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Phnom Penh

Cambodia

The destination

Phnom Penh is the largest city in Cambodia, boasting a population of almost 16 million. The capital is immersed with beautiful French colonial architecture and holds true to its old world charm. Phnom Penh has a rich history and was once known as the Pearl of Asia due to its impressive natural beauty. As the city has progressed over time it has become more open to visitors and now hosts a wide range of elite hotels, restaurants and excursions. For a lovely meal head down to the vibrant riverfront where you'll find plenty of places to dine, catering to both western and local diets. 

Immerse yourself in the heart of Cambodia and enjoy the smaller side streets where you'll find local art galleries or boutique shops that give you a genuine sense of the culture. Embrace the history of Cambodia and visit the national museum and learn about the how the country came to be what it is today. The history of Cambodia can be an emotional journey and if you want to delve into that further check out the 'Killing Fields' - not for the faint-hearted, but an absolute must on any stop to Phnom Penh. 

MORE INFORMATION

WHERE TO STAY

Phnom Penh has a wide variety of hotels to choose from, with a selection of our favorites listed below. However, there are plenty of great places to stay, so if you don't see something you like on our website, or you're not sure which is best for you, please don't hesitate to give us a call on 01993 899 430, or email inspire@oxfordprivatetravel.com. We would be delighted to craft your own tailor-made trip. 

ACTIVITIES

Embark on a peaceful Mekong Sunset Cruise for a truly unique experience on arguably the most famous river in South East Asia. Take in the floating houses and migrant village as you see how the locals live and finish off sipping a cocktail with a gorgeous sunset on the horizon. 

Take a stroll through time and learn about the fascinating history of this country.Visiting the national museum or the royal palace is a perfect place to start. For those looking to learn more about Cambodia's more recent volatile history under the Khmer Rouge and discover the true horrors of the civil war, then you may like to visit S-21, a former school turned prison that has been preserved as a museum to learn about the atrocities of war. Ultimately the 'Killing Fields' are the place to visit to gain a deeper perspective of what happened back in 1975.  All of these activities and more can be arranged as a day trip from Phnom Penh.

WHO SHOULD VISIT

Phnom Penh is an a phenomenal place to experience where modern and traditional Cambodian culture merge and so much more. This is why it is perfectly catered to all types of travelers, whether on a honeymoon, traveling solo, as a family or part of a group. 

Children are always welcome in Cambodia, with many of the hotels offering family or interconnecting rooms. In addition to this, the staff are just so welcoming, often offering to entertain the younger ones whilst you relax over lunch or dinner, making this a very family friendly region of the world. We would, however, mention that some of the historical sites, such as the Killing Fields and S-21 are not suitable for younger children. 

WHEN TO VISIT

Cambodia is warm all year round, however there are several seasons that can influence the best time to visit. The peak season runs from November through to May, which is known as the dry season. The best time to experience Phnom Penh would be November to February where you can enjoy the temples in comfortable temperatures and lower humidity.  Temperatures start to reach 33-35°C and the humidity rises from March to May, which can make exploration uncomfortable. 

The other half of the year from June to October sees the rainy season arrive, which presents a practical challenge when trekking through the ruins, the monsoons usually hit in the afternoon, allowing for mornings to still be enjoyable. 

November - February: Peak Time. Expect bigger crowds, but best temperature for exploration.

March - May:  Peak Time with the highest temperatures of the year.

June - October: Rainy/Low season. Fewer crowds can mean some great promotions.  Our Top Tip is to explore in the morning as rain usually hits in the afternoon. 

PASSPORTS & VISAS

A passport with at least six months validity is necessary. A visa is required for most nationalities and is available upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports. A tourist visa costs USD 30 and a business visa costs 35 USD, it’s subject to change by government. Two passport photographs should be submitted with the visa application form. 

Location

Top tips

  • Visit in October to access amazing value rates for many of the hotels and tours. 
  • Spend a minimum of 3 days exploring the city, Mekong and history. 
  • Visit one of the community development projects. In cooperation with Khiri Reach, a home-stay project was established half way between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
  • Be sure to embark on a Mekong river excursion before February as the water levels can become to lower from March until May.  
  • Local currency: Cambodian Riel
  • Accepted currency: USD
  • Accepted credit cards: Visa and MasterCard 
  • Timezone: GMT +7 hrs

 

Hotels in Phnom Penh

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