Boasting an abundance of beaches, jungles, mountains, lakes and temples galore, Cambodia is a country just waiting to be explored.
I would be completely lying if I said that I can comprehensively tell you of all the beautiful things to do there! Because I myself did not have enough time to replenish them all. But in any case I will try my best to mention a few that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on when planning a trip there. I will try and do so for the three major towns I visited…Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.
One can easily get the visa online which is as easy as nothing! And just have to cash out around 30 bucks (usd) for it. Etihad had the fairest fares at that time and so I was compelled to use them and the other reason being that it didn’t have any long layovers for both trips.
This being the capital city of Cambodia, it has so much to offer you as a visitor! It is vibrant and always happening! Landed at the Phnom Penh International airport, got a taxi that took me straight away to the hotel which I had booked weeks ago! I stayed at the Patio Urban Resort which I highly recommend to everyone! Good service and stunning views right in the heart of the city.
Orientation: As capital cities go, it is relatively compact and most touristic places are around the Riverfront and Monivong Blvd.
Where to stay: It literally has thousands of hotel rooms from $2 to $2000. Budget travelers should check out Street 172 and 258. There are also boutique hotels from $50 offering good value for money comparing to other capital cities.
Getting Around: Easiest way to get around is by foot, moto or tu- tuk. PS: I used one tuk-tuk guy I randomly met for my whole stay there. I assure you he’s the best. Send me an email to get his number if you ever are in Cambodia. He instantly doubled up as my tour guide!
Food and Drink: This city has a plethora of bars and restaurants with a surprising number of cuisines available. My recommendations are Friends Restaurant on st.13, Shanghai Bar on st.51 and Riverhouse Asian Bistro and Lounge on st.110. Forego the restaurants and cafes for a day and try the street foods too.
Things to do:
1. Visit the Central market,The Russian Market and Night Market for souvenir shopping.
2. Go to the National Museum. Stay a bit longer till evening to get a taste of their traditional cultural dances, by the Cambodian Living Arts daily from Monday to Saturday.
3.The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda is a must see.
4. Visit Wat Phnom – a Buddhist temple built in 1372, and stands 27 metres above the ground. It is the tallest religious structure in the city.
5. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (Find more information on this article: https://theafricanwanderlusts.com/discovering-kingdom-cambodia/ )
6.The Killing Fields– Choeung Ek is the most common site of a former orchard and mass grave of victims of the Khmer Rouge – killed between 1975 and 1979.
7. Mekong Island
8. Udong Hill is situated about 40km to the north of Phnom Penh. From 1618 to 1866, it was the capital of Cambodia, but now Oudong Hill is a quiet area which includes many wonderful constructions.
9. Ta Prohm Temple at Tonle Bati– Located only 30K south of Phnom Penh off of Rt. 2 is Tonle Bati (Bati is a Lake) which is home to 12-13th Century Ta Phrom Temple, dedicated to Buddhism.
10. Phnom Tamao Zoo
11. Chisor Mountain
12. shopping and shooting Range
13. Rocket Launcher
All these sights are easily accessible by tuk-tuk.
Next up will be Siem Reap-my favorite!