Phnom Penh

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There are certainly some sites worth seeing around Phnom Penh, although if you have extra time and you’re looking for the wow-factor, you’re better off making the long journey to Siem Reap and the temples at Angkor Wat (3-6 hours depending on traffic, floods, and the driver’s familiarity with the route). Hiring a taxi or moto is the easiest way to travel. Private buses are cheaper but take a few hours or so longer.

Day Trips from Phnom Penh

Kep

In the early 20th century before the Khmer Rouge took over in 1975, this small and peaceful beachside resort was famous for hosting the King of Cambodia on his holidays. With its villas in ruins and its beaches poorly kept it’s no longer glamorous, but seafood lovers continue to make the trip for its crab, which is purportedly the best in the country.

About 75 miles southwest from Phnom Penh, near Kampot (a 2-hour drive),
Tags: beach | family | day trip | culinary

Kien Svay

This picnic site near the Mekong is popular with Cambodian families. For a small fee, you can reserve a place to set up your picnic in a bamboo hut. Either bring your own food or buy traditional Cambodian food there (the truly brave can dig into such regional specialties as clams, frogs, and ants). Bargain for what you and the seller agree is an acceptable price before you eat.

In Kandal Province near Koki, about 18 miles south of Phnom Penh (a 30-minute drive),
Tags: family | culture | day trip

Kirirom National Park

This beautiful forested hill station and national park is better visited for a weekend rather than a day. The cool climate attracts visitors from the city, who come to see its waterfalls, trek its nature trails, and lie in its pine groves. The best way to get there, and to get around once you’re there, is to hire a motorbike for the weekend. Alternatively, charter a taxi from Phnom Penh. Overnight visitors will enjoy Kiriom Hillside Resort’s proximity to the park (www.kiriromresort.com).

About 50 miles southwest of the Phnom Penh (a 2-hour drive), 011-855-23-214-409
Tags: family | day trip | wildlife

Phnom Chisor

Head out to Takeo Province to visit the Angkorian temple of Phnom Chisor. Hike the 412 steps to the top of the temple for a superb view of the building itself and the plains below. Bring your climbing legs!

About 20 miles south of Phnom Penh (a 90-minute drive),
Tags: views | culture | architecture | history | day trip

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary

The country’s most famous animal zoo and safari park looks after creatures rescued from poachers and cruel handlers who mistreat and injure them. Come to see bears, elephants, and tigers, among others.

About 20 miles northwest from Phnom Penh (a 90-minute drive),
Tags: family | day trip | wildlife

Tonle Bati

Head out to Tonle Bati lake to picnic by the water and to see two pretty Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm, which hails from the 12th century, and the picturesque, hilltop Phnom Chissor with its 450 steps. Think of them as a prelude to Angkor Wat, which is in Siem Reap, about 6 hours north of Phnom Penh.

About 12 miles south of Phnom Penh (a 25-minute drive),
Tags: family | culture | history | day trip

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