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Phnom Penh Tourism And Travel Guide
27° C / 80.5° F
October to May
2 to 3 Days
Phnom Penh International Airport (7 kms)
Phnom Penh is the largest town in the beautiful country of Cambodia. This city forms the trading, political, and cultural hub of Cambodia. With ancient religious shrines, historically significant monuments and museums, and vibrant streets bustling with artistic fervor, Phnom Penh attracts tourists from all over the globe. Visitors can also spend time dining at one of the riverfront restaurants to enjoy the splendid scenery while feasting on some local delicacies. Let us browse through this travel guide to understand how Phnom Penh attracts a truckload of tourism prospects.
How to Reach
The best way to travel to Phnom Penh is to get aboard a plane to the city. The Phnom Penh International Airport provides excellent connectivity between Phnom Penh and other hubs of the world. Prime airlines such as Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Thai Airways International, Cambodia Angkor Air, and Vietnam Airlines operate flights in and out of the city regularly.
Prime national highways of Cambodia run through the city of Phnom Penh, moving along either side of the Tonle Sap River. Some of the significant bus transporters operating throughout the city include Mekong Express, Phnom Penh Sorya Transport, Capitol Tours, GST Express, and Giant Ibis. These transporters provide excellent connectivity to other places around the country, such as Thailand and Vietnam and some inner cities such as Battambang and Sisophon.
The major seaport that connects other parts of the world to Phnom Penh is the Phnom Penh International Port. Several ferries travel to this seaport from other major hubs around the area, such as Mekong Delta and Chau Doc in Vietnam. Some popular cruises that glide through these waters include Cawaco hydrofoil from Can Tho, Hang Chau Speed Boat, and Mekong Tour Slow Boat.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Phnom Penh experiences two significant seasons throughout its yearly cycle, the dry season and the wet season. The dry season witnesses a humid climate with bright weather, while the wet season witnesses considerable amount of rainfall. Let us see how both these seasons fare on account of attracting tourism prospects.
Dry Season (October to Early May):
The dry season of Phnom Penh provides the best atmosphere to visit this city and explore its incredible tourist destinations. With temperatures remaining below the 20°C mark during December and January, the chilly weather of the dry season makes it the peak season for tourism. If you are lucky, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the Water Festival celebrated to mark the change in seasons.
Wet Season (Early May to September):
The wet season in Phnom Penh experiences high precipitation of rainfall and attracts a lesser number of tourists. However, the fact that this is an offseason allows visitors to explore the beautiful tourist spots around the city in comfort. The town also turns vibrant with gushing waterfalls and greenery takes over the city's landscapes.
Things to Do
Explore Ancient Culture and Arts:
Cultural hubs such as Cambodian Living Arts offer tourists with a glimpse into the rich cultural traditions that have been preserved in Phnom Penh over the centuries. These institutions organize daily performance by professional artists who display the music and theatre life that prevailed within Phnom Penh in the past. These unique forms of art and dance highlight the vibrant people culture of the Angkorian Kingdom.
Exciting Wildlife Reserves:
Phnom Penh nurtures some unique wildlife reserves such as Free the Bears sanctuary, Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. If the gentle elephants of Phnom Tamao can woo tourists with their majestic strides, then the exuberant Sun and Moon bears of Free the Bears sanctuary can lure in tourists with their playful behavior. Other exciting animals found here include tigers, otters, macaques, gibbons, and leopards.
Land of Historical Monuments and Temples:
Phnom Penh is blessed with several glorious shrines and monumental structures around its expanse. Some of the popular monuments include Wat Phnom, Silver Pagoda, Independence Monument, Royal Palace, National Museum of Cambodia, and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. These brilliantly constructed structures provide tourists with a glimpse into the tremendous architectural and religious fervor that prevailed within the Angkor Kingdom during the yesteryears.
What to Eat
Phnom Penh popularly offers traditional Khmer food throughout its streets. Cambodian delicacies have a touch of Indian, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese savor in them. Some of the culinary dishes preferred by the locals and tourists are Lok Lak, Amok, Bai Sach Chrouk, Samlor Korko, Nhoim Troyong Chiek, Lort Char Phong Tear, and Bobor Sach Trey. Some other unconventional Khmer cuisines that could catch the eye include Deep-fried tarantula, Deep-fried insects, Snails, Grilled frog, and Pong tia koun. If Bai Sach Chrouk can tempt your taste buds with its delicious pork, then charcoaled frogs can also tickle your food appetite.
Some of the traditional markets that are spread across Phnom Penh's expanse include the Russian Market, Central Market, Aeon Shopping Mall, Phnom Penh Night Market, Orussei Market, Street 178, and Old Market. The Night Market is famous for the song and dance activities that light up its streets, and it provides tourists with a variety of clothing and handicrafts. On the other hand, the Russian Market is visited by locals and tourists in equal numbers, with Russians even beating the locals. Unusual items include souvenirs, antiques, paintings, artifacts, kitchen lamps, and silk scarves.