Phnom Penh

Photo © Renno

Travel Guide Asia Cambodia Phnom Penh

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Introduction

Phnom Penh - Monks on their way to the temple

Phnom Penh - Monks on their way to the temple

© All Rights Reserved Gelli

Phnom Penh is the capital, largest city and most wealthy city in Cambodia. The city was first settled in 1372. It did not become very important until Angkor fell to Siam & the King of Cambodia moved the capital close to current day Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh itself was not officially the capital of Cambodia until 1865. By the 1920s the city was considered the “Pearl of Asia” because of heavy French colonialism. Its wealth only grew once the canals to the countryside and the railroad to Sihanoukville were completed.

The city suffered greatly during the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese used Cambodia as a base to launch attacks and only helped to fuel the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh on April 17th 1975. Immediately Pol Pot emptied the city of people and placed many of the wealthier and more educated people in labor camps. He shortly thereafter create the S-21 Prison Camp in the Tuol Svay Prey High School. There is only 12 known survivors of this detention center, thousands of people were processed then executed in nearby killing fields. In 1979 the Vietnamese drove the Khmer Rouge out of Phnom Penh.

Today Phnom Penh is turning back into a major economic center for Asia and has a population of over 1 million. Tourism is still a big thing but industry and food production are growing parts of the economy. Phnom Penh is a great place to spend a few days. Just remember that the ghosts of the past are still very present, as with the rest of Cambodia.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek (About 17 kilometres south of Phnom Penh, 40 minutes by taxi or motorbike or tuk-tuk). 7:30am-5:30pm. This place is not for the squeamish. A former Chinese cemetery, this is where the Khmer Rouge killed many thousands of their victims during their four-year reign of terror. Today the site is marked by a Buddhist stupa packed full of over 8,000 human skulls. The sides are made of glass so the visitors can see them up close. There are also pits in the area where mass graves were unearthed, with ominous scraps of clothing still to be found here and there. It is a serene yet sombre place. Regularly throughout the day, a small museum screens a documentary with gruesome video images of human remains that were unearthed when the mass graves were found in 1979. Visit after learning about the Khmer Rouge terror at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. As millions were killed during the traumatic genocidal regime of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, as a sign of respect, wear respectable clothing such as long pants and no sleeveless shirts or tops. Flowers and incense can be bought in front of the stupa. In 2005 the memorial site was sold to a for-profit private company. A tuk-tuk to the site should cost USD9-11 return (after haggling, of course), including stopping at the Genocide Museum on the way and waiting for you at both places. USD6 which includes a very good audio tour
  • The Royal Palace - Sothearos Blvd (one block to the west of Sisowath Quay). 08:00-10:00 & 14:00-17:00. The King of Cambodia still lives here, but much of the palace is open to the public. The manicured gardens are nearly as dazzling as the colorful glass tiles of the palace roof. The two magnificent pagodas in the Palace Grounds, the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, are among the few public buildings in Phnom Penh really worth seeing. They were built in the 19th century with French technology and Cambodian design, and have survived the traumas of the 20th century amazingly well. See them early in the day before it gets too hot. No photography is allowed inside the Silver Pagoda and some of the palace buildings. You're expected to dress decently (no bare legs or shoulders), but you can buy sarongs and oversized T-shirts for USD2-3, or you can rent T-shirts and sarongs for a token 1000 riel at the entrance. Shorts that cover your knees are okay. In general, the palace complex has a more structured, formal, organised, and harmonious layout with a clear and specific architectural style rather than in Bangkok which has more hodgepodge of styles taken here and there. 40,000 riel.
  • Tuol Svay Prey High School Museum (Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum) is the old home to S-21 and is an excellent museum although a big shocking. There are movies shown every afternoon.
  • Shooting Ranges are available for people that are interested. You can fire anything from a handgun to an AK-47 to a rocket launcher. Just ask yourself “How often in life do you get to throw a hand grenade?”
  • The National Museum of Cambodia, St 13, Sangkat Chey Chumneas, Khan Daun Penh (Opposite the Royal Palace), ☎ +855 23 211753, +855 12 621522 (mobile), fax: +855 23 211753, e-mail: museum_cam@camnet.com.kh. Daily, 08:00-17:00, last admission 16:30. Contains an excellent collection of art from Cambodia's "golden age" of Angkor, and a lovely courtyard at the centre. A main attraction is the statue of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219) in a meditative pose. Other exhibits worth seeing include graceful statues of Hindu gods, ancient stelae (tablets) inscribed in Sanskrit and old Khmer, and artefacts from a prehistoric burial site. No photos may be taken inside the museum, although photography is allowed in the central courtyard upon payment of a small fee (cameras: USD1, video cameras: USD3). In the middle of the courtyard is the original statue of the "Leper King" (actually Yama, the Hindu god of death) from the terrace of the Leper King in Angkor Archaeological Park. The pleasant little park in front of the museum is the site of the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony, at which the success or failure of the coming harvest is determined. You may have heard stories of sightseers carrying umbrellas inside to avoid showers of bat droppings, but the bats moved out after the renovation of 2002. USD5.

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Events and Festivals

  • Chinese New Year -Thanks to the large Chinese population in Cambodia, Chinese New Year is an important holiday even outside the Chinese community. It will fall some time between late January and late February every year following the lunar calendar. Many consider it the one day in Cambodia that everyone goes to bed with a full stomach.
  • Chaul Cham or the Khmer New Year, is held in mid-April, this is a massive party that lasts for 7 days. People visit wats with offerings and prayers.
  • P'chum Ben or The Spirit Festival, is a celebration to honour ancestors in September or October, people make offerings to spirits at Buddhist Pagodas across the whole country.
  • Chat Preah Nengkal (Royal Ploughing Ceremony) - One of the kingdom’s more unusual dates on the calendar, the Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an annual agricultural celebration held in early May to discover how fruitful the year’s crop will be. Led by the royal family on a lawn outside of Phnom Penh’s National Museum, the royal oxen auspiciously lets the gathered crowd know the fate of their crop. A bizarre, but must-see ceremony!

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Weather

Phnom Penh has a hot and humid tropical climate. The city has a wet southwest monsoon from May to October and a dry northeast monsoon from November to April. Temperatures are between 22 °C (December to February) and 25 °C (April to October) at night, and 30 °C (November and December) to 35 °C (April) during the day most of the year, but April sees temperatures of 40 °C occasionally. September and October are the wettest months, with 225 and 250 mm of rain respectively. December to March is the driest time of the year, with January and February sometimes seeing hardly a drop of rain (around 5-10 mm on average a month).

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max31.5 °C32.8 °C34.9 °C34.9 °C34.3 °C33.5 °C32.5 °C32.5 °C32.3 °C31.1 °C29.9 °C30.1 °C
Avg Min21.9 °C23 °C24.1 °C25 °C25.3 °C25 °C24.7 °C24.6 °C24.3 °C23.8 °C22.7 °C21.7 °C
Rainfall25.5 mm11.5 mm58 mm101 mm111.6 mm177.1 mm195.9 mm172 mm248.8 mm318.9 mm135 mm80.3 mm
Rain Days2.82.45.28.616.416.619.621.419.82411.84.8

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Getting There

By Plane

Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) is located 7 kilometres from Phnom Penh.
Airlines serving the Phnom Penh are Asiana Airlines and Korean Air from Seoul, Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur, Cambodia Angkor Air from Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur]], Bangkok Airways, Thai Air Asia and Thai Airways from Bangkok, China Airlines and EVA Air from Taipei, China Eastern Airlines from Kunming and Nanning, China Southern Airlines from Beijing and Guangzhou, Dragonair from Hong Kong, Jetstar Asia Airways and Silk Air from Singapore, Shanghai Airlines from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Tri-MG Intra Asia Airlines from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, and Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Vientiane.

By Train

There is a limited freight service running from Kampot to Phnom Penh on the Southern Line.
"Bamboo trains" operate in various towns along the line, though the one most pushed to tourists is just outside Battambang.

By Car

Private cars with a driver are easy to hire in Phnom Penh and will take travellers to most places in the country.

By Bus

Bus is the main form of transport to and from Phnom Penh. It is best to arrange bus tickets at a guesthouse because bus stations do not really exist and also tend to move often. There are always several buses daily to Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. There are daily buses to all other major towns in Cambodia to and from Phnom Penh. There is a few morning buses to Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok every day, including on holidays.

Boat

It is still possible to take boats to Siem Reap and Battambang still but with the new highways in buses are much cheaper and quicker. Most locals take the bus instead now unless they have a lot of cargo.
Fast boats leave every morning around 08:00am from Chau Doc in Vietnam's Mekong Delta and take 5 hours to reach Phnom Penh. The boats make the return journey the same day and leave Phnom Penh around 1:00pm, arriving in Chau Doc in the early evening.

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Getting Around

Phnom Penh's main streets are in good shape. Some smaller streets and footpaths are rutted and potholed, clogged with garbage, stagnant water, parked motorbikes, sleeping people, and building materials. Many smaller streets bear either no or misleading signage, however Phnom Penh is logically laid out and navigating is not too difficult.

By Car

Phnom Penh is notorious for its massive traffic jams, and rightly so. In addition, traffic is chaotic and motorcyclists seemingly suicidal. Therefore, most tourists consider driving in Phnom Penh a nightmare, and it is highly recommended that you stick to public transport and not try to drive yourself around.

By Public Transport

The two main types of transportation services visitors use in Phnom Penh are motodops and tuktuks. Motodops are informal motorcycle taxis that can be found waiting at most corners of the city. Tell the driver where you want to go and hop on the back. Prices vary between 2,000 riel (US$.50) and US$1 for trips within central Phnom Penh, depending on the distance travelled. Trips at night are usually more expensive, up to double the price.

Tuk Tuks, motorcycles with attached cabins, can take up to, well, lots of people depending on their size and willingness to be close to each other. Prices are slightly higher than for motodops and increase as the number of customers increase. They make for a comfortable, though slow, way of getting places.

By Foot

Phnom Penh is not a good city for walking. Sidewalks are primarily used to do business or to park vehicles. You are then forced to walk in the street and avoid the vehicular madness. There's a reason why you only see foreigners walking!

By Bike

Bicycle rental is available in town. Phnom Penh is not a very bike friendly city, though, so therefore it's usually only school children, tourists, and Mormons (I don't know why) you see on bicycles. Motorcycle rental is more popular and convenient, but don't let Phnom Penh be where you learn to ride. The traffic is madness and you are asking for trouble.

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Eat

Phnom Penh offers some interesting culinary treats not found elsewhere in the country. These include French-influenced dining and Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian dishes. Pizzas, banana pancakes, and fried rice are always easy to find.

The river front hosts everything from stand-up stalls to fine French bistros. Stalls likely lack hygienic practices: eating peeled fruit and vegetables and anything uncooked may have undesirable consequences.

Duck embryo eggs are sold at the southwest corner of Sokun Mean Bun St (St 178) and Norodum Blvd (in front of the green SSN Bldg) inside a big high school compound, together with days old hatched chicks to frogs (everything is eaten, not just the legs) dipped in batter and deep fried. Skewered and grilled pigs ears, chicken claws, and gizzards are sold in the Central Market. Pig intestines are sold at USD1 per 100 g, cut into pieces and splattered with sauce. Grilled small crabs, lobsters, prawns are also sold in the market. Chicken feet are sold in the open-air restaurants as you turn to the right at St 154 as you go northbound from Monivong Blvd. Bugs and other insects, especially the grasshopper, spider/crab, and grubs and pupae stage are sold along Sothearos Blvd from 184 St to 178 St.

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Drink

Places to hang out after dark include St 136 near riverside, St 104 and St 108 near the St 51 corner, which all feature restaurant bars, hostess bars, and guesthouses. For a more upmarket bar and restaurant scene, visit an area called BKK1 that includes St 278 and St 282, near St 51 or St 308.

The coffee scene has exploded in the last few years in Phnom Penh. Several global chains are here, including Costa Coffee (UK), Gloria Jean's (Australia), Brown Coffee (Cambodia), Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (USA), Joma (Laos), Tous les Jours (Korea), Cafe Amazon (Thailand), Big Apple Donuts and coffee (Malaysia) and more recently Starbucks (USA). There are also lots of small independent coffee shops too, such as Feel Good cafe (St 136), The Shop (St 240), Connecting Hands Training Cafe (St 178), Bronos (St 57, near Starbucks), Library Cafe (St 51, near Heart of Darkness) and Boss Coffee (St 51 / St 144).

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Sleep

A good range of accommodation is available around the city. The budget traveller area was area known as Lakeside, near the now filled in Beoung Kak lake. The colony of guesthouses has been decimated, but not eradicated. Remaining businesses are desperate for clients, which makes prices very cheap. Guesthouses 10 and 11 still exist and offer rooms from USD4/night and USD3/night respectively. Services include such laundry, Internet, money exchange, ATMs, and restaurants, including an excellent Indian restaurant.

St 258 (near the Cambodia/Vietnam Friendship Park), Street 51 (near Wat Langka) and St 111 and 172 also have some good budget options, with street 278 now hosting many budget hostels and bars that were once located on the lake.

  • Capitol 3 Guesthouse, 207Eo St 107, Sangkat Beng Prolit, 7 Makara (Next to the Capitol Tours office), ☎ +855 23 211027. Warm, friendly staff and quick laundry service. 5 floors of squeaky-clean rooms that are out of the direct sunlight and never seem to get too hot. No elevators. Free Wi-Fi. Single fan room with shared bathroom USD3, private bathroom USD4 (which always seem to be full), + cable TV USD5, + hot water and air-con USD8.
  • Dream Colors Guesthouse, 69 St 70 (Near French Embassy), ☎ +855 97 8785762. TV, DVD, Wi-Fi, laundry, motorbike rental, bus and flight tickets and visa extension services. French, English and Khmer spoken. USD14-20.
  • Europe Guesthouse, 51 St 136, ☎ +855 23 6918883, e-mail: europeguesthouse@gmail.com. One of the cleanest and most conveniently located guesthouses you can find. TV, Wi-Fi, laundry, bus and flight tickets. French, English and Chinese spoken. Often the cheaper rooms are full. USD11-20.
  • The Green House, 48FGH St 488, Village III, S/k Phsar Deum Thkov, Chamkamorn District, ☎ +855 23 217998, +855 17 200030. Simple, newly built and elegantly furnished rooms and suites. Air-con, insulated window, cable TV, broadband Internet, IDD telephone, newspapers, 24 hr security, laundry and valet service, credit cards accepted, mini bar, 24 hr check in, check out and 24 hr housekeeping, ticket reservation, city tour arrangements, pick up service and transfer upon request. Standard single USD13, standard twin USD15, VIP room USD20. edit
  • Khmer City Hotel (One street south of the Sorya bus terminal), 90H St 154, ☎ +855 23 224 538. Surprisingly good for the price. Appears to have been recently refurbished. Free Wi-Fi. USD15-20.
  • King Guesthouse, 141 St (Off Sihanouk Ave), ☎ +855 12 220 512. Daily bus service to and from Ho Chi Minh City, but if you get their bus from Vietnam they take you directly to the guesthouse and you are not allowed to get off the bus before arriving there. The bus may then park across the entire open front of the place blocking the exit to potential guests who may consider seeking other alternatives.
  • Lazy Gecko Guesthouse & Restaurant, 1 St 259 (Near Hotel Cambodiana), ☎ +855 78 786025, e-mail: lazygeckocafe@gmail.com. Short stroll to Riverside, Sihanouk Blvd, Monivong Blvd and the royal palace. Good value rooms, most with air-con and many with hot water. Restaurant is downstairs and has daily specials and a Sunday roast. Free Wi-Fi. USD5-15.
  • Long Lin Guesthouse, 159 Ang Yukanthor, St 19 (Short walking distance to riverside), ☎ +855 23 992412, e-mail: longlinhouse@yahoo.com. Clean, spacious and well-decorated. The owner is very friendly and helpful, as is the service. Tours, buses and boats can also be booked through the guesthouse and may include pick-ups. USD12 for a spacious double or twin, alos $3 dorm beds.
  • Mini Banana, 136 St 51 (Head south along St 51 from Sihanouk Blvd, small alley on the left after St 282), ☎ +855 23 726854, e-mail: mini@topbanana.biz. The new sister guesthouse to the famous Top Banana offers a more relaxed atmosphere than its older brother. From dorms to double rooms, very clean and a friendly atmosphere. Breakfast and lunch served, but you can also order from Top Banana's menu. Easy walk to St 278, Independence Monument, Sihanouk Blvd. Free Wi-Fi. USD4 (dorm)-USD17 (air-con).
  • Okay Guesthouse, 5 St 258 (Royal Palace area, near Hotel Cambodiana). Large and busy guest house with restaurant, terrace, Internet cafe. A good place if you like hanging out with other travellers. They show movies every evening. The rooms are basic but clean, the cheaper rooms are sometimes very small and do not have a window, the more expensive rooms on the 2nd floor are generally a bit better. Somewhat quiet in the evening. They provide food, rooms, buses & tours. The rooms are rather bleak and sad by Cambodian guesthouse standards but cheap and relatively clean. Check your bed for bedbugs as they are common here. From USD6-12.
  • Simon II Guesthouse (Next to Simon's Guesthouse). Comfortable rooms with air-con and bathrooms. Extra charges for Wi-Fi and toilet paper. Have been some reports of rats and cockroaches and mosquitoes. From USD12.
  • Simon's Guesthouse, 11 St 93, Boeung Kak Lake, ☎ +855 12 884650. Tricky to find but the layout of the rooms allows for a nice, cool breeze. Both shared and private baths available. Rooms USD2-3.
  • SuperStar Hotel, 26 St 172, ☎ +855 11 399123, e-mail: s_starhotel@yahoo.com. Family-run hotel and restaurant. Air-con and Wi-Fi. St 172 is relatively quiet with a few Western bars, restaurants, groceries, and a bookshop. USD15.
  • Top Banana Guesthouse, 2 St 278 (Near Wat Lanka). A very laid back small guesthouse on the 2nd and 3rd floor with a cosy, sociable atmosphere and friendly staff. The cheaper rooms are very noisy. Surprisingly good food. USD7-15.
  • Velkommen Backpackers, 17 St 144 (In the centre of Phnom Penh, riverside). Nice backpackers guesthouse with friendly and helpful English and Norwegian management. Dorm beds & private rooms. A large stylish bar. Great for meeting other backpackers, with regular events and live music. Free Wi-Fi. Dorm beds from USD4.
  • 4memories Guesthouse (Cafe Fin), No 27Eo, St 506/135, Phsar Doeum Thkov, Chamkarmorn (Near Russian Markets), ☎ +855 97 682 8166, e-mail: info@4memoriescafefin.com. Guesthouse with 5 guesthouse rooms and a rooftop lounge. 1 km from Russian Market (Toul Tompong Market) USD25 - 34.
  • White Rabbit, 40A Street 294, ☎ +855 23-223170. dorms and rooms. free wifi dorm USD3/5 per person. rooms from USD6-15.
  • Mad Monkey Hostel, 26, Street 302 (Close to independence monument and Wat Langka), ☎ +855 23 987 091, e-mail: phnompenh@madmonkeyhostels.com. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Popular backpackers hostel in the BKK1 backpackers district, provides a pool, rooftop bar and pool bar. 220 beds available from USD5 per night, private rooms from $10 per night. USD5.
  • Angkor International Hotel, 38-50 St 148 (100 m west of Kandal Market, 300 m from the river and national museum), ☎ +855 23 217609, e-mail: angkorhotel11@gmail.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. English and French spoken. Breakfast. Western and Asian restaurant, free Wi-Fi. Easy reservation and secure payment on-line. 100 rooms renovated in 2012. Clean and stylish Khmer furnishings. Air-con, desk, tiled/marble floors, cable TV, minibar, private safes, elevator, safe at reception, bar and terrace, non-smoking floor, tour services. Warm and helpful. Room service 24/7. Massage. 95,000 riel.
  • The Billabong Hotel, 5 St 158, Sangkat Boeung Raing, ☎ +855 23 223703. Breakfast included. Al fresco dining poolside. USD36-65. edit

5 Blue Lime, 42 St 19z (Cul de sac off St 19, across the street from the Royal Institute of Fine Arts), ☎ +855 23 222260, +855 12 447057 (mobile), e-mail: reservation@bluelime.asia. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 14 rooms with a lush exotic garden and a saltwater swimming pool. The rooms, garden and pool are modern minimalist, with concrete furniture. Free 1 Mb/s Wi-Fi. Its sister property is The Pavilion. USD40-50, including continental breakfast.

  • Bougainvillier Boutique Hotel, 227 Sisowath Quay (Quay Sisowath), ☎ +855 23 220528. All rooms have a view of the Mekong River and suites are all equipped with air-con, cable TV, private safes, mini bars, IDD telephones, and free access to Internet. There are 3 floors and no elevator so getting to the top floor can be a bit of a struggle. USD60-120.
  • Sundance Riverside (formerly California 2 Guesthouse), 79 Sisowath (North of the night market on the river front, 3 doors north of the Mekong Express Bus), ☎ +855 77 503144. 24 hr bar and restaurant with Wi-Fi and pool table. Rooms have Wi-Fi, a safe, air-con, ceiling fan, hot water, fridge, and a 26" flat screen TV. Breakfast included. USD25-35.
  • Cambodia Uncovered, BKK1, ☎ +855 12 507097, e-mail: info@cambodiauncovered.com. Self-contained apartment for up to 4 people, along with satellite TV, DVD player, and a small veranda. Advance booking required. Off-the-beaten-track tailor made private boat and road trips, up-country travel, and cooking classes can also be arranged. singles USD55, doubles USD75, including breakfast and wi-fi.
  • Changi Ville Guesthouse and Cafe, 137B St 330 (Chamkarmorn District, about 15 min walk from the Independence Monument). In a residential neighbourhood. Clean double rooms with attached baths. Friendly staff. Might occasionally have power outages due to its location. USD25.
  • Frangipani Villa Hotels, various locations. Four hotels in Phnom Penh. The spacious rooms are examples of contemporary Cambodian design. Spotless air-con rooms with cable TVs, mini-bars, strongboxes, en suite baths with hot water. Free Wi-Fi. Management does not support sex tourism. From USD35.
  • Golden Gate Hotel, 9 St 278, Sangkat Beng Keng Kang 1, Khan Chamkarmorn (Near Independence Monument), ☎ +855 23 427618. USD15-40.
  • Hotel Cara, 18 St 47 & 84, Sangkat Srass Chork, ☎ +855 23 430066. Hotel near the river and port. Good rooms with hot showers, TVs and a quiet ambience. Some rooms have balconies. Very helpful staff. Free Internet access in the office area near the lobby. Some rooms are completely renovated, soundproofed, upgraded and have added amenities. USD28-50.
  • Hotel Luxury World, 35 St 200, Sangkat Boeung Rang, Khan Daun Penh (On Monivong Boulevard), e-mail: reservation@hotelluxuryworld.com. There is an affordable massage parlour on the lower levels of the hotel. There is an open-air restaurant with a live band on the roof of the hotel which provides a cosy ambience at night. Free Wi-Fi. USD27-47.
  • Hotel Nine, 48 St 9 (Near Independence Monument), ☎ +855 23 215964, e-mail: info@hotel-nine.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Relaxing spot in the middle of the city with a very good Asian fusion kitchen and local chef, breakfast included. All rooms are equipped with air-con & fan, 22-inch LCD TV with international channels, DVD player. USD40-70.
  • The Lone Star Saloon Bar and Guesthouse, 30 St 23 (Between St 172 & St 154 near Cyclo Bar), ☎ +855 12 577860. Texas-themed restaurant with 3 apt-sized rooms upstairs available as guesthouse rooms. On a quiet street near the riverside. Air-con, hot water, free fast Wi-Fi, mini fridge stocked with drinks at bar prices. Caters to local expats and provides travel info for those new to Cambodia. Quiz nights on Monday 7.30pm. Play as individuals not teams. USD25.
  • Okay Guesthouse, 5 St 258 (Royal Palace area, near Hotel Cambodiana.). Safe and quite well-run, but if you have arrived in Cambodia to escape Western culture for awhile, but a large TV in the dining/meeting room is always on, loud. USD2-12.
  • Paragon Hotel, 219B Sisowath Quay. On river front, near lots of good cafés. Rooms have bathrooms, air-con, TVs, fridges. No breakfast. Friendly service and clean. USD15-30.
  • The Pavilion, 227 St 19 (Near the Royal Palace). Colonial building from 1920, enclosed from the hustle and bustle of the city outside. Lush gardens surround the swimming pool. Also has a Jacuzzi and free Wi-Fi. Offers a free professional massage to each guest. Some rooms have private swimming pools. USD50-80.
  • The 252, 19 St 252, ☎ +855 23 998252, e-mail: info@the-252.com. 19 spacious and stylish rooms. Overflow 13 x 5 m swimming pool surrounded by a leafy tropical garden, garden restaurant and bar. All rooms are equipped with air-con/fan, 22 inch LCD TV with international channels, DVD player, dock speaker system for iPod/iPhone and line-in for MP3 players. USD45-65 including breakfast, free Wi-Fi and taxes.
  • Villa Samnang, 15 St 302, e-mail: info@villa-samnang.com. 14 bright and spacious rooms with air conditioning and TV. USD50-90.
  • Villa Srey, 16 St 306, BKK 1, e-mail: info@villasrey.com. A new boutique hotel in an old colonial house. 6 spacious and stylish rooms, Wi-Fi, Air-con and a small pool. Breakfast included. USD40-60.
  • Cambodian Country Club & Hotel Resort, St 2004 Group 6 Toeuk Thla, District Russey Keao, ☎ +855 23 885591, +855 23 883861, e-mail: info@cambodian-country-club.com. A copy of an Australian country club, financed by a rich Chinese owner. There is an open-air kids' swimming pool (covered with a net to avoid too much sun), an outdoor swimming pool where the expats send their kids to learn to swim. Surrounded by nice lounge chairs for sunbathing and relaxing. Horseback riding, about 10 tennis courts, 2 badminton courts, and a workout room. A Coca-Cola costs about USD2, a meal between USD2.50 and USD8. USD75.
  • Intercontinental Hotel, Mao Tse Tung Blvd. A favourite among visiting dignitaries, but rather out of the way in the southwest corner of the city. Has a Chinese restaurant, Xiang Palace, for expensive fine dining including dim sum.

Lebiz Hotel + Library, 17F Kampuchea Krom (Opposite Central Market), ☎ +855 23 998610, e-mail: info@lebizhotel.com.

  • La Maison d Ambre, 123 St 110, corner St 19, Sangkat Wat Phnom (Opposite Wat Phnom), ☎ +855 23 222780, fax: +855 23 222791, e-mail: contact@lamaisondambre.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. On one of central Phnom Penh’s busiest commercial streets. The elegant white concrete façade typical of the Sankum era’s urban heritage has been restored to its former splendor. Ten apartments (60-120 sq m) have been designed and decorated, each in a unique interpretation around the themes of luxury and travel. Has a fine restaurant. USD90-160.
  • Raffles Le Royal, 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh (Off Monivong Blvd), ☎ +855 23 981888, fax: +855 23 981168. Phnom Penh's grand old hotel, originally built in 1929 by the French, used as a dry fish store by the Khmer Rouge, but given a thorough redecoration by the Raffles Group in 1999. Walking distance to Wat Phnom and the river, excellent service, wonderful attention to detail and the "Landmark" rooms in the old wing still use bathtubs and even light switches from 1929 (plus broadband Internet and walk-in showers). Try the Femme Fatale, a mix of cognac and champagne dreamed up for Jackie Kennedy in 1967 at the hotel's elegant Elephant Bar, , and don't leave without sampling the delectable tiny pastries at the Le Phnom deli (only $0.50 a piece, half price after 6PM). USD150–300 low/high season.
  • Sokha Club Hotel, No 63, Preah Norodom Blvd Sangkat Phsar Thmey III, Khan Daun Penh (Opposite Lux Cinema), ☎ +855 23 990123, fax: +855 23 990151, e-mail: reservationspp@sokhahotels.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. USD84-89.

View our map of accommodation in Phnom Penh or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Work

Most foreigners working in Phnom Penh are either English teachers or foreign aid workers. More business people are starting to show and the occasional Christian missionary can be spotted around town also. There is also a large population associated with the embassies in the city.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are internet cafes throughout the city, but they are grouped more tightly in places where there are more tourists, such as the riverside. Your guesthouse or hotel might also have internet available.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code of Cambodia is 855. To call out of Cambodia, dial 001 followed by the country code and telephone number of the other party. Many of the internet bars also have international calling options and you can also arrange calls at post offices. Services are usually run by the governmental telecommunication network Camintel. You can find telephone cards in many shops, starting from several US dollars to around US$50. Samart, Mobitel and Shinawrata are the main mobile phone providers, with Mobitel offering the best and most widespread services, although calling from outside towns (countryside) is still tricky.

Post

Cambodia's national postal service offers a wide range of services, though in general things go slowly and are not always very reliable. That said, things have been getting better over the years, and you can expect for your postcard or letter to finally arrive after 5-10, depending from where you send it (avoid small towns) and to where you send it. Prices are around 2000-2,500 Riel to countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, and it's slightly more expensive sending it from more remote places in the provinces. Post offices in Cambodia generally are open from around 8:00am to 5:00pm, with some regional variations. Sendings parcels is only possible from the capital Phnom Penh and it's very expensive as well. You might be better to send it from Thailand, or otherwise check private companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, which are more reliable and might even be cheaper!
The main post office is located near the train station and can send international mail. There are also a post office on Sihanouk just to the west of the Sihanouk-Monivong intersection. There are rarely any customers here and therefore service is very quick.

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as well as Lavafalls (6%), rasheeed (4%), hasbeen (2%), Boras (<1%)

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