Phnom Penh

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Absorbing activities are not hard to find in Phnom Penh – whether your preference is for tranquil wats (temples) and river cruises or for an emotional immersion in the events of Cambodia’s murderous past. In fact, with so many of the sites centrally located, it’s possible to do several in one day.

Things to do in Phnom Penh

Kambol Shooting Range

Whether you’re a macho gun enthusiast or just curious about what it would be like to handle the likes of an AK-47 or a B-40 grenade launcher, the Cambodian military – which has found a way to capitalize on their surplus of weapons – makes it possible on shooting ranges like this one in Kambol. No previous experience or reservations are necessary – just show up and they will instruct you.

Pochentong Rd. (head west on Russian Blvd. past the airport and continue for 9 miles on NH4 until you see the sign for Kambol), About 9 miles west of Phnom Penh,
Tags: trendy | things to do | sports

National Museum

Enter through elaborately carved doors into this series of courtyards and rooms to see over 5,000 of the world’s finest ancient Khmer religious, artistic, and archeological objects from the 4th to the 13th centuries, including stone and bronze sculptures, bas reliefs, and ceramics. Many of them once belonged to Angkor Wat.

Near the Royal Palace, on Samdech Sothearos Boulevard,
Tags: art | things to do | history | sculpture

Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

The Royal Palace is comprised of a series of spectacular pagodas built for King Norodom in 1892 after he moved the capital of Cambodia from Oudong to Phnom Penh. The Silver Pagoda, also known as Wat Preah Keo, is famous for housing a small crystal Buddha from the 17th century (The Emerald Buddha). The pagoda is named for its floor, which is tiled with 5,000 silver slabs.

Samdech Sothearos Boulevard, www.tourismcambodia.com/Attractions/PhnomPenh
Tags: historic | things to do | architecture | religious

Scenic River Cruise

Boat trips on the Mekong are popular, especially at sunset. They also provide a great way for visitors to experience the traditional mode of transport in Cambodia. If you’re traveling to cities beyond Phnom Penh, these boats can also be a fun, if more time-consuming, way to travel. Whatever you do, don’t take a speedboat – they can be extremely dangerous.

You can negotiate directly with the riverfront companies on Sisowath Quay,
Tags: cruise | smart splurge | things to do

Seeing Hands (Blind) Massage

The city has numerous massage salons, which offer a range of styles including shiatsu and aromatherapy-based work – for just a few dollars. Asia historically employed blind people as masseurs, and there are many excellent practitioners still working in Phnom Penh. Although salons operate on practically every street, including the roads that run off of Sisowath Quay, the Seeing Hands chain operates some of the most respected establishments, and come highly recommended by those who like their knotty muscles worked over thoroughly. Of the four outposts in Phnom Penh, the one on 6 Street 94 is our favorite for its central location.

6 Street 94, 011-855-1685-6188
Tags: great value | things to do | health

Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum and Cheung Ek Killing Fields

This museum was formerly a torture chamber from which nobody escaped, and its shocking exhibits of torture instruments, blood-stained floors, and photographs of victims are hard to forget. After visiting the museum, proceed just outside of Phnom Penh to see the Killing Fields, which serve as burial sites for the thousands who were slaughtered during the regime.

Tuol Sleng is near Monivong and Sihanouk Boulevard, south of the city center, The Killing Fields are 9 miles outside town, www.cambodia-travel.com/phnompenh/killing-field.htm
Tags: historic | things to do | museum

Wat Ounalom

The 15th-century Wat Ounalom remains one of the most important sites for Buddhism in Cambodia. The Wat is the religious home to Cambodia's top monk (the leader of Cambodian Buddhism) and contains sacred artifacts such as an eyebrow believed to have come from the original Buddha. The temple features three traditional Khmer-style steeples, as well as statues of the Buddha and stupas for meditation.

Samdech Sothearos Boulevard, (two streets north from the Royal Palace), 011-855-12-77-3361
Tags: historic | things to do | architecture | religious

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom, also known as "Hill Temple," sits on an artificial mound that towers about 100 feet over the city. The area, which houses shrines and statues, marks the point where Phnom Penh was founded in 1373.

Follow Sisowath Quay in the north part of the city until you reach the city’s only hill,
Tags: historic | views | things to do | architecture | religious

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