Why visit Phnom Penh?
Phnom Penh is the most populated city of Cambodia. Expect busy streets with a lots traffic jam around business hours. The main reason why you should visit this capital is to dive in the history of the Khmer regime.
During this regime, the country experienced a terrible genocide in which 25% of the population was killed over a period off less than 5 years (1975 to 1979). A visit to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as the S-21 prison, will give you a deep insight into this dramatic history.
It is best to rent a tuk-tuk driver or join a tour and visit these two places in one day. We recommend to visit the S-21 prison first. The audio guide will tell you the story of how people were interrogated and tortured in this prison before they were brought to the killing fields.
After hearing these stories, you will understand why we should do everything to prevent that something like this can happen again.
Although it is a very intense experience, it gives you a really good understanding of these tragics that happened only 40 years ago. Every local you will meet, will be affected by it in some way. If they didn’t experience the cruel themselves, they will have brother or sisters, fathers and mothers or grandparents that became victims in this terrible war.
After learning about this shocking history of Cambodia, you will pay more attention to the positive mindset in this country. Cambodians want to leave the past behind and rebuild the country from one of the poorest in the world to a country in which all Cambodians can live a good and healthy life. Their English language skills are a good example of this. Tourists are an important source of income and that’s why they do their maximum effort to treat you with respect and welcome you with open arms.
As Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world, you should always be alert on your valuables in this capital. Don’t take your valuable belongings outside and be extra careful when walking over the street at night. There are many reports of bag snatchers. Scooter drivers pass by and rip your bag from your body or Tuk-tuk if they see an opportunity.
This doesn’t mean you cannot walk over the streets, but just be careful.
Luckily the city also offers a few lighter sights. The best way to explore the city is to join a bike tour, but you can also explore the center by foot and pay a visit to the Royal Palace or join a boat tour over the Mekong.
Another great side of Phnom Penh is its cuisine. It has a large number of great restaurants with French influences. One of the food experiences not to miss is the handmade noodles from David’s restaurant. Seeing the chef preparing the noodles is already a complete show on its own!
How to get there
30min, Free until October 31,2018
Shuttle bus: 30min – 1 hour, $5
Public bus: 30min – 1 hour, $0,40
30min – 1 hour, $12 – $18
30min – 1 hour, $6 – $9
6 – 7 hours, $9 – $15
5 – 6 hours, $65 – $130
45min, $45 – $75
8 hours, $38
4 – 4,5 hours, $7 – $13
4 hours, $45 – $85
7 hours, $8
1 hour, $45 – $100
4 hours, $8 – $10
3 – 4 hours, $40 – $85
5 – 6 hours, $7 – $12
5 – 6 hours, $60 – $75
3 hours, $8
2,5 – 3 hours, $50
4h 40min, $7
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