I moved to Phnom Penh when I was 15. My father asked me if I wanted to leave my hometown to pursue my study in the capital. I didn’t hesitate to say YES.
I am more than happy to introduce you the city that I’ve been living in for more than 20 years.
Phnom Penh is a developing city, a lot of new building constructions for business, restaurants, coffee shops etc. A lot of people started to move to the city because it is the place where they can find jobs and create new businesses.
The city is located very close to the Mekong river. Sisowath Quay is the tourist area where you can find a good and cheap place to stay and eat. It’s a very convenient location.
There are also a few interesting hotels and restaurants across the river, you just need to cross the bridge and discover them.
Top things to do in Phnom Penh
There are a lot of interesting things to do in Phnom Penh. You can go and relax in a nice hotel at the riverside. Or you can go shopping in the market. Or you can follow what people usually do to visit the genocide museum. I usually don’t recommend people to go there, unless this is what you really want to do.
Here are things I like to recommend:
1. Visit Royal Palace (Area)
Royal Palace would be a place you can’t miss during your visit to Phnom Penh. It’s a place where you can see the high class of Khmer architectures. There are 3 interesting places to visit when you arrive at the area.
The first one would be the Royal Palace itself, then the second one is the Silver Pagoda that located inside the Royal Palace.
After you finished visiting these 2 places, you can go and visit the National Museum that is located next to the Royal Palace.
2. Cruise at Mekong River
Spending an evening to see the sunset on a boat cruise down the Mekong river would give you an exceptional memory. There are many boats which you can rent for a few hours of a cruise with a very reasonable price. They can offer dinner included but the food would not be so good as you expected. However, it could be a good accompaniment to a beer or two.
3. Go shopping
You might find a cheap and good souvenir to bring home by visiting Phnom Penh local markets such as Phsar Thmey or Russian market (Toul Tum Poeun Market).
Phsar Thmey is located at city center. You can reach the market in just 5 or 10 minutes from your hotel.
Russian market is a very far from the center but you might find interesting stuff there.
Phnom Penh municipal started to encourage people taking the public bus to reduce traffic jam.
The fee is very cheap. You pay only 0.40 USD for a single ride. You need to have riel (Cambodian currency) to pay for the ticket. The sign of the bust stop is not very visible. To know the bus station near you, you can download Stops Near Me: Android – iOS.
PassApp: Android – iOS, This is the most popular App to call Tuk Tuk and Taxi in Cambodia. After downloading the App, you just ask for a pickup. Then wait for someone to come and pick you. They will track automatically your location. You will know how many minutes they will arrive. You can also cancel a pick up if you change your mind. It is cheap, safe, convenient and easy to use.
Phnom Penh offers good hotel options for you to select from based on your preference and budget. A budget hostels can cost between $10-$20 USD per night. A luxury hotel can cost up to $200 USD per night.
Check out our list of recommended top 10 best hotels in Phnom Penh.
There are a lot of interesting restaurants for tourists at Sisowath Quay, along the river. At a typical restaurant, a dish generally can cost you from $3-$5 USD.
I know a popular local restaurant where you can eat good food with cheaper price. It is called 126 The Noodle House Factory.