other sights include the Phnom Temple, the Orchid Garden, the Russian market and a 15th-century pagoda. Or you can take an afternoon boat ride along the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers to floating villages and enjoy activities of the local Khmers by the Tonle Sap River- eating, entertaining and praying. It is also a very rewarding experience.
Out of Phnom Penh City, you can make day trips to Oudong Temple or Tonle Bati-Ta Prom or Vat Nokor, where you find a Buddhist temple with pagodas and colorful frescos.
Beyond wats and museums, Phnom Penh is the heart of the Cambodia’s nightlife. The recent explosion of bars and nightclubs in the city offers greater choice and relaxation than ever before.
When to go?
The ideal period to visit Phnom Penh is between November and January, when humidity levels are relatively low and there is little possibility of rain. From early February, temperatures start to rise until the hottest month of April, when temperatures often exceed 40 Degree Celcious (104 Degree Faradise). The wet season starts from May until Oct, when the southwestern monsoon brings rain and high humidity. Though being very soggy, this period can also be a good time.
Pickpockets in large cities always need to care about. Thus, avoid walking at night, try to find a dependable motor driver and don’t carry more than necessary. When traveling, do exercise common sense about chaos traffic around the city and you should be alright.