Phnom Penh

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Central Phnom Penh is where you’ll find most of the capital’s compelling sights, restaurants, and lodging options. It’s relatively compact and can be easily crossed in about twenty minutes by motorcycle taxi or remorque-moto (the capital’s equivalent of a tuk-tuk). Street names and numbers change constantly, so people navigate according to the city's boulevards. Outside the city center, you’ll find mainly offices and residential areas, with fields beyond.

Phnom Penh Neighborhoods

The riverfront

The area surrounding the mighty, palm-fringed Mekong River is the place to sit and watch the people of Phnom Penh socializing and relaxing. Sisowath Quay hosts restaurants and some of the city’s more expensive hotels – like the Raffles and Hotel Cambodiana.

Monivong Boulevard

Monivong Boulevard, which runs north to south, parallel to the banks of the Tonle Sap Reservoir, hosts the city’s main strip of shops.

Norodom Boulevard

This street marks the administrative center of town. Government offices and ministries line the road, which runs north to south from Wat Phnom.

Boeng Kak

Boeng Kak ("the lakeside” in English) is popular with backpackers and home to hundreds of Cambodians living in traditional wooden houses that sit on stilts in the water. Its narrow, land-based streets house numerous guest-houses, bars, and shops.

Samdech Sothearos Boulevard

This boulevard, which runs north to south near the Mekong, takes you past the Silver Pagoda, Royal Palace, and National Assembly. Its southern end is close to the Independence Monument, built in 1958 following the country's independence from France. On national vacations – especially Independence Day on November 9 – crowds gather around the monument to celebrate.

Sihanouk, Russian, and Mao Tse Boulevards

Running east to west are Sihanouk Boulevard, where you’ll find the Independence Monument, Russian Boulevard, and Mao Tse Boulevard. Be careful when crossing – these main roads are heavily laden with chaotic, local traffic. Laced in between them are dozens of smaller roads where locals go about their lives among the little shops, apartments, and markets.

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