The Five Things You Must Not Miss When in Phnom Penh, Cambodia



Not every country has a great capital city, but Phnom Penh is the shining jewel of Cambodia, a cityt hat the country can be proud of. It is the capital, and the largest based on the population that lives and breathes in its air. It won’t be wrong to call it the heart of Cambodia because of its importance. Talk about cultural, industrial, and economic importance, Phnom Penh is the first name that comes to mind. I have had the experience of exploring Phnom Penh, and I must say it is an unforgettable place. Why? Let’s talk about only five things that you must not miss in Phnom Penh, and you will know the reason too. 

Be Enthralled by the Royal Palace 

If you visit reviews and experiences from most of the travelers who have been to this city, you will find Royal Palace on top of their lists. Well, it is topping my list of the best places in Phnom Penh too. Trust me, it will end up becoming your favorite place too. The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is from the middle of the 19th century. If you combine beauty with ostentatiousness, you will get this Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. You will have some great opportunities of capturing some great photos of the palace from the river that flanks it. 

While you can’t visit all the sections of this palace, you can definitely step into the throne hall. If you are a people’s person, you can visit on Sundays. I like people, but I don’t like them in the form of a crowd. So, I visited the palace on a Tuesday. 

Fathom the Beauty of Silver Pagoda 

I used the word fathom intentionally and meaningfully here. To be honest, I have not been able to put the beauty of this pagoda in words. Will I be wrong if I say that this is one of the most expensive sites in Phnom Penh based on the materials that it has been adorned with? Let me shed some light on a few materials so you can get an idea of what I am talking about. There is an Emerald Buddha inside this pagoda, and what makes it unique is that it shines bright like a star because of nearly 2100 diamonds it contains. As soon as you are close to the opening of the temple, you realize that it’s tiles made of silver that make up the flooring. 

Can you walk on them? Nope, you can’t. But hey, they do not stop you from staring at them. The meticulousness in the design of this pagoda is out of this world. Take a picture with Silver Pagoda in the backdrop and stand nearly 30 to 40 feet away from it, and you will create the most memorable picture of your life. 

Stroll the Russian Market  

Its streets are congested and narrow. You will see “stuff” everywhere when you are inside. To tell you the truth, I finished my 1.5-liters of water bottle in the first hour of walking in this market. So, I advise you to bring your hydration with you. It is called the Russian Market, but only a few items here belong to Russia. However, you will definitely find some great presents and souvenirs here that you can give to your loved ones when you return to your country. 

Are you cooking at home and have just found out that you are missing some important spices? Pay a visit to the Russian Market. Is your wife interested in wearing colorful scarves? You will find plenty of them in the Russian Market. You will find just about everything here. 

Be inside the National Museum 

The building of the museum looks beautiful. In this museum, you will find almost every type of item that depicts the culture and history of Cambodia. From clothing items to century-old statues, everything is there inside this museum. Not everything inside the stadium is static and still. If you want to watch experience the culture of Cambodia live, you can witness some Khmer dancers performing the cultural dance. Some of the articles in this museum belong to the 16th century. 

Right in front of the museum, you have a statue of Buddha in white. If you want to take some time out to relax, you do not have to go anywhere. The garden outside the museum is beautiful, clean, and lush green. It has plenty of space for you to spend a few relaxing moments. You can walk in the museum with a guide accompanying you. The prices may be higher if you want audible guidance. 

Respect the Killing Fields 

Not a day goes by when I am not thankful to God for the life bestowed upon me as the biggest gift. Some people, in fact many people in this world have lost their lives unfairly. The killing fields are a commemoration of those atrocious acts that took place in Cambodia. These sites are signs of the tyranny and brutality of the Khmer Rouge. At that time when the state was killing its own people, the population of the country was barely around eight million. You will be shocked to know that the state killed millions of people and buried them in mass graves in these killing fields. 

You might see bones here and there. In addition to that, you might even see items coming out of the graves. None of what you see, however, is fabricated. When you walk on these grounds, you know you are walking on the bones of millions of children, mothers, fathers, daughters, etc. killed recklessly. 

Final Thoughts 

If you are visiting Cambodia, I urge you to visit Phnom Penh, not only because it is the capital of the country, but because it offers you all the bitter and sweet of life. From beautiful scenic views and mesmerizing man-made structures to sites that show the extremity of human mind, you will find it all here. I might have forgotten a lot of places that I have visited during my traveling career. However, I can never forget the silence of the killing fields.  

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