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Phnom Penh

Places of Interest

Things To Do

Food, Drinks and Entertainment






Phnom Penh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has its history dated back to the early 15th century when the then Khmer King Chao Ponhea Yat moved his administrative base from Angkor city, near Siem Reap to this tiny town.

...a city with more than 600 years old history...

Today, the tiny town has grown to a big city which covers an area of 375 sq. kilometers or 145 sq. miles (slightly smaller than Stuttgart in Germany or about as big as Dublin in Ireland) and has seven districts or "Khan" in Khmer (local language) and 76 communes ("Sangkat" in Khmer).

According to Cambodian histories, the name Phnom Penh is taken from a wealthy widow, Daun Penh, who built the Wat Phnom pagoda in the late 1300s (click here for information on Wat Phnom). At that time there were less than 10,000 people inhabited Chaktomuk or known today as Phnom Penh. The number of population grew to about 2 million people in 1975, but when down to about 100,000 people after the Khmer Rouge took control of the city and the country (click here for information on Khmer Rouge).

Phnom Penh and Cambodia were less impressive to the world of tourism during the Khmer Rouge era. One of the city?s places of interest, Toul Sleng Genocidal Museum tells the sad story behind this Pol Pot era (the leader of Khmer Rouge).

Today there are about 1.5 millions people living this capital city of Reach Thani Phnom Penh Municipality and all has changed since. It offers many activities to its people and foreign tourists. Good Khmer food, entertainment and many interesting places to visit, such as Wat Phnom, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, a few monuments, markets, museums, shops, and so on.

...restaurants, shopping, riverfront, art-deco buildings...

The city has also lots of interesting art-deco buildings, which were built during the French colonization era. The famous French built art-deco building is the Central Market or Phsar Thom Thmei (in Khmer language). Click here for more details on Phsar Thom Thmei.

In 2006 Phnom Penh, a sister city of Long Beach and Providence of Rhode Island in USA, won two awards, the First Price of Leadership in London and the First Price of Environment in Australia. During the World Leadership Forum in December 2007 in London, which was attended by 400 cities from many countries, Phnom Penh was awarded the First Price in Environment.

Good records were also released in a report in 2007. It said that social security and safety in the capital city of Cambodia had improved and were well maintained. The then Governor of Phnom Penh also mentioned that they would always work on problems concerning safety, drugs, food quality, and other big cities issues.

Only about two hours away from major cities around the region, Phnom Penh and its friendly people are now ready to welcome you to their city and country.

Have a pleasant holiday in Phnom Penh!


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All About Twins



A poster of
Angkor Wat, by Jitka Citron, 20x16

Further reading by
Elizabeth Becker

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