This is the residence of King Sihamoni, and it’s the focal point of the city. Visitors can only visit the throne hall and a few other buildings around it, but you’ll find information about the history of the royal family, some interesting temples, and a picturesque courtyard.
The National Museum houses thousands of artifacts and works of art. There are more than 5,000 pieces on display with the vast majority from the Angkor period (9th-15th-centuries). The building itself, with its chambers linked by a central courtyard, is also an architectural masterpiece. Admission is $10 USD.
These are the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. Choeung Ek is a series of exhumed mass graves while Toul Sleng is the former high school that the Khmer Rouge converted into a torture center. Admission to Choeung Ek is $6 USD and the museum is $8 USD. It is about 45 minutes outside the city.
This is the biggest wildlife rescue center in Cambodia, where over 100 endangered species are rescued, rehabilitated, and (ideally) released. A full-day visit costs $150 USD which includes transport, lunch, and tour guides. You can also visit independently for $55 USD if you hire your own driver.
The Silver Pagoda is a stunning temple complex that receives its name from the 5,329 silver tiles covering the temple floor. Within the grounds are five stupas, with the two largest containing the ashes of King Norodom and King Udung (the two most famous kings of modern Cambodia).
Accommodations in Phnom Penh are incredibly cheap, even by Southeast Asia standards. If you’re looking for some of the best places to stay, here are some of my recommended places:
Public transportation – Phnom Penh has a small bus network with 17 routes. It’s incredibly cheap and you don’t need to haggle, with tickets costing just $0.40 USD per ride. You’ll need to pay in cash each time you board the bus. Download the free English app Stops Near Me to see routes and stops. Line 3 goes to and from the airport.
Tuk-tuks – Tuk-tuks are cheap cabs, and they’re all you need to get around the city. They’re everywhere and you’ll never have to wait long for a ride. Trips cost between $2-7 USD within the city (just make sure you negotiate your price upfront). A tuk-tuk to the Killing Fields and back should cost around $15 USD.
Taxis – If you’re taking a taxi around the city or to the Killing Fields, make sure it’s metered or negotiate the fare upfront. They’re more expensive than tuk-tuks, however, and are mostly unnecessary. A 3-kilometer (2-mile) journey costs about $3.25 USD. Ask your hostel/hotel staff for price estimates so you can ensure you don’t get ripped off.
Ridesharing – Grab and Passapp are the two most used ride-sharing apps in Cambodia. You can reserve both taxis, tuk-tuks, or motorbike taxis through these apps.
Hire a driver – If you want to do a big day of sightseeing, you can rent a car and driver for about $25-30 USD per day. The driver will take you everywhere you need to go and wait for you between stops. It’s convenient and a good way to see the city/outskirts if you have limited time.
Car/motorbike rental – Motorbikes and scooters start at just $5 USD per day or $30 USD per week. Cars, on the other hand, are pricey at $50 USD per day. Either way, keep in mind that roads here are in rough condition and accidents are common. I’d skip the rentals and go with the many other cheap transportation options.
Phnom Penh is warm year-round. Most people prefer to visit from November to February when the temperatures are milder and humidity isn’t extreme. Even then, it’s warm and lovely and temperatures rarely dip below 20°C (68°F). Rainfall is heaviest from September to October, but usually, this just means short blasts of rain in the afternoons.
Temperatures are hottest from May to October, ranging from 22°C (71°F) to as high as 38°C (100°F), especially in April and May. The humidity during this time is also incredibly high, and the days can be very uncomfortable. Tourism traffic is lower during this time, however, and the heat isn’t unbearable if you’re prepared. Make sure you dress appropriately, wear sunscreen, and have plenty of water during this time.
Phnom Penh is a safe place to backpack and travel — even if you’re traveling solo and even as a solo female traveler. Violent attacks are super rare.
Petty theft is the most common type of crime here. Keep an eye out for pickpocketing, especially at night around the markets. If you are carrying a purse, make sure it’s secure around your body, as drive-by snatching happens.
Solo female travelers should feel comfortable here, though the standard precautions apply (avoid walking home alone at night, always keep an eye on your drink at the bar, etc.)
In addition, you have to follow health regulations during Covid-19. You should wear a mask and wash your hands when visiting crowded places.
To help you fully enjoy your vacation to the Kingdom of Wonder, we’ve put together some basic packing list guidelines. Hope this will be useful for your travels.
Clothing & Footwear - Packing comfortable clothing for your Cambodian journey is important.
Electronics - Who can live without their phone? Make sure to pack all your electrical items to document your travels!
Medical, Toiletries, and Skin Protection - Going overseas can be difficult. Take care of your body by packing recommended toiletries and medical items.
Luggage - Finally, don’t forget sufficient luggage where you can put all this stuff.
What a wonderful escape plan for you to do during your holiday! Just pack your luggage and we will take care of the rest of the journey! Lux Travel DMC has just turned 15 years old in the travel industry sector within Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. With the prior experience from the young staff, we believe that this will be helpful for you when planning your holiday to Southeast Asia.