Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. They do have an airport, though I recommend taking a bus if you are coming from Siem Reap because that allows you to see the countryside and rural villages of Cambodia you would otherwise miss.
See my previous post to learn about the bus ride.
When you arrive by bus you will be dropped off at the bus station just across the street from the central market. There will be people everywhere and many tuk tuks trying to get your business. Tuk tuks are the best way to get to your hotel but be sure to set the price before you get in, they will often try to overcharge you.
Same Same Backpacker
We found an excellent hostel in Phnom Penh on Agoda.com This hostel was in a nice neighborhood, just a few minutes from the river and near many nice restaurants. The room was clean. Air conditioning was available but the room is cheaper if you just have a fan.
Here are some of the services the hostel can assist you with. They will even help you with the processing of your Vietnam visa if that is where you are going next.
The hostel has a nice common area/bar/restaurant with a pool table and great drink specials.
The hostel also has a great restaurant. The food was excellent and if you order dinner during happy hour you get a beer for FREE.
Across the street from the hostel is a movie theatre. We did not have enough time to go but this would be an excellent way to escape the mid afternoon heat.
Honestly, Phnom Penh was not really a city for us.
It is a big city. There are not very many attractions to see and the ones they have are primarily ‘dark tourism’ types of sites (I will describe further on). The city also has many beggars, many were victims of the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia and often are missing limbs due to land mines.
All in all we were very happy we only had two nights there.
What we did see:
You can visit the royal palace for about $10 from 8:00-11:00 and 14:00-17:00
Inside is also the Silver Pagoda which is one of the main attractions of Phnom Penh.
We were there at the wrong time of day. So we decided to just enjoy the palace from the outside and save our money. It looked beautiful and I am sure it is worth a visit.
Walking along the Mekong River:
Along the river you will find many lovely restaurants and a few shops. Several of the restaurants also have roof terraces with nice views of the river. I recommend going up for at least a drink.
Other Attractions we did not visit:
Most of the popular attractions when visiting Phnom Penh simply did not appeal to us for this trip as it is our honeymoon. However, I will list them here in case you might be interested.
The Killing Fields:
This is the main tourist site in Phnom Penh. It is where the Khmer Rouge killed thousands of people.
Located in Cambodia’s most important prison during the Khmer Rouge reign ( mid 1970s).
Shooting an AK47
This is something you can try in Phnom Penh but it was not something that interested us.