Phnom Penh was once nicknamed 'The Pearl of Asia' as it was considered one of the finest cities in the region.
Located in the south-central region of Cambodia, at the junction of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh has been Cambodia’s capital for most of the last six centuries.
Having recovered from the dark legacy of the Pol Pot era in the 1970’s, Phnom Penh today is a vibrant economic centre, with a population of two million. Cafes, restaurants and hotels line the banks of the river while boutique shops and art galleries sprout along smaller side streets. Even as it undergoes urban development, Phnom Penh has retained much of its old world charm as evident in the French colonial architecture and traditional ornate temples with monks in their saffron robes.
Rich in history, the city offers a number of cultural and historical sites including the National Museum, Royal Palace with its glimmering spires and Silver Pagoda. To truly understand the country’s history and the people’s mindset, a visit to the Tuol Sleng Prison is a must. Also known as S-21, this former school became a torture centre and has now been preserved as a museum.
On the outskirts of Phnom Penh are the Killing Fields, an area where some 17,000 men, women and children were murdered and dumped in mass graves. Not for the faint-of-heart, these sites are sobering reminders of the Khmer Rouge’s brutality—and of the rest of the world’s failure to intervene.
+44 (0) 1829 77 11 88