Fun things to do in Phnom Penh

  • Fishing on the Mekong with local fishermen
    Fishing on the Mekong with local...
    by jamon919
  • Killing Fields
    by akkipaa
  • Killing Fields
    by akkipaa

Most Viewed Things to Do in Phnom Penh

  • Local Experiences with Backstreet Academy

    by jamon919 Updated Dec 15, 2014

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    Backstreet Academy finds creates the most unique travel experiences by finding local masters who are amazing at what they do and help them create one-of-a-kind tours or activities that you’ll not get anywhere else. We believe in connecting with locals when you travel, as that is the best way to take in the culture of a city and human connections are what’s most memorable when you travel.

    Backstreet Academy is also a social enterprise dedicated to impact. We work with many NGOs and disadvantaged communities to help them create a tour experience at Backstreet Academy, helping them to access the tourism market monopolized by tour agents, building better livelihoods and dignity through providing them with education, training, income and respect.

    Join us to democratize travel in developing countries. Connect deeply with the people you see and make an impact in the communities you pass through. It’s all just a walk in the #Backstreets.

    Cambodian Boxing Class with champions Fishing on the Mekong with local fishermen Weaving
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    SMOKIN' POT--------INTERESTING

    by davidjo Written Dec 1, 2014

    I came across this old photo from a few years ago, and searched the web to find out more about it. Apparently there were originally 3 restaurants, one on PP, another in Sihanoukville and the one in Battambang. It appears that the only one remaining is in Battambang where the owner instructs you on Cambodian cooking, and has many positive reviews on TA. Anyway it was well worth taking a photo of the sign!

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    RELAX IN THE PARK

    by davidjo Written Aug 25, 2014

    Between the Royal Palace and the River there is a small park where normally many children are having fun. Spend some time observing the children playing before heading over to the river. The only downside is that there is no shade in the park.

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    STROLL ALONG THE RIVER

    by davidjo Updated Aug 25, 2014

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    It is quite pleasant to just take a walk from Wat Phnom along the side of the river, Ton Le Sap towards the Royal Palace. You can observe the activity on the river, bargain with locals trying to sell you sunglasses and stop at one of the many cafes, take a seat while you have a snack and observe the many boats going up and down the river. The Ton Le Sap merges with the Mekhong just opposite the Royal Palace. When i was there, there were a couple of stalls selling tasty snacks like grasshoppers, beetles, scorpions and spiders, pluck up courage and sample something.

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    TAKE A CYCLO and HELP THE POOR

    by davidjo Written Aug 25, 2014

    Cyclos, a bicycle with seating for two in the bucket seat at the front, were first introduced to Phnom Penh in 1936 and until today they remain the cheapest way to get around the city (for locals at least). The seat has a scooped footrest which the driver can tilt to help get you in and out. When using a cylo don't forget that the driver is among the poorest of the urban poor in the country and if he tries to charge you more than usual, i suggest that you give him the benefit of the doubt unless it is totally too exorbitant. So whenever you are in Phnom Penh take a cyclo, you will be helping to create a better life for the cyclo drivers.
    Actually cyclos are beginning to disappear from the streets as tuk-tuks and motodops increase in number, so it is better to experience riding in one while you still can. The seat and the pace of the vehicle gives you more time to enjoy the street scenes. As a foreigner a short journey will cost you 2,000 riel but longer journeys are usually a dollar or more.

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    GAIN MERIT

    by davidjo Written Aug 23, 2014

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    At several temples in the capital there are birds kept in cages which the locals buy and release to gain merit, according to Buddhist beliefs . There is a small temple by the river in front of the Royal Palace where many of the birds are released, so why not buy one for a few small notes. I am not sure if you will be doing the bird a favor as many of them have been kept in cages in the sun along with at least 100 of their feathered friends, and are not in such good condition. Tens of thousands of birds are sold every year but many do not survive the time they spend in captivity, such as the Barn Sparrow which starves to death from the moment they are placed in captivity, Many are hardly capable of flying after days or weeks in captivity and cannot make it into the air.

    birds caged in the sun

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    WHERE HAS THE LAKE GONE?????

    by davidjo Written Aug 22, 2014

    Study the maps on photos 1 and 5 and spot the difference! Yes you got it! THE LAKE HAS DISAPPEARED!!!!

    Beoung Kak Lake used to be the backpackers center with many cheap guest houses, restaurants, second hand book shops and travel agencies, but sadly it no longer exists. Travelers from all over the world used to congregate here and have fun. Photographs below are of the beautiful guest house i stayed at for a week while i was there in Phnom Penh. The lake has now been filled in and destroyed when Shukaku Inc received a 99 year lease to re-develop the area at a cost of US$ 88,000,000. The residents have gone and all that remains is a small strip of polluted water

    beautiful place to relax wonderful GH for a few dollars the terrace of this beautiful GH by the lake.

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    Get a massage

    by adelinemmc Updated May 21, 2014

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    A lot of hotels have a spa where you can get a nice massage. The prices are generally very cheap by European standards.

    There are also massage parlours of varying quality. We saw a few in town and they looked OK, then we saw this advert on the road to & back from the Killing Fields. I'm not sure if they really deliver all what is promised in the ad!

    Quite an unusual offer

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    Sunset cruise on the river.

    by cachaseiro Written Mar 9, 2014

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    One nice and relaxing thing you can do in Phnom Penh is to take a sunset cruise on the river and go where the Tonle Sap river meets the Mekong river.
    These cruises usually lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour and you go with boats where you can sit on the top of the boat and enjoy a drink as you sail down the river.
    It gives you a good view of the city and on the way back it will be with sunset behind the royal palace.

    The cruises should cost you around 4-5 dollars but this can vary a bit depending on the company and from where you buy it.
    The boats usually leave at Sisowat Quay right across the road from the night market.

    Cruising on the river. Life on the river. Sunset cruise in Phnom Penh.
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    Driving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

    by Cathy&Gary Written Feb 28, 2014

    Our good friend Sameth drove us from Phnom Penh to Siem reap in his minivan. Some of the roads are fantastic, very new and some are not so good. The trip of about 320 kilometers took us 7 hours due to a few stops along the way.

    We had to have a look around Skuon, the Tarantula capital of Cambodia. I was determined beforehand that I was going to hold one but as soon as I saw them that was the end of me. They are huge and horrible looking!

    Then it was onto Kompong Thom for lunch, where we met up with the bus that had Sameth's wife, mother and father in law, brothers and sister in law plus children. The family have never been to Siem Reap before and there will also be a gig family dinner tonight with all of them at a local restaurant in Siem Reap.

    So the drive there was good, plenty to see along the way.

    Driving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap Driving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap Driving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap Driving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap Driving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
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    Kandal Markets Phnom Penh

    by Cathy&Gary Written Feb 28, 2014

    Kandal Markets are Phnom Penh’s biggest local markets. They open very early in the morning and sell every type of meat, fruit, vegetables, fish and bugs you could think of, some of it cooled on ice, some just laying out in the sun. 

    These markets are so big and very easy to get lost in.

    There are jewellery shops and also sections to buy clothes, pyjamas, bags, cleaning goods and freshly cooked meals. It is extremely busy in the morning and hard to walk around as there are also motor bikes trying to get down the small alleyways.

    You will not see many tourists walking around here but it really is a fantastic market and definitely something to see.

    There are many ways to get into these markets with a main entrance on Street 13, but the easiest is just walk past the Ohana Hotel on Street 148 near the riverfront and they start a few meters from the hotel.

    Kandal Markets - The frogs are still alive!!! Kandal Markets Kandal Markets Kandal Markets Kandal Markets
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    Toul Sleng (S-21) Genocide Museum

    by Cathy&Gary Updated Feb 27, 2014

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    Tuol Sleng use to be a high school until the Khmer Rouge converted it into a prison and interrogation facility. The prisoners were tortured over months then executed at the Killing Fields.
     Only 7 people survived this horrible place.

    Extensive records and photos were kept and these are on display at S21. The school consists of 4 main buildings around a grass courtyard which contains the bodies of the last 14 people killed here.

    In one building prisoners were chained to metal beds and there is one room where you can still see the faint remains of a pool of blood under the bed.

    The next building is horrific due to the photos of tortured prisoners, hundreds and hundreds of them, men, women and children. Then there are photos of the killers, some as young as 12!
    In another building the rooms are divided into small brick cages, prisoners were shackled and left here starving, to await more torture or death.

    Then there is the building with paintings done by one of the survivors of Tuol Sleng. In another room the instruments used for torture are on display.

    We went through all the buildings at S21, but I couldn’t wait to get out of there, a very eerie, haunting place and so heartbreaking to think of the unimaginable horrors that the people there went through. We have recently been back again to S21 and the feeling were the same. So sad!

    Opening Hours
    8am - 5pm
    Entry Fee: $2
    Address: Corner of Street 113 and Street 350 Phnom Penh

    Toul Sleng (S-21) Genocide Museum Toul Sleng (S-21) Genocide Museum Toul Sleng (S-21) Genocide Museum Toul Sleng (S-21) Genocide Museum Toul Sleng (S-21) Genocide Museum
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    The Three Rivers

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 5, 2013

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    Phnom Penh is situated on the banks of three rivers the Tonlé Sap, Mekong and Bassac. There were several lovely restaurants on the banks of the Tonle Sap near where it joined with the Mekong. We also got our driver to take us to a point where the three rivers meet.

    Near meeting point of the Tonle Sap and Mekong
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    Foreign Correspondents Club FCC

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 5, 2013

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    The FCC is housed in a three story French colonial building. It faces onto the Tonle Sap River near its confluence with the Mekong.

    The FCC dates from the 1990s and was once a hotbed of journalistic activity.

    The FCC is a restaurant and bar open to the public, not a private club. We really enjoyed eating and drinking here and loved the old typewriters that adorned the walls.

    Me at the FCC.
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    Koh Pitch

    by akkipaa Written Mar 23, 2013

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    Koch Pich (Diamond Island) is a large Island in Phnom Penh and it is developing quickly. New project for apartments are ongoing and they are building even 38-storey buildings there which is called satellite city.

    Hope that these project are a start to all development and gives Cambodians strength and proud to keep their origin and make Phnom Penh well known and attractive to all visitors.

    But there is a sad story behind. On 22 November 2010 people were celebration Water Festival and millions of people were targeting to Koh Pich and on the one other bridges some shout: "the bridge is going to collapse" causing a panic where 347 people we stamped dead and about 800 injured. A witness has said: "too many people on the bridge and...both ends were pushing" A journalist from The Phnom Penh Post said that the stampede had occurred due to police forces firing a water cannon into people on the bridge in an attempt to force them to move off the bridge after it began swaying.

    Let's pray for them and remember, keep your eyes open and mind your space when in the areas together with mass and limited exits and space!

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