Photo by lonelyplanet.com.
Phnom Penh has drastically modernized since Cambodia declared independence on 9th November 1953, and now the city shines as a hub for digital nomads and international globetrotters. Looking forward to an exciting and unforgettable overseas experience? This is your essential guide for things to do in Phnom Penh.
Interesting places and things to do in Phnom Penh
The first place you should definitely take a look at, is the Independence Monument. It was built in 1958 to commemorate Cambodia’s independence from France 5 years prior. You can’t miss it, as it stands on the intersection of Sihanouk Boulevard and NorodomBoulevard, and marks the center of the city.
Although an independent and self-sustaining nation, Cambodia still hasn’t lost its multicultural heritage. Cambodia is in fact a melting pot of both old and new, native and international cultures, with a blend of ancient, colonial and modernised facades wherever you look.
The Cambodian Performing Arts Center is one such example. You may see traditional and ritual dances, such as the Moni Mekala, and listen to ancient music that is well preserved. Rich detailed costumes adorn the dancers, and are supported by the latest technology in theater.
Shopping and eating in Phnom Penh
A very important note is that many shops and restaurants in Phnom Penh use the US Dollar to trade, this even applies in some markets in the expat-centric areas and tuk-tuks. However, be sure to keep a small amount of change in Khmer Riels too, especially if you are planning to explore outside of the Independence Monument area.
It can be confusing at first to think of prices in two different currencies, please do not rely on the bank exchange rate as a sole reference point. Sometimes, it would be beneficial to use the Khmer Riels for certain things, but if you are exploring the city center, use the US Dollar.
Here are some price estimates for food in Phnom Penh. Street foods can cost around $2 USD, while food in a restaurant can cost up to $5-$20 depending on the restaurant.
Transportation prices in Cambodia
Always negotiate with the driver before the journey begins. Typical intra city travel shouldn’t cost you more than $5 for the longest of rides. A metered taxi on the other.
hand shouldn’t be used for intra city travel; use this instead to travel to and from the airport.
You can also rent a driver for approximately $32 a day if you’re planning to visit places outside the city, such as Tonlé Sap lake and its lakeside town Krong Siem Reap.
We hope that this information is useful for you to learn before arriving in Cambodia. Looking for a place to stay in Phnom Penh? Be sure to check out The Balé Phnom Penh resort on the Mekong river and don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff for more travel tips.