If you arrive in Phnom Penh after leaving Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok or Singapore, you might feel surprised at how plain is this city. Is Phnom Penh worth visiting? Absolutely! It’s a wonderful place to start your Cambodian adventure and learn about the devastation that Cambodia endured throughout the years as well as see a resilient spirit of locals here. Let’s find out what makes Phnom Penh become an attraction that many tourists embark on!
The Royal Palace is a beautiful piece of architecture that serves as the principal residence of the King, Queen, and the royal family. The complex of buildings was constructed in 1866 and has been occupied by the Cambodian kings since that time but some parts of the palace are still open to the public. Thus, you just are allowed to enter several buildings such as the palace's gardens, the throne room, and the Silver Pagoda, and marvel at the main palace from the outside.
The impressive throne hall filled with ornate furniture, lush carpets, and intricate wall paintings is reserved for important ceremonies and formal receptions for distinguished guests since it was completed in 1917.
And you had better spend some time in the courtyard of the Silver Pagoda where there are silver stupas containing the cremated remains of former kings. Although the temple is actually gold, the floor of the temple is covered with silver tiles and rugs.
The S-21 Prison was a secret prison in Cambodia where people were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered during The Khmer Rouge period. The Khmer Rouge was the name of a revolution which ruled over Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. There are over 3 million people died from being tortured or murdered under the genocide of Pol Pot. S-21 Prison is a witness of that historical period with tears, fears and horrendous stories.
You may find the place slightly depressing but definitely a must-see helping you to understand the history of Cambodia and see how the people remain resilient after all.
Tonle Sap River and Mekong River, which symbolize hope and a vibrant future, converge right near the touristy area of Phnom Penh. So why don’t you end your night with a positive feeling and just jump right into boats near the Mekong River? The sunset river cruise is absolutely amazing is something that you should not miss. There are tours available to explore the city through rivers which offer a quality cruising experience for a really reasonable price. You will visit floating villages in the river banks, look around the city, get the view of the Phnom Penh skyline from the mighty river and enjoy onboard entertainment with free flow draft beer or soft drinks.
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