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Phnom Penh, at the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Rivers, is the capital of Cambodia and its largest city. Having been liberated in the late 1970s from Khmer Rouge oppression, the city has exploded in activity in the 21st century and now a thumping little metropolis, small at heart but big in vibe. While not yet a rival to Bangkok, it's getting there; get it while it lasts, before it becomes Bangkok.


Phnom Penh was liberated from the Khmer Rouge by the Vietnamese in 1979, and has long remained a bit rough. Things have improved however, some roads remain shabby, traffic is persistenly chaotic, electricity occasionally strained (never mind your precious internet), but on the whole the city is reasonably modern.

The Silver Pagoda, in the grounds of the Royal Palace.

The city is has gained high rise buildings and traffic lights. The beauty that made it a "Paris of the East" before 1970 is unfortunately well hidden, though a few French colonial buildings remain. The wide boulevards and promenades envisaged by the French have become parking spaces and market stalls: pedestrians are not in favour.

The most pleasant strolling is to be done along the park-like river front, which hosts cafés and restaurants aplenty. Standard tourist sights are few, which makes the city a place to watch the street life and absorb the local colour. Phnom Penh is a worthwhile destination for those who enjoy an "edgy" experience and can brave the downsides of reckless driving, noise, dust, and perennial theft.

Touts and beggars abound. A firm but polite refusal should work. Older or disabled beggars will be happy to accept 500 riel. Anyone old enough to have survived the Khmer Rouge has had a tough life. Generosity here is no bad thing. Some older people may even invoke a blessing on you for your gift. Cocky young kids demanding a dollar should not be encouraged.

The weather is hot and humid, with showers in the late afternoon in the rainy season.

The Buddhist Institute at Phnom Penh
The Cambodian Parliament
The Colonia Mansion at Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source:w:Phnom Penh#Climate
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches


In 1975 Phnom Penh was choked with up to 2 million refugees from the war between the then US-backed government and the Khmer Rouge. The city fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975, who completely emptied it of civilians and allowed it to crumble for several years. The city's small class of skilled or educated professionals was systematically murdered by Pol Pot, or driven into exile.

Cambodia's developing economy and institutionalised corruption have concentrated wealth into a new class of nouveau riche that now frequent Phnom Penh's new fancy hotels and restaurants. Increasing tourist numbers are also bringing about improving tourist infrastructure.


All of Phnom Penh's streets are numbered. Some major thoroughfares also have names. The scheme is simple: odd-numbered streets run north–south, the numbers increasing as you head west from the river, and even numbered streets run west–east, increasing as you head south (with some exceptions, e.g., the west side of what was Boeung Kak Lake).

House numbers, however, are quite haphazard. Don't expect houses to be numbered sequentially on a street; you might even find two completely unrelated houses with the same number on the same street.

Get in[edit]

See Cambodia | Get in for general information on getting into Cambodia.
See Cambodia | Get in | Visas for detailed visa information.

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH IATA) (7 km west of the city). The largest airport in Cambodia. The terminal is a thoroughly pleasant and modern facility and features a post office, a bank with ATMs, restaurants, coffee shops, duty-free shops, a bookstore, a pharmacy, a tourist help desk and a business centre.
    Duty-free shop prices in Cambodia are horribly inflated — people how believe duty–free is cheap, don't understand economics. Alcohol and cigarettes cost half as much at shops and supermarkets in the city, like the Lucky Supermarket, so stock up on alcohol (put it in your checked baggage due to liquid restrictions for carry-on baggage) and cigarettes before you come to the airport. For example, 1 L of Absolut Vodka is US$21 at the airport, and US$11 at supermarkets in the city.
    Phnom Penh International Airport (Q1054163) on Wikidata Phnom Penh International Airport on Wikipedia

Getting there and away:

  • By bus – Take the relatively new Phnom Penh City Bus line 3. The stop is right outside of the airport on the main road. The line runs east through the city center to the banks of the Mekong. A ticket is 1,500 riel, from the bus driver, no change can be given.
  • By taxi – From the public taxi stand taxis cost around US$12 and tuk-tuks cost around US$8. The drivers may tell you there's a fixed price, but that's not true – the fare is subject to haggling like most things in Cambodia. Grab taxis (via phone app) are now allowed into the airport and cost about US$7 into the city. If you are willing to lug your bags outside the airport fence you can catch a tuk-tuk into town for US$5 but have to haggle hard for that price. The ride downtown can take about an hour or so and is full of car exhaust from all the traffic, so think twice about taking a tuk-tuk.
  • Cope – Make sure you have smaller denomination notes to pay your taxi driver if paying in US dollars, and inspect them carefully for rips and tears before paying. One airport taxi driver scam occurs when you go to pay in dollars: after taking your note out of view the driver will rip it slightly (which renders it useless in Cambodia) and then politely reject it. The hope is that you only have larger denomination dollar notes left, for which the driver will inevitably not have sufficient change. Show your driver how perfect your notes are upon paying and make sure they agree that each note is acceptable before handing them over.

By bus[edit]

With the financial support of China, Cambodia's main roads have improved considerably. The main highways that run on either side of the Tonle Sap from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Battambang, Sisophon, Poipet (for Thailand) and other major cities and towns are well-paved and in good condition.

The quality of buses runs the gamut, with the less desirable buses being a few dollars cheaper than more comfortable options. Safety standards are low and crashes (not always reported) are still happening, even for "quality" buses.

There is no official bus station in Phnom Penh, but transport companies are spread around the city. Try the streets just west of the central market (Mekong Express, Phnom Penh Sorya Transport, Capitol Tours, GST Express), north of the night market (Giant Ibis), or the northern part of Street 109 to find a company for leaving Phnom Penh. Bus companies will also return to these places if their office is there and when coming into the city. Beware, some passengers have experienced valuables being stolen from their luggage when stored out of sight.

Bus companies for Vietnam can be found along the boulevard south of the Olympic Stadium.

Guesthouses and travel agents throughout the city will also arrange tickets for a US$1–2 commission. Or just use your preferred booking website, like 12Go.Asia or BookMeBus.

International services[edit]

Borders are not open 24/7. Some night buses will wait at the border until it opens.

  • Bangkok – 11 hr. The bus service from Bangkok to Phnom Penh (and Siem Riep) is run by BKS (The Transport Company), a reputable Thai bus company. Buses leave Mo Chit Bus Station (buy your tickets at ticket window 22) at 05:00 via Aranyaprathet district in Sa Kaeo, where border crossing formalities are done. Return buses to Bangkok leave Phnom Penh daily at 07:00.
  • Ho Chi Minh City – 6–7 hr, hourly 07:00–13:30, US$22–25.
  • Pakse – 14 hr. Buses arriving from Pakse enter the city at night (around 19:30-20:00) via Monivong Ave, leaving tired and emotional travellers prone to being preyed on tuk-tuk touts. Watch out!
  • Vientiane – 27 hr. A generally inconvenient and stressful trip. Contrived border procedures, multiple bus changes, tickets not being honoured, and nocturnal groping should all be expected. Travelling via Bangkok (theoretically also around 27 hr, but with tight connections) should be considered as the 20:00 Bangkok-Nong Khai (Laos border, 20 km from Vientiane) sleeper train (13 hr) will be safer and more comfortable than any overnight bus through Southern Laos.

By boat[edit]

See also: Vietnam#By boat

Ferries connecting Phnom Penh to Siem Reap are suspended since COVID.

There are apparently several choices of boat between Phnom Penh and Chau Doc in Vietnam:

  • Hang Chau Speedboat (tour guide, water, snack, insurance, no pick up). Leaves from the ferry pier on Sisowath Quay, and seems to be the main affordable option other than the mythical "slow boats" (see below). Check website for schedule. Takes 4 hr, US$32
  • Mandarin Cruises, 5 hr, US$65
  • Victoria Speed Boat, 5 hr, US$65

The relevant border crossing to Vietnam is called "Song Tien landport" on Vietnam's e-Visa website, despite this place name not seeming to appear on any maps.

Many tour operators also offer a 2-nights/3-days Ho Chi Minh City–Phnom Penh Mekong Delta tour, but these are are often not worth the name — see Vietnam#By boat.

By train[edit]

  • 2 Phnom Penh (Royal Railway) Station (ស្ថា​នី​យ៍​រថភ្លើង), +855 78888582, +855 78888583. The ticket office is right at the beginning of the platform. A leaflet of all stops is available here. Information on schedule, travel times, and prices is available on the website. (The website is not encrypted, so it's better to buy train tickets in the station.) Royal railway station (Q7374763) on Wikidata Royal railway station (Phnom Penh) on Wikipedia

One daily train exists from Sihanoukville (6 hr) and Battambang (6½–7 hr) each, with the following stops and departure times:

  • From Sihanoukville:
  • Sihanoukville – 14:00, $US10
  • Kampot – 16:00, US$9
  • Kep – 16:20, US$8
  • Takeo – 18:00, US$6
  • (Phnom Penh – 20:00)
  • Other stops along the way according to the timetable include Preak Treng Beach, Holy Hill, Veal Renh, Kompong Trach, Toukmeas, Tani, Komareachea, and Broteas Lang, but it's not clear whether the train actually stops there.
  • From Battambang:
  • Battambang – 15:00, US$8
  • Maung Russey – 16:00
  • Pursat – 17:30, US$7
  • (Phnom Penh – 22:00)
  • Other stops along the way according to the timetable include Osalao, Beung Khna, Bom Nak, Kdol, Romeas, Tbeng Khpos, and Batdeung, but it's not clear whether the train actually stops there.

The return journeys for Sihanoukville and Battambang leave in the morning at 07:00 and 06:40, respectively.

Get around[edit]

Phnom Penh's main streets are in good shape. Some smaller streets and footpaths are rutted and potholed, clogged with garbage, stagnant water, parked motorbikes, sleeping people, and building materials. Street signage is clear and Phnom Penh is logically laid out (see orientation) and navigating is not too difficult.

Tuk-tuk, sir?

Not having a ride will necessarily entail your being pestered for one. Phnom Penh's lack of coordinated public transport gives jobs to many poor provincial immigrants, who badger any pedestrian in the city centre, particularly tourists.

  • Agree a fare in advance. Be clear whether it is for one way or return and in total or per person.
  • Drivers will try to avoid losing face by not admitting ignorance. Therefore, "Do you know where this address is?" will always be answered by "yes". Be patient and expect the driver to pull over mid-trip to ask passers-by for directions even to the most obvious of destinations.
  • Don't leave possessions exposed to snatchers. Women are often targeted.
  • The tuk-tuk drivers outside the Foreign Correspondents' Club are notoriously pushy and aggressive. Avoid them: walk half a block and hire someone else. If you don't want a lift saying "no thanks" generally works. Better still, try it in Khmer: "otday awkunh".

By motorbike[edit]

Motorbikes (but not self-drive cars) can be rented for US$5–6 per day, sometimes through guesthouses. Traffic is chaotic and dangerous, even by SE Asian standards. Wear a helmet and drive carefully. Two rental shops are on Monivong Blvd: Lucky Bike Rental and New Bike Rental. Accept that paying US$1–2 police "fines" is part of driving. Theft is common: park in designated guarded areas and pay a small parking fee or use a lock and chain, which should be provided.

Motorbike-taxis (motodops or simply motos) should take you anywhere cheaply. A trip from Sisowath Quay to Central Market costs about 2,000 riel. Fares are higher at night and with more than one passenger. Often little English is spoken. No helmets are provided.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis can be found in tourist areas such as the riverfront and Street 51 bar area in the evening. Easier, call one of the taxi companies for pick-up. Non-metered taxis still run throughout the city and can be found along the riverfront tourist area and near major hotels. Fares must be agreed in advance. Fares vary; your accommodation provider may help.

By tuk-tuk[edit]

Tuk-tuk type 1
Tuk-tuk type 2

Tuk-tuks (aka remorque moto), consist of a motorcycle with a cabin for the passengers hitched to the back. They are cheap (Per tuk-tuk: US$2–3 for a trip in the city, US$8 to the airport) and plentiful. Driving standards vary. Drivers in tourist areas may speak some English. Drivers generally do not know their way around and may stop to ask for directions.

PassApp tuk-tuks are metered three-wheeler auto-rickshaws. Several companies have apps that allow you to order one, uber-style. PassApp is one of the front-runners and works very well for visitors. It works out to be much cheaper than tuk-tuks and since the app shows the price, there is no haggling. Many of the drivers are not able to read maps so may need your help finding your pick-up and drop-off locations. The app can be downloaded for Android and Apple phones.

By cyclo[edit]

Cyclos are three-wheeled pedal cycle-rickshaws. They are slow, scenic, and traditional, though waning in number.

By bicycle[edit]

Cycling can extend the horizons of the city. Ride slowly, be visible and predictable by avoiding quick turns. Bicycles can be hired for US$1–3 per day or if staying longer you can buy a cheap Chinese-style bike for US$30–50, new or second hand. A good place to buy is in the area around the top of St105/St107, near St182. Perhaps give your bike to a worthy charity when you leave, such as Choice Cambodia, who will give it to a needy child as a means for getting to and from school. Having a bike greatly reduces the amount of annoying ride offers by tuk tuk and moto taxi drivers. There are plenty of repair places in town to fix a puncture, pump up tires or do any repair work at cheap prices. A puncture repair costs US$1.

By car[edit]

Phnom Penh is notorious for its massive traffic jams, and rightly so. In addition, traffic is chaotic and motorcyclists seemingly suicidal. Therefore, most tourists consider driving in Phnom Penh a nightmare, and it is highly recommended that you stick to public transport and not try to drive yourself around.

By bus[edit]

The city's bus network has 13 lines, see route map. The buses provide a great way to get around during daytime (05:30-20:30):

  • at 1,500 riel per ride tickets are inexpensive (note that the bus driver cannot give change, so you will need the exact amount)
  • it is safer than on motorbikes and tuk tuks, no risk of bag/phone snatching
  • with air-conditioning you are screened from heat, noise, dust and smells of the city streets

Though all bus stops have the route map for that particular bus route displayed, the free App “Stops Near Me” (from Google Play and Apple App Store) comes in handy. Not only does it show the full route map with all bus stops in English, it also tracks buses live so that you know when the next one will be arriving.

On foot[edit]

Walking can be a challenge. Remember little gives way to big here, pedestrians come last, even on the now cluttered, once grand, wide, French-built pavements. Pedestrian crossings are generally ignored by motorbike drivers.

To cross safely, judge gaps in the traffic and proceed slowly and with care. Always look both ways — don't assume traffic only comes from one direction. Give oncoming vehicles ample time to see and avoid you. Never move hastily between rows of waiting cars, often motorbike drivers will use the space between car rows to drive and they won't see you coming, since the cars block their sight.

There is almost no street lighting off the major boulevards, so be particularly cautious when walking at night.


France's Cambodian colony was acquired late and largely neglected. Historic colonial architecture was limited to start with and has largely decayed. The Grand Post Office Building, Central Market and Raffles Le Royal Hotel are notable exceptions. Generally any building in good condition, old or new, will be behind a big wall and security guards.

  • 1 The National Museum of Cambodia, St 13, Sangkat Chey Chumneas, Khan Daun Penh (Opposite the Royal Palace), +855 23 211753, +855 12 621522 (mobile), fax: +855 23 211753, . Daily 08:00-17:00, last admission 16:30. Contains an excellent collection of art from Cambodia's "golden age" of Angkor, and a lovely courtyard at the centre. A main attraction is the statue of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219) in a meditative pose. Other exhibits worth seeing include graceful statues of Hindu gods, ancient stelae (tablets) inscribed in Sanskrit and old Khmer, and artefacts from a prehistoric burial site. In the middle of the courtyard is the original statue of the "Leper King" (actually Yama, the Hindu god of death) from the terrace of the Leper King in Angkor Archaeological Park. The building is of some historic interest, designed in the early 20th century by a French scholar of Khmer culture to evoke traditional Khmer architecture. The pleasant little park in front of the museum is the site of the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony, at which the success or failure of the coming harvest is determined. The gift shop has a small selection of books on Cambodian archaeology, art, culture, and history. US$10, youth US$5. National Museum of Cambodia (Q1929750) on Wikidata National Museum of Cambodia on Wikipedia
Royal Palace
  • 2 The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Sothearos Blvd (one block to the west of Sisowath Quay). 08:00-10:00 & 14:00-17:00. The King of Cambodia still lives here, but much of the palace is open to the public. The manicured gardens are nearly as dazzling as the colorful glass tiles of the palace roof. The two magnificent pagodas in the Palace Grounds, the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, are among the few public buildings in Phnom Penh really worth seeing. They were built in the 19th century with French technology and Cambodian design, and have survived the traumas of the 20th century amazingly well. See them early in the day before it gets too hot. No photography is allowed inside the Silver Pagoda and some of the palace buildings. You're expected to dress decently (no bare legs or shoulders, and no scarves or shawls) - make sure you dress accordingly, because they'll happily sell you a ticket before informing you that your attire is inappropriate. Shorts that cover your knees are okay. The palace complex has a structured, formal, organised, and harmonious layout with a clear and specific architectural style. There are no information panels, so a guide hired at the gate (US$10) can give you a good explanation of the history of the palace and of the Cambodian monarchy. US$10. Royal Palace (Q420618) on Wikidata Royal Palace, Phnom Penh on Wikipedia
Sisowath Quay as seen from FCC
  • 3 Sisowath Quay (Riverside). Phnom Penh is a bite-sized town, and it's easy to combine sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking into a single walk through the city. The key to connecting the dots is the town's riverside promenade, Sisowath Quay, which runs along the west bank of the Tonle Sap River. Every morning the Quay kicks off with a life affirming exercise session to some interesting music. It's fronted by a large, long open space with manicured lawns, palm trees and open pathways, all re-done as part of a Japanese funded project to upgrade the flood infrastructure along the river. The built-up side of the street is home to cafés and shops and the better class of bar, and is popular with tourists and expats prepared to run its gauntlet of touts selling drugs, girls, and tuk-tuk rides. The river front (once seen as Phnom Penh's "safe" area) is no longer entirely safe for tourists. Tourist police are supposedly present in plainclothes. The esplanade along the river is also popular with Cambodians, who come here in the cool of the evening to enjoy the quasi-carnival atmosphere. It begins at the river front park opposite the royal palace, and is perhaps best experienced in the early evening. Dawn at Sisowath Quay is also a busy time, with locals doing calisthenics in front of the royal palace, and the sun rising over the river. Sisowath Quay (Q7530912) on Wikidata Sisowath Quay on Wikipedia
Tuol Sleng Prison
  • 4 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison), St 113, Boeng Keng Kang 3, Chamkar Morn, +855 23 300698. 08:00-17:00. A school converted into Cambodia's most important prison in 1975. More than 14,000 people were tortured here before being killed at the killing fields; only 8 prisoners made it out alive. The museum is easily accessible and a must-see for everyone interested in Cambodia's horrific history. The beautiful courtyard with palm trees makes for an unsettling contrast with the horrors remembered in the museum: concrete cells, skulls stacked in cabinets, implements of torture and disturbing photographs of people dying. For an introduction and further reading, try David Chandler's Voices from S-21 (ISBN 0520222474). Documentary movie S-21 can be purchased in Phnom Penh for US$1.50-2. There is also a short movie screening featuring some survivors that plays at 09:30 upstairs in the far building. An audio tour (available in several languages) is enough to understand the place and lets you go at your own pace. Plan to spend about three hours at the museum if you do the audio tour. There are survivors who sell their books on site. Across from the museum (No 54 & 56, St 113, is a little shop called CHA ( that sells inexpensive handmade goods that are made by women disabled from polio and land mines. If you ask, you will also be able to tour the shop, meeting the female workers and seeing where they study English. US$5 entrance, US$5 for audio tour or guided tour. Tuol Sleng torture center (Q850268) on Wikidata Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum on Wikipedia
The Killing Fields
  • 5 The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek (about 17 km south of Phnom Penh, 40 min by taxi or motorbike or tuk-tuk). 07:30-17:30. This place is not for the squeamish. A former Chinese cemetery, this is where the Khmer Rouge killed many thousands of their victims during their four-year reign of terror. Today the site is marked by a Buddhist stupa packed full of over 8,000 human skulls. The sides are made of glass so the visitors can see them up close. There are also pits in the area where mass graves were unearthed, with ominous scraps of clothing still to be found here and there. It is a serene yet sombre place. Regularly throughout the day, a small museum screens a documentary with gruesome video images of human remains that were unearthed when the mass graves were found in 1979. As millions were killed during the traumatic genocidal regime of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, as a sign of respect, wear respectable clothing such as long pants and no sleeveless shirts or tops. Flowers and incense can be bought in front of the stupa. In 2005 the memorial site was sold to a for-profit private company. A tuk-tuk to the site should cost US$9-11 return (after haggling, of course), including stopping at the Genocide Museum on the way and waiting for you at both places. A tour bus to the site that also stops at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum will cost US$16 or US$28 for 2 people, plus admissions. US$3, audio tour US$3. Choeung Ek (Q1075734) on Wikidata Choeung Ek on Wikipedia
  • 6 Independence and Liberation Memorials. Impressive Buddhist-style Independence Memorial, commemorating the departure of the French in 1953, dominates the centre of the city. Nearby is the Stalin-style Liberation Memorial, marking the Vietnamese capture of the city in 1979. The area is especially popular on weekend nights with locals when multi-coloured fountains are activated and communal music is played.
  • 7 Olympic Stadium. Built in the 1960s for the Asian Games that never happened, this interesting complex in the Modern-style has been sold off to the Taiwanese, in a murky deal by the Cambodian government. The new owners have renovated it and it has begun to be used once again as a venue. However in the evenings a walk around the top perimeter is worthwhile: you can see hundreds attending exercise and dance classes, and get a view of the abandoned track below. There is also an Olympic-size swimming pool and diving pool with a 10-m platform open to the public opposite the main building, across the track. 6,000 riel to get in, 500 riel to check your things. Olympic Stadium (Q2021522) on Wikidata Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium on Wikipedia
  • 8 Wat Botum (about 3 km south of Wat Phnom, near the Royal Palace). Historically, the wat was favoured by royalty. In the 1930s, it housed a charming young novice named Saloth Sar, who "never caused anyone any trouble, never started fights - a lovely child". Later in life, he changed his name to Pol Pot. Wat Botum (Q7972919) on Wikidata Wat Botum on Wikipedia
Wat Phnom
  • 9 Wat Phnom (Hill Temple), Norodom Blvd at St 94 (on a hill at the centre of a small park near Sisowath Quay). 07:00-18:30. This hilltop pagoda marks the spot where the city was founded, and is always busy with pilgrims and fortune-tellers. The temple is notable more for its historic importance than physical structure, but the park is a pleasant green space and a popular gathering place for locals. A few monkeys keep quarters there as well and will help themselves to any drinks you leave unattended. Admission: US$1. Wat Phnom (Q1818101) on Wikidata Wat Phnom on Wikipedia
  • 10 Wat Ounalom, Samdech Sothearos Blvd. 06:00-18:00. Dates back to 1422 and is one of the five original founding monasteries of Phnom Penh. Donations welcome. Wat Ounalom (Q3104564) on Wikidata Wat Ounalom on Wikipedia
  • 11 Wat Langka. Offers free meditation session on Mondays and Thursdays at 18:00. Wat Langka (Q55637446) on Wikidata Wat Langka on Wikipedia
  • 12 Sosoro Museum, #16 106 Preah Moha Ksatreiyani Kossamak Avenue. Tu-Su 09:00-18:00. Opened 2019, this is a modern museum about money. 2,000 years of Cambodia’s monetary history through display cases and panels enhanced by multimedia presentations, and interactive exhibits. Adult 20,000 riels, 32,000 riels with audioguide; child 2,000 riels, 14,000 riels with audioguide.
  • 13 Phnom Tamao Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC), National Road No 2, Tro Pang Sap Village, Tro Pang Sap Commune, Ba Ti District (take Jwy 2 to zoo exit), +85595970175, . Daily 08:00-17:00. This is the largest zoo in Cambodia, and it's unique because it's made up of animals that have been rescued from illegal wildlife trade, sometimes for the final purpose of ending up on the dining room table. Among the residents are a number of sun bears and tigers. A full-scale tour is rather pricey at ~US$120, but may be worth it. Otherwise general admission is much less. Phnom_Tamao_Wildlife_Rescue_Centre on Wikipedia


  • 1 Mekong River Cruises. Boats leave every evening for a river cruise. Many provide snacks or dinners at sunset. Be sure to visit Mekong Island to see rural life. US$8.
  • Meta House, 6, St 264, opposite Wat Botum. Art gallery, bar, mini-cinema and production house. Shows free, high quality foreign and Cambodian films Tu-Su nights at 19:00 in the bar-lounge on the roof.
  • Institute Francais. Film screenings with few English subtitles, and more.
  • Help the Needy with CHOICE. A great way to help some of the local poor people in a positive and rewarding way is to help the expat-run charity called Choice. They help provide food and basic supplies to more than 200 extremely poor families, and medical assistance if needed. They also provide vocational training and feed and send many children to local schools and universities. Skilled volunteers especially teachers are welcome to help.
  • Hash House Harriers. A running club that meets every Sunday at 14:15 at the railway station. US$5.
  • 2 NagaWorld Casino. The only casino in Phnom Penh.
  • Thunder Ranch Shooting Range (Near killing fields of Cheoung Ek). Shooting range run by a unit of the Royal Cambodian Army. For a pretty hefty fee you can fire everything from pistols to machine guns at paper targets. Moto drivers, apparently oblivious of the reaction most visitors have, will try to include this in a trip to the killing fields and will take a nice commission for taking you there. Pistol US$20; AK-47 (30 rounds) US$40; rocket launcher US$350.


Kravan House


See also: Cambodia#Money

Money changers, particular the common Wing agents, are plentiful near the central market and display their rates on boards. But also elsewhere in the city, the green Wing offices can be found. Rates for US dollars are absurdly competitive with a buy-sell spread of often less than 0.5% (not 5%!). So, it doesn't barely make sense to shop around for the best rate.

There are plenty of ATMs dispensing US dollars and riel with international cards. Typical withdrawal charges are US$5 regardless of amount withdrawn, typically US$400 is the maximum. MB Bank (St 93 cnr St 214) doesn't charge and allows up to US$1,000 withdrawal (July 2016). Otherwise ANZ Royal Bank and Canadia Bank charge US$5 per transaction, maximum single withdrawal US$400.

The Mekong Bank at 220 Sisowath Quay are happy to change big notes to smaller ones or change damaged notes.


Popular tourist buys include silk, silverware, handicrafts and curios (including Buddha figures), and made-to-order clothes (which are often of good quality). If you want to support businesses that are noted for supporting Cambodia's culture and heritage, look for the Heritage Friendly Business Logo from Heritage Watch, an organization that promotes the preservation of Cambodia's cultural legacy.

Cambodia may be a cheap place to buy Samsung phones as there is no sales tax, but it's best to buy from one of only two authorised dealers in Phnom Penh. One near Central Market has closed and the other on Monivong Blvd. The Samsung one-year guarantees are only valid in the country of purchase.

St 178, just north of the National Museum, is known as Artist Street and has many interesting boutiques.

The Cambodia Antiquities Law (1996) bans the sale, purchase and export of Cambodian antiques, and since 1999 the US has banned their import. Consequently, most of the "antiques" sold in Cambodia are reproductions.

  • 1 MI-A Japan (cnr Monivong). Japanese almost US$2 shop. Full of different kinds of items. Similar shops can be found in the Aeon Mall. Phnom Penh also has a Daiso shop.
  • Hidden Treasures (Antiques), 9 St 148. Antiques, art, and curios from Cambodia's past and nearby SE Asian cultures.
  • International Book Center, 154 Sihanouk Blvd (St 274, between Monivong Blvd and St 63); 250 Preah Monivong Blvd (near Central Market); 43-45 Kampuchea Krom Blvd (at the corner of St 215), +855 23 218352, +855 23 222822 (Sihanouk), fax: +855 23 721368, . Large barn-like bookshops selling mostly textbooks and other educational works. Has a small classic literature collection. Also sells stationery, electronic devices, sporting goods and souvenirs.
  • Monument Books, 111 Norodom Blvd (near the corner of St 240), +855 23 217617, fax: +855 23 217618, . Has the most extensive collection of new books in Phnom Penh, including fiction and non-fiction, children's books, non-English-language works (in French and Khmer, for instance), magazines and newspapers. There is a particularly good collection of books from and about Cambodia, for instance, on Angkor Wat, the Khmer Rouge regime, and the history of Cambodia. Prices can be very high, often above the list price, and can be purchased cheaper elsewhere in town. However, you can also get a good tea or coffee and cake there, if the serving staff are awake and it's a nice place to sip and read without being pestered. Monument Toys upstairs has a collection of children's toys and games. There is a branch of the bookshop at the airport.
  • Kravan House, 13 St 178. Has a wide range of Cambodian silk products, including a wide range of ladies' handbags at a fraction of the price you would pay in a hotel gift shop.
The Art Deco dome of the Central Market


  • 2 Central Market (Psar Thmei / New Market). A touristified and pricey market with a beautiful 1930s Art Deco covered market near the Riverfront (Sisowath Quay) district. Its architecture is worth admiring. The market is well laid out, and sells everything from flowers to video games to food, however mostly catered to tourists and rich Cambodians — most locals won't do their shopping here. Some stalls inside the market are owned by ethnic Chinese, so if you don't speak Khmer, you might get lucky with Teochew. If you prefer more authentic, local and inexpensive, head southwest to Orussey Market. Central Market (Q190668) on Wikidata Central Market (Phnom Penh) on Wikipedia
  • 3 Orussey Market. This is a proper and authentic Cambodian market with inexpensive produces and everything regular Cambodians need on a day to day basis. No fine art decor can be found here, and some tourists may be put off by its rawness. However, many small eateries can be found around the market, some even inside the market, which offer very cheap meals starting at 5,000 riel.
Eating dinner at the Night Market
  • 4 Night Market (between St 106 and St 108, riverside). Good for local food with many food stalls. Sells clothes as well but you need to haggle. Usually some live entertainment, but is primarily for the locals. Friendly neighborhood atmosphere; eat barefoot sitting on mats on the ground. US$2-4 for a decent dinner.
  • 5 Olympic Market (Psar Olympic). Olympic Market was built in 1994 and is a local favorite with shoppers looking for wholesale fabrics, everyday wear, religious paraphernalia and traditional Khmer dresses. Buyers can look forward to big discounts in this market especially if they are buying in bulk. The market is well laid out and is one of the more modern multi-story market complexes. Buyers should definitely give this market a visit.
  • 6 Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung). The Russian Market moniker dates to the Vietnamese occupation of the city in the 1980s. Real designer clothes at discount prices. A lot of the factories for Levis, CK, Ralph Lauren and many other brands are in Phnom Penh; however, a lot of the clothes sold here are deemed unfit to be shipped abroad due to very small faults and, therefore are sold at this market. You can also purchase fake Swiss watches and pirated software at low prices. It's away from normal tourist areas, but motodop drivers who cater to tourists will know it.
  • 7 Sorya Centre Point (formerly Sorya Shopping Center), St 63 (between St 154 and St 142 near Central Market). Renovated, renamed and made more upmarket in 2018. It is air-conditioned and contains a range of fast food outlets including Starbucks, Cafe Amazon, Asian Kitchen, Bonchon as well as the well-stocked Lucky Supermarket and Guardian pharmacy all on the ground floor. There is a multi-screen Major cinema on the 5th floor. On the 4th floor is a food court.
  • 8 Aeon Mall. Probably Phnom Penh's most modern shopping mall (opened mid-2014) with many brand name and Japanese stores. It has a supermarket, many restaurants and 7 screen, including one 4DX, Major Cineplex Cinema on 2nd floor. It has a small ice rink and laser tag on the 4th floor. Access via central escalators.
  • 9 Exchange Square, St 102. A multi-purpose development with upmarket shops and restaurants including a Starbucks, Hard Rock Cafe and Legend cinema on the 2nd floor, above Hard Rock Cafe.


  • 10 Thai Huot Market, 99-105 Monivong Blvd, +855-23-724623. 09:00-22:00. There are three Thai Huot supermarkets in Phnom Penh.
  • Lucky Supermarket (all around the city). 09:00-22:00. Lucky Supermarkets is the biggest nationwide retailer in Cambodia. The one on Sihanouk Boulevard will make you think you've stepped through a portal to a supermarket in Australia or the United States.


This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under US$4
Mid-range US$4–12
Splurge Over US$12


Phnom Penh offers some interesting culinary treats not found elsewhere in the country. These include French-influenced dining and Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian dishes. Pizzas, banana pancakes, and fried rice are always easy to find.

Exotic treats:

  • Duck embryo eggs are sold at the southwest corner of Sokun Mean Bun St (St 178) and Norodum Blvd (in front of the green SSN Bldg) inside a big high school compound, together with days old hatched chicks to frogs (everything is eaten, not just the legs) dipped in batter and deep fried.
  • Skewered and grilled pigs ears, chicken claws, and gizzards are sold in the Central Market at touristy prices. Pig intestines are sold at US$1 per 100 g, cut into pieces and splattered with sauce. Grilled small crabs, lobsters, prawns are also sold in the market.
  • Chicken feet are sold in the open-air restaurants as you turn to the right at St 154 as you go northbound from Monivong Blvd.
  • Bugs and other insects, especially the grasshopper, spider/crab, and grubs and pupae stage are sold along Sothearos Blvd from 184 St to 178 St.



  • 1 3-Pots Lady (at the southwestern entrance to Orussey Market). Irregularly present. This lady serves inexpensive and super delicious local curries with noodles and an immense portion of meat at an unbeatable price. The only catch is that you either take-away or seat yourself onto one of the tiny chairs around her place, but without any table to put your bowl. However, the dish is definitely worth the trouble. 6,000 riel.
  • 2 Surn Yi Vegetarian Restaurant, 15 Samdach Preah Thoamak Lekhet Ouk St (don't confuse it with the other vegetarian restaurant next door). Vegetarian restaurant with a variety of dishes including Chinese and Western options. Order by writing the item numbers on a laminated sheet with the marker provided. $3-5.
  • 3 Warung Bali, 3D St 178 No. 25 E0, Royal Palace. Small, traditional Indonesian restaurant in a tourist area.


The river front hosts everything from stand-up stalls to fine French bistros.

  • 4 Anise, 57 St (near the corner of Sihanouk and 278 St). Comfortable, nicely decorated corner restaurant with free Wi-Fi and some good dishes from a varied menu, including SE Asian. Their club sandwich is excellent. Perhaps a little over-priced.
  • 5 Aussie XL, 96 Phsar Dek (St. 88). About the only thing Aussie about this place is the owner. Foster's has, in keeping with Aussie trends, been banished from the place. But the food is very good and the wood-fired oven pizza matches anything found in Italy.
  • 6 Java Creative Cafe Toul Tom Poung, 53, Street 468 Toul Tum Poung II, +855 77 873 929. Soups, salads and sandwiches in a cosy setting overlooking the Independence Monument. Good vegetarian options. Has a rotating art exhibition.
  • 7 Junk Food Junction, Cnr St 51 and St 310, BKK1. The BBK1 area is experiencing great growth in construction and becoming continually more an upmarket area of the city. At the junction of St 51 and St 310, each corner now has a multinational joint, KFC, Burger King, Carl's Jnr (California flame grilled burgers) and Gloria Jean's coffee.
  • 8 Kathmandu Kitchen, 13 Long Nget Street 258 (south of the Palace, in the same street as Lazy Gecko and Okay Guesthouse, on corner Sothearos BlvD), +855 235000485. Delicious Nepali and Indian food for reasonable prices in a restaurant setting with free water and condiments. US$2-5; veg. Nepali-style thali US$3.5.
  • 9 Sony Side Up (formerly Chat 'n Chew), St 172, +855 12 482302. Very popular with expats who hang out here. Owner Sony and his family are very friendly and helpful.
  • 10 The Shop, #39, St 240, +855 23 986964, +855 92 955963 (mobile), . Daily 07:00-19:00. Popular place with a good selection of sandwiches, quiches, salads and freshly baked goods plus nice coffee too. Has a cosy and quiet courtyard seating area. Very good breakfast options.


Superficial security

Most of the time, Phnom Penh bars and clubs are safe enough and a lot of fun - however, some of the more "hip" places are popular with the notorious local "elite" youth (and their minders) who carry firearms and other weapons, and who are allowed to pass through so-called "security" checks without being searched.


The coffee scene in Phnom Penh has exploded in the last few years with several global chains present all around. But there are also numerous small and independent coffee shops to be found.

  • 1 Cousin's Burger Coffee, 16, St 200. 11:00-21:00. French-run, French-style. Coffees as well as burger, fries and soft drinks.
  • 2 Luxuries Cafe, +855 96 777 7552. 06:00-23:00. True to its name this is a very comfortable and luxurious cafe. Has both photo drinks and food menus. Prices surprisingly not expensive.
  • 3 Chhma Catfe, 3, St 178. 08:30-20:30. A cat cafe where you can enjoy a nice hot or cold drink in the company of lots of playful cats, when they are not sleeping or eating. US$1.5 donation entrance fee. Smoothies US$2.5.


Places to hang out after dark include St 136 near riverside, St 104 and St 108 near the St 51 corner, which all feature restaurant bars, hostess bars, and guesthouses. For a more upmarket bar and restaurant scene, visit an area called BKK1 that includes St 278 and St 282, near St 51 or St 308.

  • 4 Bouchon, St 174 (next to Romdeng restaurant). 11:00-14:00, 16:00-00:00. French wine and cocktails bar with gourmet food. Famous for its near half price US$3 martinis on Saturday nights 21:00-00:00.
  • 5 Cloud9 Skybar, #68 Street 136, +855 23 961 888. In the evenings at Sun & Moon Urban Hotel, guests and local residents can chill out in style at Cloud 9, the hotel’s rooftop bar, with cool beats, creative cocktails, and spectacular views over Phnom Penh city. Poolside BBQ parties and buffet dinners can also be arranged at this location.
  • 6 Eclipse Sky Bar, cnr Monivong and St 232. Tallest sky bar in Phnom Penh, is a hidden gem in the heart of the city’s business district. From the roof of the 22-story Hyundai Phnom Penh Tower, the view of the city is breath-taking, and the soft mix of pop music in the background adds to the bar’s relaxed ambiance. US$3 Tiger draught beer.
  • 7 Liquid, 3B St 278. Daily 08:00-late. Polished concrete, gun-metal grey floor, chocolate leather seats and fabulously backlit bar serving some of the best and most inventive cocktails in town. One of the only slate pool tables in town. As much a mid-week bar as a weekend bar.
  • Zeppelin Cafe (location constantly changing). Listen to 1970s rock classics played by Mr Jun Rockwell, with his massive vinyl album collection. US$2 cocktails and great boiled or fried dumplings.



The official HIV rate among prostitutes is 34%.

  • 8 Golden Vine, St 108 (next to two other bars Zapata and Enigma). Hostess bar with pool table.
  • 9 Shanghai Bar & Restaurant (Corner of St 51 and St 172), +855 12804836. 15:30-03:00. One of the oldest hostess bars in Phnom Penh, however is not pushy and does not have a bar fine. Downstairs bar has a great music collection from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. 1st floor lounge disco and rooftop terrace. Prices are reasonable and also has a great value Sunday roast at US$6.
  • 10 Zapata Bar, St 108 (next to Golden Vine bar). Stylish air-con hostess bar with a good range of drinks, and no pool table or food to distract you from the lovely ladies.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget US$5-20
Mid-range US$20-50
Splurge Over US$50


A good range of accommodation is available around the city. The budget traveller area was area known as Lakeside, near the now filled in Beoung Kak lake. The colony of guesthouses has been decimated, but not eradicated. Remaining businesses are desperate for clients, which makes prices very cheap. Guesthouses 10 and 11 still exist and offer rooms from US$4/night and US$3/night respectively. Services include such laundry, Internet, money exchange, ATMs, and restaurants, including an excellent Indian restaurant.

St 258 (near the Cambodia/Vietnam Friendship Park), Street 51 (near Wat Langka) and St 111 and 172 also have some good budget options, with street 278 now hosting many budget hostels and bars that were once located on the lake.

  • 1 #10 Lakeside Guesthouse (at the lakeside). Rooms $6 (Apr 2023).
  • Capitol 3 Guesthouse, 207Eo St 107, Sangkat Beng Prolit, 7 Makara (next to the Capitol Tours office), +855 23 211027. Warm, friendly staff and quick laundry service. 5 floors of squeaky-clean rooms that are out of the direct sunlight and never seem to get too hot. No elevators. Free Wi-Fi. Single fan room with shared bathroom US$3, private bathroom US$4 (which always seem to be full), + cable TV US$5, + hot water and air-con US$8.
  • 2 Dragon Guesthouse (near the Capitol Bus Stop). Rooms from $7 (Apr 2023).
  • Europe Guesthouse, 51 St 136, +855 92 763 078, . One of the cleanest and most conveniently located guesthouses you can find. TV, Wi-Fi, laundry, bus and flight tickets. French, English and Chinese spoken. Often the cheaper rooms are full. US$11-20.
  • 3 Grand View Guesthouse (at the lakeside). Rooms $6 (Apr 2023).
  • 4 Indian Royal Halal Food & Guest House (at the lakeside). Rooms $5 (Apr 2023).
  • Khmer City Hotel (One street south of the Sorya bus terminal), 90H St 154, +855 23 224 538. Surprisingly good for the price. Free Wi-Fi. US$15-20.
  • 5 Okay Guesthouse, 5 St 258 (Royal Palace area, near Hotel Cambodiana). Large and busy guest house with restaurant, terrace, Internet cafe. A good place if you like hanging out with other travellers. They show movies every evening. The rooms are basic but clean, the cheaper rooms are sometimes very small and do not have a window, the more expensive rooms on the 2nd floor are generally a bit better. Somewhat quiet in the evening. They provide food, rooms, buses & tours. The rooms are rather bleak and sad by Cambodian guesthouse standards but cheap and relatively clean. Check your bed for bedbugs as they are common here. US$6-12.
  • Top Banana Guesthouse, 2 St 278 (Near Wat Lanka). A very laid back small guesthouse on the 2nd and 3rd floor with a cosy, sociable atmosphere and friendly staff. The cheaper rooms are very noisy. Surprisingly good food. US$7-15.
  • 6 Velkommen Guesthouse, 17 St 144 (in the centre of Phnom Penh, riverside), +855 77 757 701. Nice backpackers guesthouse with friendly and helpful English and Norwegian management. Dorm beds & private rooms. A large stylish bar. Great for meeting other backpackers, with regular events and live music. Free Wi-Fi. Dorm beds from US$4.
  • 7 Mad Monkey Hostel, 26, Street 302 (Close to independence monument and Wat Langka), +855 23 987 091, . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Popular party hostel in the BKK1 backpackers district, provides a pool, rooftop bar and pool bar. 220 beds available from US$5 per night, private rooms from US$10 per night.
  • Onederz Phnom Penh, No 12-14 Preah Ang Duong St., adjacent to St. 110, +855 23 982 822. 24-hour reception. From US$12 for a bunk (Apr 2022).


  • Angkor International Hotel, 38-50 St 148 (100 m west of Kandal Market, 300 m from the river and national museum), +855 23 217609, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. English and French spoken. Breakfast. Western and Asian restaurant, free Wi-Fi. Easy reservation and secure payment on-line. 100 rooms. Clean and stylish Khmer furnishings. Air-con, desk, tiled/marble floors, cable TV, minibar, private safes, elevator, safe at reception, bar and terrace, non-smoking floor, tour services. Warm and helpful. Room service 24/7. Massage. 95,000 riel (US$23).
  • Cambodia Uncovered, BKK1, +855 12 507097, . Self-contained apartment for up to 4 people, along with satellite TV, DVD player, and a small veranda. Advance booking required. Off-the-beaten-track tailor made private boat and road trips, up-country travel, and cooking classes can also be arranged. singles US$55, doubles US$75, including breakfast and Wi-Fi.
  • Frangipani Villa Hotels, various locations. Four hotels in Phnom Penh. The spacious rooms are examples of contemporary Cambodian design. Spotless air-con rooms with cable TVs, mini-bars, strongboxes, en suite baths with hot water. Free Wi-Fi. Management does not support sex tourism. From US$35.
  • Golden Gate Hotel, 9 St 278, Sangkat Beng Keng Kang 1, Khan Chamkarmorn (Near Independence Monument), +855 23 427618. US$15-40.
  • Bamboo9 Boutique, # 41, Street 9 (Near Independence Monument), +855 69 468 896, . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Relaxing spot in the middle of the city with a very good Asian fusion kitchen and local chef, breakfast included. All rooms are equipped with air-con & fan, 22-inch LCD TV with international channels, DVD player. US$40-70.
  • 8 The Lone Star Saloon Bar and Guesthouse, 30 St 23 (between St 172 & St 154 near Cyclo Bar), +855 12 577860. Texas-themed restaurant with 3 apt-sized rooms upstairs available as guesthouse rooms. On a quiet street near the riverside. Air-con, hot water, free fast Wi-Fi, mini fridge stocked with drinks at bar prices. Caters to local expats and provides travel info for those new to Cambodia. Quiz nights on Monday 19:30. Play as individuals not teams. US$25.
  • Pavilion Hotel (Oasis Heritage), 227 St 19 (near the Royal Palace), +855 23 222 280. Colonial building from 1920, enclosed from the hustle and bustle of the city outside. Lush gardens surround the swimming pool. Also has a Jacuzzi and free Wi-Fi. Offers a free professional massage to each guest. Some rooms have private swimming pools. US$50-80.
  • Bar Oz Riverside Guesthouse (formerly Sundance Riverside), 79 Sisowath (north of the night market on the river front, 3 doors north of the Mekong Express Bus), +855 96 299 8940. 24-hr bar and restaurant with Wi-Fi and pool table. Rooms have Wi-Fi, a safe, air-con, ceiling fan, hot water, fridge, and a 26" flat screen TV. Breakfast included. US$15 (Apr 2022).
  • The 252, 19 St 252, +855 23 998252, . 19 spacious and stylish rooms with wifi & free breakfast. Overflow 13 x 5 m swimming pool surrounded by a leafy tropical garden, garden restaurant and bar. All rooms are equipped with air-con/fan, 22 inch LCD TV with international channels, DVD player. US$45-65.
  • 9 YK Art House, 13A St 830, Tonle Bassac (easiest access is when coming south down Sothearos Blvd, making a right onto St 830, just before Wat Svay Popey), +85570521605, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. A hotel and apartment complex in two buildings separated by a yard with large trees and a small swimming pool. Wi-Fi, Air-con and several lounges. Breakfast available. US$20-60.


  • Cambodian Country Club & Hotel Resort, St 2004 Group 6 Toeuk Thla, District Russey Keao, +855 23 885591, +855 23 883861, . A copy of an Australian country club, financed by a rich Chinese owner. There is an open-air kids' swimming pool (covered with a net to avoid too much sun), an outdoor swimming pool where the expats send their kids to learn to swim. Surrounded by nice lounge chairs for sunbathing and relaxing. Horseback riding, about 10 tennis courts, 2 badminton courts, and a workout room. A Coca-Cola costs about US$2, a meal between US$2.50 and US_8. US$75.
  • La Maison d Ambre, 123 St 110, corner St 19, Sangkat Wat Phnom (opposite Wat Phnom), +855 23 222780, fax: +855 23 222791, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. On one of central Phnom Penh’s busiest commercial streets. The elegant white concrete façade typical of the Sankum era’s urban heritage has been restored to its former splendor. Ten apartments (60-120 m²) have been designed and decorated, each in a unique interpretation around the themes of luxury and travel. Has a fine restaurant. US$90-160.
  • Raffles Le Royal, 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh (off Monivong Blvd), +855 23 981888, fax: +855 23 981168. Phnom Penh's grand old hotel, built in 1929 by the French, used as a dry fish store by the Khmer Rouge, but given a thorough redecoration by the Raffles Group in 1999. Walking distance to Wat Phnom and the river, excellent service, wonderful attention to detail and the "Landmark" rooms in the old wing still use bathtubs and even light switches from 1929 (plus broadband Internet and walk-in showers). Try the Femme Fatale, a mix of cognac and champagne dreamed up for Jackie Kennedy in 1967 at the hotel's elegant Elephant Bar, , and don't leave without sampling the delectable tiny pastries at the Le Phnom deli (only US$0.50 a piece, half price after 18:00). US$150–300 low/high season.
  • Sokha Hotel Phnom Penh, 113 St 360, +855 92 115 125, fax: +855 23 990151, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. US$84-89.
  • 10 Central Mansions, No. 1A, St. 102 Sangkat Wat Phnom, +855 23 986 810. Hotel in a French colonial style building. The attached bistro The Shop is delicious and opens at 06:30, making it a solid choice for an early breakfast even if you're not staying at the hotel.

Stay safe[edit]

As in any big city, be wary walking alone at night.

Daytime phone and bag snatching is not uncommon. Women are the main targets. When riding in a tuk-tuk keep your phone and bag toward the middle of the tuk-tuk to protect against snatching. When on a motorbike taxi, keep your belongings between you and the driver or in front of the driver. Do not carry or wear your bag on your back!

Scammers and con men sometimes work the tourist areas such as the riverfront, Hun Sen Park and the Sorya Mall. One example: a group of men start a conversation, make friends, claim to have a relative who is soon moving to your country of origin, and invite you to dinner at their house. Once you get there, they will apparently try to trick you into playing a rigged card game for money, and if that fails then they will give you stories about sick relatives and ask money for that instead.

Beware of fake monks. Real monks don't walk around begging from tourists. Ignore them or call the tourist police (012 942 4840) if you are harassed by fake monks.

Stay healthy[edit]

As in most developing world countries, avoiding cold, uncooked food is desirable to prevent stomach upsets. Salads are also suspect at times.

As of 2019, antimalarials are not needed for Phnom Penh (unlike most of the rest of the country), but you should use mosquito repellent as there is a risk of dengue.

Unsafe sex[edit]

There are dozens of girlie bars catering to foreigners in the cross-streets back from the river. Freelance girls are picked up at establishments like Heart of Darkness, Sharky's Bar, Riverhouse Lounge, and Martini Bar.

HIV is carried by about one in eight of Cambodia's female sex workers. NGOs have got the HIV rate in the general population down from around 2% to around 1% over the past decade, but emerging liberal behaviour coupled with ignorance of safe practices may reverse this gain. Condoms are strongly advised.


  • Pharmacie de la Gare, 124Eo Preah Monivong Blvd. Has a good reputation for selling a wide range of medicines, and for their products being real, not fake.



Cheap SIM cards from US$2 for GSM phones are available on almost any major street. A vendor should have an activated test card to be used to make sure your phone will operate on that network. Calls between mobile networks can be spotty and Skype calls from abroad to mobiles in Cambodia are sometimes dropped, so be prepared to redial frequently. SIM cards, phone credit and internet packages can be bought and activated at the airport located just after passing through customs. A great time and place to do so if you know you going to buy a local SIM card in Cambodia. Its a good idea to have your phone sim unlocked before leaving home. It seems all phones sold in Cambodia are unlocked. Dual sim phones are cheaply available which are useful for travellers who want to use their home sim card and a local SIM card at the same time.

Mobitel (cellcard) and Metfone have the best coverage around the whole of Cambodia. Metfone is particularly good for their internet packages (e.g. US$5 for 20 GB for one week, US$7 for 40 GB for two weeks, Jan 2020) and they allow hotspot tethering from your smart phone unlike Mobitel. Useful if you use a laptop a lot and want to use wifi via your hotspot enabled smart phone. SIM cards with these rates are available at the airport. Smart has probably the cheapest for local phone calls but not so great for internet. Dual sim phones are popular in Cambodia so as to take advantage of different deals available, such as Smart for calls and cellcard or Metfone for internet.

Most of the major networks, such as metfone, have kiosks at the Phnom Penh airport located just after walking through customs where you can buy a local sim card, some credit and an Internet data package. If so, check that it all appears to be operating OK before heading off, such as by loading up a web page and checking your balance.


Wi-Fi is available in most of the hotels that welcome Western tourists and backpackers. Speed and reliability is on par with neighbouring countries. There is no shortage of Internet cafés in Phnom Penh. Most are in the 1,500 riel/hour to 2,000 riel/hour bracket (~US$0.50)

Wireless and wired connections for laptops are available at a number of outlets. Most up-market hotels provide high-speed broadband access, but at a premium. A number of cafés along Sisowath Quay including the Foreign Correspondents' Club (expensive), Fresco Café (under the FCC, also expensive), K-West Café (at the Amanjaya Hotel), the Jungle Bar and Grill, and Phnom Penh Café (near Paragon Hotel), and Metro Cafe (free).

  • Cybercity 8, 17 & 1, St 271 (in front of Sovanna Shopping Centre beside KFC Sovanna), +855 17 307066, . 24/7. A modern Internet cafe with 3Mb fiber optic cables. Open 24 hours with promotional rates at night. US$0.50/hr.
  • Galaxy Web (St 63 Near Sihanouk Boulevard). Excellent service, popular with Westerners.
  • Sunny Internet, 178 St (opposite Foreign Correspondents' Club, also Sisowath Quay, next to the Riverstreet restaurant.). Provides a faster service at US$1/hr and is popular with tourists and expats.


The main, impressive French colonial-style post office is at the intersection of St 13 and 102, roughly between Wat Phnum and the Riverside. Another branch is more downtown, at the intersection of Sihanouk and Monivong Blvd. Both offices offer full range of postal services, including PO boxes for affordable prices, and are open 7 days a week.

Postage for international postcards is 3,000 riel. Very nice picture stamps are available. Philatelists: ask for mix and match options. Letters and especially parcels to Phnom Penh's post office frequently go missing, or are not made available to recipients for up to one year.

FM radio[edit]

BBC World Service news is broadcast in Phnom Penh on easy to remember 100.00 MHz FM.


Bring your largest pair of sunglasses: Phnom Penh is dusty year-round (even in the wet season) and riding in tuk-tuks means a lot of the dust in your eyes.

Embassies and consulates[edit]


Ascertain that the doctor has a Western medical degree. If not, get out. Local training is poor and treatment can be fatal. Local hospitals are generally basic, including Calmette Hospital, the city's best. A doctor's appointment should be made at one of the international clinics, which can also arrange transfer to a hospital in Thailand if necessary.

  • IMI International Dental Clinic, 193 St 208, +855 23 212909. International Dental Clinic is one of the biggest high-tech dental clinics in Cambodia. Offering convenient and flexible services and total dental care since 1997. Recognised by the Ministry of Health and National Dental Council of Cambodia. Now has a second clinic, in cooperation with a Japanese dentist, in Siem Reap Province.
  • International SOS Medical and Dental Clinic, 161 St 51 (Pasteur), +855 23 216911. Has local and foreign doctors providing wide ranging standard health care and 24-hr emergency service. This clinic is experienced with foreigners and with travel insurance requirements and will ensure that all documentation for insurance claims are provided.
  • Royal Rattanak Hospital, 11 St 592, Boeung Kak 2, Toul Kok, +855 23 365555. The second Cambodian hospital of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL. Provides full secondary health care services including: emergency medicine, general surgery, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology, pediatrics, Ob-Gyn, general internal medicine, intensive care and rehabilitation services. Good service and some real doctors, but insanely expensive. A keybone operation with 4 days stay costs around US$4,000. You pay around US$190/night.
  • 1 Chenda Polyclinic, 8, St 39, +855 23 555 3156. An efficient and low-cost multi-service clinic. Bookings not always necessary, a good place to head to if sick. Particularly good place if you have no insurance as its costs are low. They are good a removing moles and various other lumps for as little as US$20 each.
  • 2 Tropical & Travellers Medical Clinic: Dr. Gavin Scott, 88 St 108, +855 23 306802. British doctor. General Medicine. Tropical medicine.

Go next[edit]


Sihanoukville, Battambang, and Siem Reap are within a few hours reach. Watch out for guesthouses profiteering on bus tickets. Several tour companies offer day-trips to Tonle Bati, which includes Ta Prohm, an Angkor-era temple not to be mistaken for the Angkor-area temple of the same name.

Further minor connections:

From Company (comments) Departs Hours US$
Stung Streng Phnom Penh Sorya (air-con) 07:15 9 12
Rathanakiri Phnom Penh Sorya (air-con) 07:30 13 12
Mondulkiri Phnom Penh Sorya (air-con) 08:15 8 10


Buses to Don Det (US$19, 12 hr) leave at 06:45. The 27 hr journey to Vientiane costs US$46 and takes four different buses. The first leg is on the Don Det bus. Once over the border you'll spend hours on cramped minibuses heading to Pakse before the final stretch to the capital. The border is slow and bureaucratic, with endless form-filling and small bribes to officials, long walks hauling your luggage between windows (500 m), and no one much to assist with enquiries. There have been reports of various problems on the onward journey to Vientiane, from Lao companies not honouring tickets sold in Cambodia, to nocturnal groping.

Prices May 2012:

To Bus Company (comments) Departs Hours US$
4000 Islands/Don Khong (ferry not included) Phnom Penh Sorya 06:45 10 23
Pakse Phnom Penh Sorya 06:45 12 30
Vientiane Phnom Penh Sorya 06:45 22.5 50


Through tickets to Bangkok (14 hr, US$15–26) are generally unproblematic. You will change buses at the border. Anything more than US$15 is a bit steep given that Phnom Penh to Siem Reap should cost US$5 and that Siem Reap to Bangkok should cost US$10.

Prices May 2012:

To Bus Company (comments) Departs Hours US$
Bangkok Virak Buntham (via Koh Kong) 07:45 >12 28
Virak Buntham (via Poipet) 21:00 21:30 24:00 24:30 12 23
Gold VIP (via Poipet) 20:00 24:00 (night bus) >12 23
Angkor Express (via Poipet) 06:30 13 18
Capitol (via Poipet) 06:30 13 18
Phnom Penh Sorya (via Poipet) 06:30 13 18
Ko Chang Virak Buntham 07:45 9 23
Ko Samet Virak Buntham 07:45 12 29
Pattaya Virak Buntham 07:45 11 29
Trat Virak Buntham 07:45 8 19


See also: Vietnam#Cambodia
See also: Vietnam#By boat

Bus companies (Danh Danh, Kumho Bus, Hanh, etc.) for Vietnam can be found along Samdech Preah Sihanouk Boulevard (Street 274) south of the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh. As of 2023/2024, prices from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh are US$22–25, the same can be expected for the return journey.

The following table for bus companies from Phnom Penh to Vietnam dates back to 2012 and may be outdated:

To Bus Company (comments) Departs Hours
HCMC Mekong Express (air-con, snack, water, guide) 06:30 07:00 08:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 6
Sapaco Tourist (air-con, water, toilet) 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 6
Khai Nam Transport 05:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 6
Virak Buntham 08:30 6
Virak Buntham (blanket, air-con) 00:30 (night bus) 8
Capitol 06:45 08:00 13:30 6
Phnom Penh Sorya 05:45 06:45 08:30 11:45 13:30 6
Hatien Champa Mekong (minibus, air-con) 08:00 5
Phu Quoc Champa Mekong (minibus, air-con) 08:00 7

Routes through Phnom Penh
PoipetPursat  NW  SE  END
END  N  S  → Takeo → Sihanoukville

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