, the capital city of Cambodia
, is also its most populated city. The city is located on the banks of three major rivers - Mekong, Bassac, and Tonle Sap. As such, it remains the most influential industrial, economic, and cultural hub of Cambodia. In the 1920s, Phnom Penh was considered one of the most charming cities and was fondly referred to as the "Pearl of Asia" complete with its strong base of architectural attractions.
The heart of Phnom Penh is home to the Central Market, the spot where most tourists visit to get souvenirs and other art and deco pieces. Nearby is the magnificent waterfront, where people visit for strolls and walks and is an attractive spot owing to the numerous parks and gardens lining its sidewalks. Several restaurants, food courts, bars, and drinking parlors can also be accessed at this point.
Close by the iconic National Museum stands next to the famous Silver Pagoda, and the majestic grandeur of the Royal Palace. All these three points have beautiful displays of various art pieces and antique artifacts that attract visitors. The beauty of Phnom Penh results from its being intermixed with their French colonial masters and the Khmer Empire.
The famous Street 240 is home to numerous cafes, eateries, hip restaurants, fashion boutiques, and many other shopping options for visitors. More shopping can be met at the ever vibrant Russian Market, situated to the south of Phnom Penh. Here, numerous clothing options, fashion items, and stunning jewelry collections can be found in plenty.
The northern side of Phnom Penh represents a buzzing French Quarter, which is home to stunning architectural designs of faded and moderately picturesque buildings. One such building is the iconic Cambodia Post Office, stunning in its yellowish hue design. Close by is the Wat Phnom Buddhist Temple pagoda, with its intricate design placed delicately but attractively up a hilltop.
The crude regime of the Khmer Empire is vividly remembered in Phnom Penh through the Killing Fields Memorial center that is just outside of the city. The same goes to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school that has since been changed into a prison - it brings terror and haunts to Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh experiences a typical wet and dry climate. The climate is primarily influenced by tropical monsoons making the two major seasons. The wet season runs from May
and is as a result of the southwestern moisture monsoon winds. During this rainy season, the daily temperature remains high but becomes mildly manageable towards the evenings. The dry season, however, extends from December
. The temperature drops significantly, and the days remain warm and dry.
The tourist period peaks from November to February
, during the dry season. During this time, touring Phnom Penh becomes smooth and is not limited by lots of rainfall and other weather-related issues.
The Khmer New Year is another significant event held in Phnom Penh. It takes place in April and is celebrated with lots of music and dance shows, feast, and celebrations, as well as beautiful fireworks displays. Then there is the Pchum Ben Festival, one that lasts for a whole week to allow time for the people of Phnom Penh to pay tribute and respects to their ancestors. One event that visits Phnom Penh worthwhile is the famous Bon Om Touk Festival, otherwise known as the water festival. Traditional delicacies are served during this festival, and there are fantastic performances, concerts, and even boat races.