Phnom Penh, the busiest and biggest city in Cambodia. It is located at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap river.
From the local street food stalls, Royal Palace, local temples to the nightlife, pub, clubs, fine dining and five-star hotels. It covers both historical attractions and modern city lifestyle.
How to go Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh City
From HCMC Vietnam, it is possible to go to Cambodia by bus. The bus journey takes about 6 hours to arrive at Phnom Penh.
Alternatively, from Saigon, you may go to Chau Doc town in Mekong Delta (there is a daily direct bus of Futabus/Phuong Trang from Saigon and the bus journey is about 6-7 hours) then travel by boat/ferry to Phnom Penh (about 5 hours).
The nationals of Malaysia, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar do not need a tourist visa and may stay in Cambodia for 21 and 30 days respectively.
For other national’s requirement:
Recommended Bus Company
I took the bus company of Giant Ibis Transport
The bus provides complimentary WIFI, electrical outlets, and snacks for the whole bus journey. It is absolutely an affordable luxury.
The cost is $18 per trip and you can purchase the ticket online in advance.
HOSTEL in Phnom Penh
One Stop Hostel It is just 5 minutes walking distance from Giant Ibis bus stop to the hostel and it is convenient to access to many tourist places.
What to see in Phnom Penh
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum a.k.a S-21 Prison
…more than 35 years ago |3yrs 8months and 20days| the Genocide in Cambodia…
A former high school before it was turned into a killing and tortured place for over 17,000 Cambodians/ victims. It is a heartbreaking place where each of the classrooms was the place where the victims got tortured and killed.
Most prisoners were then brought to the Killing Fields which is just outside of Phnom Penh.
Highly recommend to pay a visit. Entrance fee: USD 5 (year 2017)
The Royal Palace of Cambodia
“It is one of Phnom Penh’s most splendid architectural achievements. The palace was built in 1866 by His Majesty Preah Bat Norodom, great grandfather to Cambodia’s current King. This site was specially chosen by a Commission of Royal Ministers and Astrologers because it had great geographical significance in relation to the King, who was regarded as a direct descendant of the gods, whose role it was to live and govern on earth under the influence of heaven.” – source: tourismcambodia
Entrance Fee: USD 10 (year 2017)
*Remember to wear appropriate dress code – no sleeveless shirt/ short pants, otherwise you may need to purchase the t-shirt on the spot (USD 3) in order to enter
Central Market (Phsar Thmey)
In the Khmer Language, Phsar Thmey means “New Market”. From outside, you can see the unique colonial-style building of this market.
The building was built and constructed in 1937. It is also considered one of the landmarks in Phnom Penh.
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 18:00 Address: Street 130, Phnom Penh
The Killing Fields of Cheung Ek
It is situated 15 km south-west of Phnom Penh. A place where more than 17,000 Cambodians been killed and buried in mass graves.
Many of the victims were brought to this place after been tortured in Toul Sleng.
Independence Monument aka Vimean Ekareach
It was built in 1958 to celebrate the independence from French in 1953. The independence monument is designed in Angkorian’s style and it now serves and known as the monument to Cambodia’s war heroes.
National Museum of Cambodia
One of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art including sculptural, Khmer ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects
Opening hours: 8.00am until 5.00pm daily. Last admission tickets are sold at 4.30pm.
Admission costs :
- $5 for foreigner ages from 10 to 17 years old
- $10 foreigner ages from 18 years old and above
- 500 riels for Cambodians. Children and school groups are free.
I stayed for 2 days 1 night in Phnom Penh which I think it’s more than enough to discover the tourist places in Phnom Penh.
From there, I took an overnight sleeper bus (Giant Ibis Transport) and heading to Siem Reap for the famous Angkor Wat.
Overall, the local’s English speaking level is high especially in the city and also at the tourist spots. It is no issue for foreigners like us who travel alone. Bear in mind that Cambodia is using USD currency and Cambodian riel.
It is still considered high expenses to travel here especially for us who are coming from a developing country. On average, one meal is around USD 2.