The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is a bustling metropolis set alongside the Mekong River. Cambodians here are curious, always looking your way. So get amongst it and take it all in.
What can you see in Phnom Penh in one day, you ask? Here are a few suggestions!
Take a tuk-tuk driver for a half day out to the Killing Fields – it is about 45 minutes outside of the city, passing by many unsealed, bumpy roads.
As the name suggests, this is a field where routine killing occurred – genocide of the Cambodian people, by the Cambodian people. Imagine people of your own country ordered to kill your neighbours, your loved ones. This is what was ordered under the command of the Polpot Regime and this particular field (one of more than 300 fields) has been set up as the main memorial for those who lost their lives to the horror of that period.
A local farmer was digging for potatoes in this field (at the time it was not known to be a killing field) and he discovered horrors buried in the soil.
Today, many of the bones have been exhumed and placed in the memorial tower, but even after adverse weather the rain still uncovers bone fragments, slowly making their way to the surface as if to say “I’m here, remember me.”
Take a tuk-tuk driver for a half day out to the island, Koh Dach. It’s not too far outside the city, perhaps 30 minutes. The tuk-tuk driver will drive onto the barge to cross the river and continue the tour of the island.
You’ll see traditional houses, constructed in wood and set on stilts. The locals are going about their daily lives, children attend school and are very excited to shout Hello as you drive past.
There’s a quaint little beach where, during good weather, you might take a swim or rent an inner-tube to float around. Nevertheless, you could have lunch on one of the floating huts – if you are lucky you may even share a meal with a Buddhist monk.
Here we are pushing the tuk-tuk up the hill.
Head to riverside. This is the most lively part of the city and probably the most beautiful at night. We went to a rooftop bar called Le Moon, it’s above a hotel on the corner of Street 150 and the main drag. Cocktails are fairly priced and you have a lovely view of the city and the river. People were letting off small fireworks during our visit, it was really cool!
Many bars offer imported beers, however you might try the local brew: Anchor or Angkor there are two, they sound the same but are different beers.
The night markets near Street 110 are quite nice but small. They set up a stage and there is often live music, so its nice to have a stroll around.