Phnom Penh

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

© 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 are 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.
  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison), St 113, Boeng Keng Kang 3, Chamkar Morn, ☏ +855 23 300698. A school converted into Cambodia's most important prison in 1975. More than 14,000 people were tortured here before being killed at the killing fields; only 8 prisoners made it out alive. The museum is easily accessible and a must-see for everyone interested in Cambodia's horrific past. The infamous "skull map" has been dismantled, although there are still skulls stacked in cabinets, implements of torture and disturbing photographs of people dying. For an introduction and further reading, try David Chandler's Voices from S-21 (ISBN 0520222474). Documentary movie S-21 can be purchased in Phnom Penh for USD1.50-2. There is also a short movie screening featuring some survivors that plays at 09:30 upstairs in the far building. A hefty slice of your Tuol Sleng entrance fee will go into the pocket of the museum's director, who is the son of the responsible government minister. (This is perhaps the main reason the museum is in rather shabby condition, and the displays so unimaginative.) And a warning to those who patronize the souvenir shop. Don't get conned into buying some vintage Rolex, Patek Philippe, or Omega watches. They are fakes and are worthless. The owner is very convincing and will tell you that it is a collection from her husband. Instead, right across from the museum (No 54 & 56, St 113, Phnom Penh is a little shop called CHA (http://www3.online.com.kh/users/wthanchashop) that sells inexpensive handmade goods that are made by women disabled from polio and land mines. If you ask, you will also be able to tour the shop, meeting the female workers and seeing where they study English. USD5 entrance USD3 for audio tour.
  • 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: [email protected]. 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.
  • Sisowath Quay (Riverside). Phnom Penh is a bite-sized town, and it's easy to combine sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking into a single walk through the city. The key to connecting the dots is the town's riverside promenade, Sisowath Quay, which runs along the west bank of the Tonle Sap River. This is a 3 km strip filled with vendors, locals, tourists and expats, and lined with hotels, restaurants, bars cafes and shops. Every morning the Quay kicks off with a life affirming exercise session to some interesting music - while birds fly and turn in pattern formation overhead. It's fronted by a large, long open space with manicured lawns, palm trees and open pathways, all re-done as part of a Japanese funded project to upgrade the flood infrastructure along the river. The built-up side of the street is home to cafés and shops and the better class of bar, and is popular with tourists and expats prepared to run its gauntlet of touts selling drugs, girls, and tuk-tuk rides. The river front (once seen as Phnom Penh's "safe" area) is no longer entirely safe for tourists. Tourist police are supposedly present in plainclothes. The esplanade along the river is also popular with Cambodians, who come here in the cool of the evening to enjoy the quasi-carnival atmosphere. It begins at the river front park opposite the royal palace, and is perhaps best experienced in the early evening. Dawn at Sisowath Quay is also a busy time, with locals doing calisthenics in front of the royal palace, and the sun rising over the river. In addition to the recent brick attacks on foreigners, there are supposedly child gangs and pickpockets so extra caution is warranted.
  • Olympic Stadium. Built in the 1960s for the Asian Games that never happened, this interesting complex in the Modern-style has been sold off to the Taiwanese, in a murky deal by the Cambodian government. The new owners have renovated it and it has begun to be used once again as a venue. However in the evenings a walk around the top perimeter is worthwhile: you can see hundreds attending exercise and dance classes, and get a view of the abandoned track below. There is also an Olympic-size swimming pool and diving pool with a 10 m platform open to the public opposite the main building, across the track. 6,000 riel to get in, 500 riel to check your things.
  • Independence and Liberation Memorials. Impressive Buddhist-style Independence Memorial, commemorating the departure of the French in 1953, dominates the centre of the city. Nearby is the Stalin-style Liberation Memorial, marking the Vietnamese capture of the city in 1979. The area is especially popular on weekend nights with locals when multi-coloured fountains are activated and communal music is played.
  • Wat Botum (about 3 km south of Wat Phnom, near the Royal Palace). Historically, the wat was favoured by royalty. In the 1930s, it housed a charming young novice named Saloth Sar, who "never caused anyone any trouble, never started fights - a lovely child". Later in life, he changed his name to Pol Pot.
  • Wat Phnom (Hill Temple) (On a hill at the centre of a small park near Sisowath Quay, on St 94). This hilltop pagoda marks the spot where the city was founded, and is always busy with pilgrims and fortune-tellers. The temple is notable more for its historic importance than physical structure, but the park is a pleasant green space and a popular gathering place for locals. A few monkeys keep quarters there as well and will help themselves to any drinks you leave unattended. Admission: USD1; elephant ride: USD15.
  • Wat Ounalom. Dates back to 1422 and is one of the five original founding monasteries of Phnom Penh.
  • Wat Langka. Offers free meditation session on Mondays and Thursdays at 18:00.

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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. The new terminal is a thoroughly pleasant and modern facility and features a post office, a bank with ATMs, restaurants, duty-free shops, a newsstand, a tourist help desk and a business centre.

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.

Taxis from the public taxi stand at the airport cost a flat USD$12 and tuk-tuks cost USD$9. You can buy prepay ticket at kiosk just after exiting airport building. Grab taxis are now allowed into the airport and may cost about $7 into the city. If you are willing to lug your bags outside the airport fence you can catch a tuk-tuk into town for USD$5 but need to haggle hard for that price. While taxis might be a safer option, it's better to avoid them as the drivers are arrogant and tend to not return change. Tuk-tuk drivers are a lot more friendly and more flexible. For visitors on a budget without a lot of luggage, it's worth catching an official motorcycle taxi. For a more budget-friendly transfer, you can take the relatively new Phnom Penh City Bus line 3. The stop is right outside of the airport on the main road. The line runs east through the city center to the banks of the Mekong. Fare is 1500 riel from the bus driver, no change available. As of 2018 there is also a train that operates during the day and runs east from the airport into the city.

By Train

Travelling by train to/from Phnom Penh is a possibility, however trains are slow and infrequent. National railway company Royal Railways runs two passenger services from the Phnom Penh Royal railway station.

Sihanoukville Line
Phnom Penh - Takeo (2 hrs, 5 USD) - Kampot (5 hrs, 7 USD) - Sihanoukville (7 hrs, 8 USD). Trains leave from the capital at 7:00 on Fr-Su (occasionally also on Mo-Tu, doublecheck on easybook) and 16:00 on Sundays. In the other direction departures from Sihanoukville are at 7:00 usually on Sa-Mo and 16:00 on Sundays.

Poipet Line
Phnom Penh - Pusat - Battambong - Serei Saophoan - Poipet. This is a once-weekly service.

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

Cambodia is improving its roads. Since around 2008, asphalt has been blazing trails into unexpected and remote places making for faster, year-round accessibility. The main highways that run on either side of the Tonle Sap from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Battambang, Sisophon and Poipet (for Thailand) are both well-paved and in good condition. The quality of buses runs the gamut, with the less desirable buses being a few dollars cheaper than more comfortable options. Safety standards are low and crashes (not always reported) are common amongst both "quality" and "cheapie" buses.

Bus station. This chaotic bus station at the southwest corner of the Central Market is the base for buses run by Mekong Express, Phnom Penh Sorya Transport, Capitol Tours, and GST Express.
Bus street, St 106 riverside. This short stretch of street, along the north side of the Night Market near riverside, is the base for several buses such as Giant Ibis.

Tickets are available at the bus station. Guesthouses and travel agents throughout the city will also arrange tickets for a USD1–2 commission.
Some passengers have experienced valuables being stolen from their luggage when stored out of sight.

International Services
Borders are not open 24/7. Some night buses will wait at the border until it opens. If entering Cambodia, watch out for visa scams and avoid the Kumho Samco if coming in from Vietnam.
Bangkok: The first buses directly connecting Bangkok to Phnom Penh (also Siem Riep) started in Feb 2013. The bus service from the Thai capital is run by BKS, The Transport Company. Buses leave Mo Chit Bus Station (buy your tickets at ticket window 22) at 05:00 and the 719-km trip takes 11 hours via Aranyaprathet district in Sa Kaeo. You will do the standard border crossing formalities there. A 30-day tourist visa for Cambodia costs USD30 (2019). Bus fare to Phnom Penh is 900 baht (2013). Return buses to Bangkok leave Phnom Penh daily at 07:00.
Ho Chi Minh City (USD10, around 6 hr) no change of bus.
Pakse (around 14 hr)
Vientiane (around 27 hr) A generally inconvenient and stressful trip. Contrived border procedures, multiple bus changes, tickets not being honoured, and nocturnal groping should all be expected. Travelling via Bangkok (theoretically also around 27 hr, but with tight connections) should be considered as the 20:00 Bangkok-Nong Khai (Laos border, 20 km from Vientiane) sleeper train (13 hr) will be safer and more comfortable than any overnight bus through Southern Laos.

Buses arriving from Pakse enter the city at night (around 19:30-20:00) via Monivong Ave, leaving tired and emotional travellers prone to being preyed on tuk-tuk touts. Watch out!

Domestic Services
Phnom Penh is the domestic transport hub and direct buses run to just about every provincial capital, including far flung town like Pailin, Samraong, Banlung and Sen Monorom. The crowded peasant mover Paramount Angkor specializes in out-of-the-way towns. Avoid it for intercity travel as it's the same price as more genteel companies but does not guarantee a seat.

Boat

Ferries connect Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and usually take 6 hr. Tickets for foreigners cost USD32. Many, but not all, of these ferries offer the option of sitting on the roof, which makes for a much more scenic, albeit less comfortable ride than the bus; take sun block, a hat, and enough water to last you for several hours just in case the boat gets stuck. The boat leaves at 07:30.

There are apparently several choices of boat between Phnom Penh and Chau Doc in Vietnam:

Hang Chau Speedboat (tour guide, water, snack, insurance, no pick up). Leaves from the ferry pier on Sisowath Quay, and seems to be the main affordable option other than the mythical "slow boats" (see below). Check website for schedule. Takes 4 hr, USD27.
Mandarin Cruises, 5 hr, USD65.
Victoria Speed Boat, 5 hr, USD65.
Delta Adventure, 5 hr, price USD21 (still in business?). Reputedly has very bad reviews.
Mekong Tour Slow Boat, leaves at 07:30, takes 7-8 hr, price USD12.

The relevant border crossing to Vietnam is called "Song Tien landport" on the Vietnam eVisa website, despite this place name not seeming to appear on any maps.

Many tour operators also include the Phnom Penh-Chau Doc route as part of 2-3 day Mekong Delta tours, often charging hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It might be cheaper to take one of the above ferries to Chau Doc and then arrange a Mekong Delta tour locally there. Tours offering "Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon" usually put you on a bus or van for the Chau Doc to HCMC leg of the journey, and possibly for other parts as well. It is apparently no longer possible to reach Saigon from Phnom Penh traveling only by boat.

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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.

5555, St 154, near riverside - new location. If you like oysters come to this friendly local street side eatery. Also try the sambak fish. 20 oysters for USD3.5 either on ice or BBQ and jugs of Angkor beer for 6500 riel.
Aroma Chef (St 172, opposite Sony Side Up). A great eating place in the middle of St 172. Khmer and International menu, nice staff and pleasant atmosphere.
Asian Spice Cafe Pub, 79 St 111 (50 m off Sihanouk Blvd opposite Sport Shop). Cafe established in 2006 with a pub upstairs. Owned by a Singaporean, a former Intercontinental Hotel chef. Very popular with expats and tourists. Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Western and some Khmer dishes. USD1.40-2.80.
Baitong Restaurant, 7 St 360 (opposite the International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)). Authentic Khmer, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes. They also have breakfast express and lunch buffet set around USD2–3.75. 2 large rooms can be used for conferences, training and other events and a smaller room for meetings and private dinners.
Camory Cookie Boutique, 167 Sisowath Quay (Between St 110 and 118), ✉ [email protected]. 09:00-20:30. A cafe-cum-development project that trains chefs and ploughs back money into humanitarian causes. The Sreh T'nout cookie, made from a rich combo of chocolate, nuts and palm sugar, is their bestseller.
C'est Wat Restaurant and Guesthouse, 9 St 118 (2-min walk from the riverside). 10:00-15:00. Check out the massive USD7.50 Sunday roast with free glass of wine, or the huge USD4 all day breakfast: pork sausages, back bacon, mushrooms, eggs, potato fritters, beans, toast, tea or coffee. USD0.75 beer.
Sony Side Up (formerly Chat 'n Chew), St 172, ☏ +855 12 482302. Very popular with expats who hang out here. Owner Sony and his family are very friendly and helpful.
Comme a la Maison, 13 St 57. In a pleasant garden terrace. Laid-back but stylish French feel with warm service. Pizza and salads, ice cream desserts.
Red Chilli (formerly Dark Rose), St 228 (just off St 51). Great BBQ pork ribs for just 7,000 riel a plate.
Evergreen Vegetarian House, 109 St 130 (Between St 15 and 19), ✉ [email protected]. 06:30-14:00, 15:30-21:00. Small restaurant with big selection of Japanese, Thai & Cambodian vegetarian food, with and without mock meats. Delicious and inexpensive. Air-con. USD2–5.
Feel Good Cafe (next to Flicks 2 cinema). Great cafe run by a Kiwi couple serving good coffee and food. Also offers cooking classes.
Cafe Fin (4memories), No 27Eo, St 506/135, Phsar Doeum Thkov, Chamkarmorn, ☏ +855 97 682 8166, ✉ [email protected]. 08:00 - 20:00. USD5-20.
Halal Foods Mumina, 86 St (north side of the street, in front of South China Airlines office). Recommended are the Muslim restaurants on north of the Phnom Penh Hotel. Also, the guesthouses in this area are among the cheapest, offering USD4 rooms. This area is popular with the French and Brits as their embassies are located nearby.
Kathmandu Kitchen, 13 Long Nget Street 258 (south of the Palace, in the same street as Lazy Gecko and Okay Guesthouse, on corner Sothearos BlvD), ☏ +855 235000485. Delicious Nepali and Indian food for reasonable prices in a restaurant setting with free water and condiments. USD2-5; veg. Nepali-style thali USD3.5.
K.K. Tandoor, Sothearos Blvd (opposite Vietnamese Monument, next to Pannasastra University). Moderately priced Indian food with chicken tandoori, butter chicken, and naans. Air-con. You can get draft beer for a dollar.
La Lotus Blanc, 402 Stung Mean Chey and 152 St 51 Boeung Keng Kang. French and Asian cuisines and quite a popular neighbourhood hub. The food is prepared and served by students from the PSE.
NOW Snack Shop, 69H St 101, Boeng Trabek Ward, Chamkar Mon (near Rock Entertainment Centre, Royal University of Law & Economics), ☏ +855 97 9498853, ✉ [email protected]. 06:00-19:00. English speaking staff will serve you breakfast, lunch, dinner, Vietnamese snacks, coffee, tea, shake, juice, fruit yogurt. USD0.50-2.00.
P&K Restaurant (formerly "Old Ponlok"), 319 Sisowath Quay Blvd. Khmer & Chinese restaurant on the riverside, Good service and authentic and absolutely delicious Khmer takes on Chinese cuisine, with everything in between. The beef tripe with teouk prahok is especially delicious. Apparently open since 1984 and quite popular with locals. USD0.50 draft Angkor. USD3–12.
Setsara Thai Restaurant, 3D St 278. Thai restaurant with a really good Thai chef, good music, reasonable prices and good service, though a bit slow sometimes. They have some good French specialties as well.
Tinat Restaurant (corner of St 51 & St 154). Extensive local food photo menu at cheap prices, such as sweet and sour chicken USD2. Free rice. edit
Tom Yum Kung Thai Restaurant, 10 St 278 (In the BKK1 area). 07:00-22:00. Thatch-roofed Thai/Khmer restaurant, popular with locals and visitors alike. Big selection of authentically prepared Thai and Khmer dishes. As one might expect, the tom yum gung is recommended. Air-con upstairs, fans downstairs. edit
The Vegetarian, 11 St 200 (Oknha Men). Good daily special with white or brown rice and 3 small dishes. Most of the customers are Westerners. English speaking staff. Most dishes at USD1.50.
Warung Bali, 3D St 178 No. 25 E0, Royal Palace. Small, traditional Indonesian restaurant in a tourist area.
50 Cents Cafe, 105 St 19 (street behind Lux Cinema, close to the corner), ☏ +855 16 386094, +855 97 2226666. 08:00-22:00. Thai food, western food with affordable prices. Drinks such as cocktails, coffee, and soft drinks; fresh fruit salad, crepes, ice cream, quiet rest on cool sofa, artwork, and movie room. Free Wi-Fi. USD1.75-4.5.
Amok Restaurant & Cafe, 2 St 278 (near Independence Monument), ☏ +855 12 912319. Nice cosy décor, with open air dining. Traditional Khmer dishes and other styles. The classic fish amok is well done, and the servings are large.
Anise, 57 St (near the corner of Sihanouk and 278 St). Comfortable, nicely decorated corner restaurant with free Wi-Fi and some good dishes from a varied menu, including SE Asian. Their club sandwich is excellent. Perhaps a little over-priced.
Atmosphere, 141C Norodom Blvd. Fancy French restaurant. Quiet on an ordinary day, but draws a regular crowd of expats.
Aussie XL, 205A 51 (Pasteur) St. About the only thing Aussie about this place is the owner. Foster's has, in keeping with Aussie trends, been banished from the place. But the food is very good and the wood-fired oven pizza matches anything found in Italy.
Bai Thong, 100-102 Sothearos Blvd, ☏ +855 23 211054, +855 12 666390 (mobile), ✉ [email protected]. 11:00-14:00, 18:00-23:00. French and Indochinese cuisine in nicely decorated surroundings. USD10-20.
Blue Cat, St 110. Comfortable and friendly. Suitable for family dining with an international and Khmer menu, and a respectable wine list. Free Wi-Fi. edit
Brown Coffee and Bakery, 17 St 214 (next to Old Pencil Supermarket), ☏ +855 23 217262. Great coffee with good barista. The bakery chef was trained at Cordon Bleu and the sandwiches are great.
Cafe Yejj, 170 St 450 (SE corner of the Russian Market, less than 15 m E of the corner of St 155 & 450). Indoor and outdoor seating both ground level and second floor. Pasta, panini, burritos and Cambodian food. Participates in breaking the cycle of poverty by training women-at-risk as employees. Service very good. Very clean bathroom upstairs. Most dishes less than USD4. Sit inside if you do not want to be bothered by beggars.
Chenla Floating Restaurant, 219B Sisowath Quay (opposite the Paragon Hotel). Offers dinner cruises (set menu USD8, departure nightly at 17:30).
Chez Lipp, St 86, very near Monivong. All you can eat, cook your own with table top "steam boat" style cookers. Prawns, squid, beef, chicken etc. USD7.50 per person. Popular with locals, less known by tourists and expats. Beware the monkey near the entrance.
Chi Cha Restaurant, 27 St 110 (near the riverfront in the café and bar area), ✉ [email protected]. Excellent and plentiful Indian food, vegetarian or not, in a convenient central location. Also has rooms from USD8. Set meals USD4.
The Corn, 26 Preah Suramarit Blvd (Norodom Blvd). Mostly vegetarian Cambodian food with numerous (excellent) vegan options and a friendly English-speaking staff
Le Duo, St 228 (between Monivong and St 63). Italian food. Sicilian-born Luigi makes great pasta and pizzas.
Friends Restaurant, #215, St 13 (50 m north of the National Museum), ☏ +855 12 802072, ✉ [email protected]. M-Sa 11:00-21:00, closed Su. Run by a NGO that trains and educates former street children. Western and Asian dishes, most of them tapas, so order 2 or 3. Nice garden terrace, stylish interior. Good choice of vegetarian dishes. USD3-6.
Frizz Restaurant, 67 St 240, ☏ +855 23 220953, +855 12 845525 (mobile). 10:00-23:00. Traditional Cambodian cuisine. The restaurant operates the Cambodia Cooking Class. USD5-10.
Green Mango Restaurant and Bar, 170E Street 63 (corner of St 278, Boeung Keng Kang I), ☏ +855 23 720470. Western, Khmer, and Mediterranean dishes. A good place for casual meet-ups with friends. Excellent Wi-Fi connection, great choice of music and friendly staff. edit
Jars of Clay, 39B St 155 (south of the Russian Market), ☏ +855 23 300281. Closed Su. Cafe managed by women. Great place to relax after a visit to the crowded Russian Market. English-style breakfast, quiches, sandwiches, soups, delicious cakes. Smoothies, ice cream and really good coffee and air-con. USD4-10.
Java Café, 56 Sihanouk Blvd. Soups, salads and sandwiches in a cosy setting overlooking the Independence Monument. Good vegetarian options. Has a rotating art exhibition.
Khmer Surin, 11 St 57 (South of Sihanouk Blvd). Romantic restaurant that serves delicious Khmer and Thai food. The traditional Khmer seafood dish, amok, stands out.
Meta House 3.0 (new location), #47, St 178, ☏ +855 23 224140. Nice gallery, German pfannkuchen (flat pizzas) and interesting documentaries about Cambodia. edit
Metro Café (Corner of Sisowath Quay and St 148, opposite Riverside Bistro). Stylish fusion of Asian and Western culture. Air-con. Good selection of small tapas-style dishes from USD1 and a great steak for about USD12. Free Wi-Fi.
Nature and Sea (corner of Street 278 and 51), ☏ +855 12 879486. Relaxed restaurant on a 2nd floor rooftop opposite to Wat Langka that promotes health food. Delicious salads, crepes, juices. Try the passion fruit juice. USD3-7.
Paris Bubble Tea, 285-287 Preah Monivong (not far from the New York Hotel), ☏ +855 23 990373. Pleasant and has fun and refreshing bubble tea. Try the classic Pearl Milk Tea.
Penny Lane Café (corner of St 111 & St 242, not far from the Town View Hotel). Italian-style cafe with air-con and outdoor areas where they take great pride in their coffee. Free Wi-Fi.
Riverside Bistro, 273a Sisowath Quay (corner of Street 148 and Sisowath Quay), ☏ +855 12 277882, ✉ [email protected]. 07:30-02:00. In an old colonial style building with comfortable outdoor dining and views of the Tonle Sap. Popular with local expats, tourists, and affluent Khmers. Try "root of lotus". Facilities include live music every day, pool table, 4 HD screens for sports, music videos (60s-70s era), Foosball table (table football), Free wifi.
The Shop, #39, St 240, ☏ +855 23 986964, +855 92 955963 (mobile), ✉ [email protected]. 07:00-19:00. Popular place with a good selection of sandwiches, quiches, salads and freshly baked goods plus nice coffee too. Has a cosy and quiet courtyard seating area. Very good breakfast options.
Viva la Mexico restaurant (new location October 2015), riverside. Great Mexican restaurant. Try the USD1.50 Viva frozen margaritas at Happy Hour from 11:00-23:00.
Dine in the Dark (DiD), St 19 near St 172 (opposite LongLin GH). A great experience eating in total darkness. The service staff are all blind. The vegetarian option is not so great apparently. USD18.
Junk Food Junction, cnr St 51 and St 310, BKK1. The BBK1 area is experiencing great growth in construction and becoming continually more an upmarket area of the city. At the junction of St 51 and St 310, each corner now has a multinational joint, KFC, Burger King, Carl's Jnr (California flame grilled burgers) and Gloria Jean's coffee.
102, 1A, St 102 (One block south of Le Royal), ☏ +855 23 990880. Probably Phnom Penh's top French restaurant, set in a modern, European-style surroundings. The food is quite competent and the onion soup is superb. Almost entirely undiscovered by tourists, but popular with Phnom Penh's moneyed elite, so reservations are recommended. USD30.
Le Bistrot, 4D, St 29. French and Italian in an old villa.
FCC Phnom Penh (Foreign Correspondents' Club), 363 Sisowath Quay, ☏ +855 23 724014, ✉ [email protected]. 07:00-24:00. This Phnom Penh institution is in a renovated colonial building and its second-floor terrace offers sweeping views over the river, a Khmer-Western menu and a list of signature cocktails (USD5.50): try the Tonle Sap Breezer or the Burmese Rum Sour. The decor and feel captures the eventful past of the city. The bar is open until midnight and a very popular nightspot on weekends. While famous and definitely worth a visit, it's pricy compared to most of the competition and service and timing tend to be haphazard. No air-con and rather spoiled by the unseemly gauntlet of touts one has to battle through to leave. FCC does particularly good desserts. From USD20.
La Luna d'Autunno, 4D, St 29. Italian food in a beautiful old villa with lovely garden setting, air-con inside.
Le Quay (corner of Sisowath Quay & St 110), ☏ +855 23 213582. Seating by a water feature or on the terrace, enjoying Phnom Penh riverside activities. Western and Asian dishes.
Le Wok, 33 St 178 (near the National Museum), ☏ +855 98 821857. 09:00-23:00. Delicious French and pan-Asian cuisine in a tastefully decorated venue. From USD20. Lunch special USD10.

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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).

Cousin's Burger Coffee, St 200. 11:00-21:00. French-run, French-style. Coffees as well as burger, fries and soft drinks.
Luxuries Cafe, ☏ +855 96 777 7552. 06:00-23:00. True to its name this is a very comfortable and luxurious cafe. Has both photo drinks and food menus. Prices surprisingly not expensive.
Bloom Cafe & Training Center, #40, Street 222 (between St. 63 & 55). Relax and enjoy delicious coffee and cake in comfort.
Connecting Hands Training Cafe, #42H, street 178 (Opposite the Pagoda). M-Sa 09:00-18:00.
Big Apple, St 302. A nice comfortable place to enjoy coffee and donuts.
Chhma Catfe, St 178. 08:30-20:30. A cat cafe where you can enjoy a nice hot or cold drink in the company of lots of playful cats, when they are not sleeping or eating. USD1.5 donation entrance fee. Smoothies USD2.5

Bars

Blue Cat, St 110 (Just off the riverside). Classy bar, friendly staff, fun popular place with free pool and a night club upstairs. Cheap cocktails.
Blue Chili, 36Eo, 178 St (behind the National Museum), ☏ +855 12 566353, ✉ [email protected]. One of the more popular gay bars.
FCC and Guesthouse (Sisowath Quay). Overlooking the river. Excellent place to meet professionals and tourists. Happy hour 17:00-19:00.
Liquid, 3B St 278. Daily 08:00-late. Polished concrete, gun-metal grey floor, chocolate leather seats and fabulously backlit bar serving some of the best and most inventive cocktails in town. One of the only slate pool tables in town. As much a mid-week bar as a weekend bar.
Rubies, St 240. Wine bar popular with young expats working for local NGOs. Busy with a cliquey atmosphere on a weekend night.
Show Box, #11, St 330. A venue for the Khmer contemporary alternative music and art scenes that have begun to spark interest in modern-day Phnom Penh. Cheap beer and good food too. Katy Perry pizza Monday nights and also every other Thursday, along with a quiz that starts at 20:00.
UpDownbar, St 136 (Across from the famous 136 Bar). Relaxed atmosphere, with a bar upstairs and on the ground floor.
Zeppelin Cafe, St 278 (Upstairs). Listen to 1970s rock classics played by Mr Jun Rockwell, with his massive vinyl album collection. Relocated in 2016 from St 51 after 8 years. USD2 cocktails and great boiled or fried dumplings.

Eclipse Sky Bar, cnr Monivong and St 232. Tallest sky bar in Phnom Penh, is a hidden gem in the heart of the city’s business district. From the roof of the 22-story Hyundai Phnom Penh Tower, the view of the city is breath-taking, and the soft mix of pop music in the background adds to the bar’s relaxed ambiance. USD3 Tiger draught beer.
Le Moon terrace bar, riverside (roof of Kwest). 17:00-23:00. Opened in November 2010, this is the first open terrace facing the riverside life of Phnom Penh. It's an open-air lounge bar that serves finger foods as well as drinks including cocktails, and a great location for enjoying sunset.
Paragon Central Hotel & Sky Bar, St 144.
Cloud9 Skybar, #68 Street 136, Phsar Kandal 1 12204 Phnom Penh, ☏ +855 23 961 888. In the evenings at Sun & Moon Urban Hotel, guests and local residents can chill out in style at Cloud 9, the hotel’s rooftop bar, with cool beats, creative cocktails, and spectacular views over Phnom Penh city. Poolside BBQ parties and buffet dinners can also be arranged at this location.

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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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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
  • 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 14 bright and spacious rooms with air conditioning and TV. USD50-90.
  • Villa Srey, 16 St 306, BKK 1, e-mail: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected].
  • 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: [email protected]. 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: [email protected]. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. USD84-89.

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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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Accommodation in Phnom Penh

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Phnom Penh searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Contributors

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

Phnom Penh Travel Helpers

This is version 60. Last edited at 8:20 on Oct 25, 19 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

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