“Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since French colonization of Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation’s center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security, politics, cultural heritage, and diplomacy of Cambodia.
Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” it was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s. Phnom Penh, along with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, are significant global and domestic tourist destinations for Cambodia. Founded in 1434, the city is noted for its beautiful and historical architecture and attractions. There are a number of surviving French colonial buildings scattered along the grand boulevards”.
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia hence the traffic here can be busy during the normal peak hours. You can choose to travel by tuk tuk which is affordable and they would be able to squeeze through the traffic most of the time. Should you travel using tuk tuk, please make sure you bring a mask or bring a scarf to cover your face as it can be dusty when you move around. Also the fume from other vehicle, especially the motorbike can be overwhelming when you stop at traffic lights.
I choose to travel using a private taxi which I have arranged through the hotel. It will cost you slightly more obviously but I appreciate such mode of transportation and the air-conditioner! Either way, you can negotiate the price with the driver but try not to overdo it. These people are relying on this income to support their business and family. Most of the people here (especially those exposed with tourism related business) can speak little bit English. Asking for direction or ordering food with specific requirement is easy. If you have something in particular that you want to do or find, you can always get someone from the hotel to be the translator with your driver. I find the people here take things easy. Most of them are very patient and polite in their approach.
My take on the Top 5 things you must do in Phnom Penh:
1) Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
2) Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)
3) Russian Market & Central Market
4) The Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
5) Hang out for a drink or meal at Riverside and try the local food.
Here are some photos taken in Phnom Penh.