Go To Phnom Penh - BookitList

Go To Phnom Penh

The glimmering Pearl of Asia that war and revolution has failed to dull.

Photo by Pj Go

The glimmering Pearl of Asia that war and revolution has failed to dull.

Phnom Penh is an Asian daydream. Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” in the 1920’s it was thought to be one of the most beautiful French-build cities in Indochina. Fast forward a century—a turbulent one for Cambodia and its people—and that shining pearl still attracts nearly 3 million tourists a year.

It’s an assault on the senses, from the glittering spires of the Royal Palace, the Mighty Mekong, the whine and grumble of passing motorbikes and the pungent smell of a thousand market stalls. But it’s a city that’ll live with you long after you’ve left.

Where to stay in Phnom Penh


our pick


The Ultimate Phnom Penh tour and Mekong riverboat trip

Experience the city’s main sights and get out on the water in one day. If you’re in Phnom Penh for a short time, or just want to see the sights so you can spend some time relaxing, then get yourself booked on this behemoth of a tour.

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We’ve used tours from Get Your Guide all over the world. They’re great, and they totally take the hassle out of booking your time away.

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In the morning you’ll see hundreds of years of Cambodian architectural achievements, history and art at the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum and the Wat Phnom temple. After lunch, you’ll board a boat and travel down the Tonle Sap River to where it meets the Mekong. You’ll dock a the village of Prek Bongkong on Silk Island and visit a working silk farm before returning to Phnom Penh.

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Prepare for an intense day of sightseeing! We know it sounds like a cliché, but you’ll remember this tour for a long time to come. Prepare something relaxing for the following day as you’ll be worn out from this.

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Although the official Cambodian currency is the Riels, as a tourist, you’ll often be asked for payment in US Dollars. It’s usually useful to have some Riels to use at markets for small transactions though, as the amount you’ll pay in dollars is likely to be greater.

You’ll be able to use a card to withdraw money at an ATM but not at shops, in markets or for transport. We would recommend withdrawing the money you need for a few days to minimise the fees of using the ATM.

The best time to visit Phnom Penh is between November and April. This time of year is often the driest with clear blue skies.

Travellers from many countries can get a one-month tourist visa as they enter Cambodia. Do check in advance though as Australians, for example, need to apply for one online before they travel.

Phnom Penh Essentials


  • Compare airlines flights to Phnom Penh using Skyscanner. You can fly internationally into Phnom Penh.
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World Nomads

  • World Nomads offer simple and flexible travel insurance, designed by travellers for travellers.
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  • For you to find the best accommodation around Phnom Penh. They provide hotels for all budgets.
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