Phnom Penh

We took a coach over the border which worked surprisingly well here (same cannot be said for Thailand!) and not too long after we were in Cambodia!

WHAT WE DID

S21 (Tuol Sleng)

S21 is a former school right in the centre of Phnom Penh which was closed and taken over by the Khmer Rouge to become one of the most cruel torture prisons in history. It captured over 20,000 people where only 12 survived the ordeal. It is a very humbling place to visit with some very disturbing photos, and in some places even blood left on the ground but we believe if you visit Phnom Penh you have to learn about its history. It costs 8usd for entry with an audio guide which we would definitely recommend. 

The Killing Fields (Choeng Ek Genocidal Center)

The darker side of tourism but an absolute must see if in Phnom Penh. The fields are just one of hundreds of sites all over Cambodia where horrific mass executions during the Khmer Rouge reign took place. The site has mass graves which were found to hold thousands of bodies.

To visit costs 6 USD which includes an audio guide to inform you all about the place. This is a few km out of the centre so you definitely need a tuktuk or taxi to get here. We took one from the Russian market for 7 USD total. 


Markets

There’s no limit to market places here in Cambodia! We visited the central market, the Russian market and the night market. They are a very different experience to the ones in Vietnam with much more of a local feel to them with less pressure on tourists to buy stuff. If you only have time for one definitely visit the central market due to its unique shape, relaxed feel and endless choices!

Wat Phnom

Is a Buddhist temple located in the centre of a large roundabout at the top end of the city. It costs 1 USD each to explore. It’s also ontop of a hill so has some nice views over the city. Easy to get to by tuk tuk or walk if you’re prepared to cope with the heat!


The Royal Palace

We decided to not enter the royal palace in the end. We were living right next to it so got so see some lovely views of it however to enter was on the expensive end here for Cambodia (more than 10 USD each) and some of the buildings were under construction. 


WHAT WE LIKED MOST

Distinct differences between Asian countries!

We expected Cambodia to be pretty similar to Vietnam but literally as soon as we crossed the border the place felt so different. We loved the use of tuk tuks here which we hadn’t experienced in Vietnam. We also stayed right on the Wat Botum park which was so quiet in the day due to the heat but the second the sun went down it came alive with the locals! They all came here to socialise, eat, play games, do flash dances, it was so refreshing and lovely to see. 

Tips & Tricks

Take the tuk tuks!

We used the grab app to get everywhere via tuk tuk, they are a great way to get around and really cheap.

The heat is serious!

The dead heat here really hits you so make sure you try to book accommodation with access to a pool to be able to cool off.