Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

By the Tonle Sap Lake
And so I was saying ..

9 hours later, I ended up in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The bus will drop you off at the central bus station, where you'll be flocked by locals offering to take you to your accommodation in their tuk-tuks and what not. After finding my feet following a pretty long ride, I got myself one at 2 USD. The Khmer Riel (KHR) and USD are used interchangeably in Cambodia, and you can almost certainly pay for everything using USD. That said, you might get your change back in KHR (4000 KHR : 1 USD) as they do not have pennies and dimes for change.

Central Market

Central Market is located, well, in the center of town. Inside, you can find all sorts of things, ranging from jewelry, to fake watches, to clothes, to pirated software. You name it, they have it. It is quite massive too, with a lot of alleys within and it really takes a bit of exploring to be able to finish walking every single part of the market.

Central Market

Clock Tower in the middle of Central Market
It opens from about 7 in the morning to around 6 in the evening.

National Musuem of Cambodia

If you're a history fanatic, be sure to visit the National Museum as they have a good variety of artifacts to intrigue, some dating back to a few hundred BC. It also brings you on a brief journey to see how Cambodia transformed from Chinese-ruled to French-ruled to Independence, and that might be interesting for some too.

National Musuem of Cambodia
Admission is 5 USD and it opens from 8AM to 5PM.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace comprises of several buildings and serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. The fanciful architecture bears a certain resemblance to Thailand's palaces, illustrating how the Indo-Chine area are basically influences of one another. In Wat Preah Keo Morokat, you'll also be able to find Buddha statues, with the two prominent ones: one made of emerald and one made of gold, one in front of each other. There is also a mini intricate (and I mean, intricate) replica of Angkor Wat, which many might miss out as it situates at a certain small corner of the Palace (I'll leave it up to you to find out it's location).

Throne Hall, Royal Palace
Wat Preah Keo (Silver Pagoda), Royal Palace
Mini Angkor Wat replica, Royal Palace
Admission is 6 USD and it opens 8AM-11AM and 2PM-5PM.

The museum and the Palace is reachable by foot as it is just located around town.

Walking around town, you'll see tuk-tuk drivers offering tours to some of the attractions located just outside of town. Of course, just like any other countries and cities, you'll have to bargain and look around just enough to find the best price you can find. I found one that is willing to bring me to the Killing Fields, the Genocide Museum and the Russian Market for 17 USD. I heard you can get one at a cheaper price, but if you follow my blog, you'll know that I can't bargain very well (in actual fact, I absolutely hate it).

The Killing Fields

Easily the best attraction I've been to. This is the one of the actual sites of the travesty that happened during the Civil war that happened not so long ago. Men, women and children were killed here and that itself is a haunting thought. An audio guide is provided at the entrance and it'll take you through several 'sights' in the Fields. The mood here is somber and sad and at the end of the audio guided tour, you'll find some tourists unable to handle the entirety of the depressing history and break down crying. I can't deny that me myself was kinda' teary-eyed at the end. You can even spot pieces of bone fragments and teeth remains embedded on the ground.

The Killing Tree, Killing Fields
One of the many mass graves, Killing Fields
Memorial for the dead, Killing Fields
Bones remains, Killing Fields
Admission is 6 USD and it opens from 7AM to 5.30PM.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Musuem

This compound used to be the site where prisoners were tortured and killed during the Civil war. It was converted from a school and the atrocities that happened here are nothing short of dumbfounding. Inside, you'll be able to see photos of how prisoners were tortured, torture beds, prisoner cells etc. A sad part of Cambodia's history, still freshly embedded in the minds of Cambodian.

Corridor, Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
The rules of the ex prison, Genocide Museum
Admission is 3 USD and it opens from 7AM to 5.30PM.

Russian Market

The Russian market is not basely Russian, but it's a name that stuck with it since the occupation by the Vietnamese several decades ago (Russian pointing to Communism). In here, you can find factory rejected branded goods as well as fake at a cheap price. The place is a little stuffy and dark but it's bearable, although that does make it a little unpleasant to shop.

Russian Market
Russian Market opens from 6 in the morning to around 5 in the evening.

Moving on to Siem Reap, next!
Next Post »