Phnom Penh, is Cambodia’s capital city, known as the Pearl of Asia thanks to its considerable charm.
Phnom Penh is a paradise for sightseers thanks to its unique architecture, which combines French colonial-era mansions with Angkorian monuments.
The city, which is situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, was founded in the early 15th century and became the first capital of Cambodia after the king of the Khmer Empire moved the seat of government from Angkor Thom.
Phnom Penh is divided into three disparate sections. In the north lies an attractive residential area, the south – the French part of the city – boasts several banks, colonial houses and ministries, and the centre is characterised by narrow lanes and bustling markets.
As with many Asian cities, Phnom Penh has undergone tremendous change in recent years, with new businesses and hotels opening off the back of the tourism boom. However, this development has not come at the expense of the capital’s historic attractions.
One of Phnom Penh’s most popular sights is the Royal Palace, which is home to the king’s official residence and the impressive Silver Pagoda – so named for the 5,000 silver tiles lining its floor.
Among the many other must-see attractions is Wat Phnom. Located on a tree-covered hill to the north-east of the city, it features a pagoda built in the 14th century to house four statues of the Buddha. Tradition has it that the temple has the power to grant the wishes of people who visit.