Phnom Penh Private Tour, the Spellbound Gem of Cambodia tempts you in with open arms. Once described as the Sparkling Gem of Indochina, Phnom Penh was long forgotten and neglected by travellers and explorers alike.
The vibrant, bustling capital of Cambodia is literally bursting with history and ripe for adventure. On the shores of mighty Mekong, the city has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of war to bask in its newfound glory.
The stunning Royal Palace, its spires gleaming against the azure sky, impresses all that visit while the many trendy bars and cafes continue to spring up all over this growing city. On your sightseeing tour be sure to take time out to explore the backstreets, full of a never ending stream of people and traffic.
Take in the sights, sounds and smells of a city on the go 24/7, seeming never to sleep few can resist the charms and moving resilience of its people. Read More...
Private Tour of This Most Haunting Capital
Take Private Tour of this haunting capital emerging from its dark past and its overgrown jungles and many Temples and artefacts
The Royal Palace with its ornate Khmer roofs dominating the skyline
Silver Pagoda with its extravagant use of silver for its flooring
Orussey Market with its many vendors selling traditional and local produce
Take a private culture tour of Meta House a German-owned cinema offering films of an alternate Cambodia
Independence Monument now a moving tribute to the many lost to war.
Top 10 Things to Do in Phnom Penh
Close to the riverfront the magnificent Royal Palace with its ornate gilding and classic Khmer roofs completely dominates the Phnom Penh skyline. As it is an official residence of the King, it is only partially open to the public on a guided private tour. The main attraction is the Throne Hall and its striking tower. Although many artefacts once on display here were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge it is still used for ceremonies and corona.
Within the walls of the Royal Palace compound is found the Silver Pagoda or Temple of the Emerald Buddha. So named for its floor covered in over 5 tonnes of silver tiling. Most of these are now covered for protection, but some are still on view near the entrance. The walls are lined with many exceptionally elaborate masks worn in traditional dancing and golden Buddhas all examples of incredible Khmer artisanship.
National Museum of Cambodia
Housed in an elegant, traditionally designed terracotta building the museum is home to probably the world's most outstanding sculptures from the Khmer rule. Close to the Royal Palace it is entered through a peaceful courtyard garden and is a true treasure trove of history and culture. A custom tour will show bronzes, pottery and ceramics dating back as far as 4th century as well as a wooden royal barge from a more recent period.
Bamboo stilted shacks line the water's edge of this famous lake making it an exceptional place to while away a few days or a few hours with a picnic or if you feel lucky a spot of fishing. This scenic spot popular with locals escaping the city is best visited during the week to avoid these crowds. On a private tour visit a traditional silk weaving village after one of the temples nearby or sample some frog, a local delicacies here.
Cambodian Living Arts
An evening of pure entertainment awaits you at this traditional Cambodian dance and storytelling show. The escorted tour is fun for all age groups and is run by an organisation whose mission is to restore all of the lost arts so nearly eradicated during the Khmer Rouge rule. Full of life and fun the dancers in their colourful traditional costumes clearly enjoy their work both historic and modern and without a doubt you will too.
In the centre of the city is probably the largest and cleanest of the Phnom Penh's markets. It is great fun to browse and maybe a bit of bargaining. Where farmers come to sell their local produce including fruit and veg to seafood and dried products if you want it they have got it. This teaming market is traditional Khmer at its best. A real overload to the senses both visually and auditory as well as a true assault of your nose.
Established in 2007 this German-run cinema and media communication centre was opened by a German filmmaker and journalist. Most evenings at 4 p.m. it screens short documentaries on Cambodia and various art house films. It is the first such establishment in the country and is also run by a group of Cambodian creatives. To top off the night German beer and sausages can also be ordered here while you watch the film.
Founded in 1443 this ancient Temple is home to a large number of monks along with the Head of the Buddhist Brotherhood of the country. Also the Headquarters of Cambodian Buddhism it comprises over 44 buildings containing artefacts from a bygone age including a statue of Huot Tat thrown into the Mekong river by Pol Pot to demonstrate Buddhism was no longer important to the country but later rescued in 1979.
Established as a central meeting point for monks and as a Holy Sanctuary Wat Langka is one of Phenom Penh most famous sites. This ‘working’ Pagoda is full of history, and here you will be able to learn and understand the Khmer culture and its importance to the country. If you are lucky enough to make your private tour on a Thursday, you may also take part in the free meditation lessons on offer for a small donation to the Temple.
Built in 1958 Independence Monument was a celebration of Cambodian independence from the French and now serves as a cenotaph to the many war dead. Designed in the shape of the lotus like many other historical sites around the country it is 20 metres high and stands in the centre of the capital. Entrance to the monument is strictly forbidden but a night custom tour sees it alight with the blue red and white of the national flag.
Travel Tips for Phnom Penh
Best Time To Visit
Over eager agents may well tell you that there is never a wrong time to visit the area and although this is probably true you may well find that you are not able to visit or do the things you have planned. Dry months are from November to February when it is not overly hot but also can become crowded. June to October is monsoon season but showers are normally brief and so can also be a welcome break if you don’t mind mud and lots of it.
Hostels are very popular and cheap and ideal for backpackers about 5,000-40,000 KHR per night, but there are also many hotels ranging from 50,000-60,000 KHR per night and maybe more if you want a pool. Food is cheap and there are loads of choices from street stalls at 8,000-12,000 to restaurants for 20,000-29,000 KHR. Hire cars are cheap and readily available with a driver as a tour guide about 100,000 KHR. Tour guides are reasonably priced.
Know Before Visiting
Remember to dress appropriately especially in temples where your attire or lack of could offend. Take comfortable shoes preferably waterproof if travelling during monsoon season. Traffic rules exist but are rarely adhered to be extra careful when crossing roads. Mosquito repellant is a must and try to cover up as much as possible. Use tuk-tuk or other transportation recommended by your hotel. Bring US$ as these are widely accepted everywhere.
From January to March is rainy season and is the best time to visit for discounts in accommodation and as the weather is more suitable for sightseeing. Between April and October, the temperature rises to 40 degrees and the rain has begun to taper off. High season is classed as November to February with cooler windy weather and average temps in the 30s.