Cambodia Day 2: Phnom Penh City Tour

Today we began our trip in Phnom Penh, it is Christmas but the majority of Cambodian are Buddhist, so there are only few decorations and christmas tree present. I set up my alarm at 6 am, but snooze it and slept until 7 before showering. We had breakfast at the rooftop bar, which is windy but offers great view to the city. The sun was shining through at still low level, creating shadows among the trees on the riverside. People were cycling and vehicles started to crowd the street.

dscf9732Morning View from Harmony River Hotel, Phnom Penh

dscf9747Phnom Penh Cityscape from Harmony River Hotel
The first site we visited today was the Grand Palace, where the King still lives on the complex until today. It was built in the 14th century and has been renovated in the late 90’s. There are three main buildings in the main complex and another big temple on the side. As in Thailand, there are lots of Buddha statues and stuppas on the site.

dscf9762Grand Palace Complex, Phnom Penh

phnom-penh17Grand Palace Complex, Phnom Penh

Then we continued our trip for 30 minutes to Choeung Ek, or known as the “killing fields”. It is where thousands of people are battered, slaughtered, and killed by the Khmer Rouge regime. There is a big stuppa containing the bones of the deceased and story around the fields. If you are traveling without a tour guide, there is an audio tour. We also watched 15 minutes film about the genocide

dscf9854Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument

dscf9877Khmer Rouge Victim’s Skull displayed in Choeung Ek

dscf9880Monument in Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)

dscf9883Killing Fields Complex
We drove back to the city afterwards to visit S21, a high school that was converted into prison, where people that is a potential opposition of Khmer Rouge is interrogated and tortured before being sent to the killing fields. We have lunch at David’s Noodle, a small restaurant recommended by TripAdvisor. It was great, we tried pork dumplings and the noodle soup with vegetables, both of them delicious

dscf9887S21 Prison or also known as Tuol Sleng Detention Center

dscf9889Regulation in Tuol Sleng Detention Center

dscf9892S21 Detention Center Barbed by Wire

dscf9898David’s Noodle

Nearby David’s Noodle, there is a museum of art. We walked there and spent 30 minutes around the museum, inside there are stupas, statues, and artefact from Pre and Post Angkorian era. The next stop was Central Market where there are gold and silver jewellery sold, watches, salon, and everything you could imagine. There is not much to see in the Central Market, but it is a large complex, so it might take 30-50 minutes to walk around. Afterwards, we were dropped at Sorya Shopping Small, a small and old shopping mall with nothing worth to see.

phnom-penh18Phnom Penh Museum of Art

dscf9913Monks at Phnom Penh Museum of Art

dscf9922Phnom Penh Central Market

So we took a tug-tug and take a ride around the city, including to Diamond Island where new constructions are being build. We stopped at Aeon shopping mall, a luxurious (by Asean standard) mall with lots of foods inside. It was on par with shopping malls in Jakarta. It was around 4 when we finished touring the mall, we took another tug-tug to Frangipannie hotel, which has a rooftop bar and offers great view for sunset

dscf9931Riding a Tug-tug in Phnom Penh

dscf9935Phnom Penh Cityscape from Frangiepannie Hotel

dscf9954Crowd outside the Grand Palace, taken from Frangiepannie Hotel, Phnom Penh

phnom-penh22Phnom Penh Cityscape at Sunset

phnom-penh23Phnom Penh Cityscape at Sunset

We visited Wat Phnom after dark, a large stupa illuminated by tungsten light. Then we headed to Nagaworld and gamble for couple hours. I lost $6.75 this night, inside they have luxury boutique (Rolex, Omega, Cartier) in the hotel and also many affordable restaurants.

phnom-penh25Wat Phnom at Night, Phnom Penh


About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
This entry was posted in Cambodia, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s