5 Best Places to Visit in Phnom Penh for South Africans
Phnom Penh is the vibrant bustling capital of Cambodia. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle Sap, what was once considered the 'Gem' of Indochina. The capital city still maintains considerable charm with plenty to see. Scroll down to explore the top 5 places to visit in Phnom Penh.

Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is a complex of buildings which serves the purpose of the royal residence of the king in Cambodia; however, the royal king does not usually reside here. The Royal Palace is set right next to the Silver Pagoda where holds many of national treasures including gold and jeweled Buddha statue. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda compounds sit together behind the crenelated yellow walls of the royal compound on the riverfront and are usually seen in a combined visit.

Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

  • Location: Riverside, Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
  • Opening hours: Daily 08:00 - 11:00 AM and 02:00 - 05:00 PM
  • Price range: Royal Palace ($6.25/person), Silver Pagoda (free), Guide on-sight (around $10)

Ta Prohm Temple

After an-hour-drive away from Phnom Penh’s city centre to the south, travelers will reach Ta Prohm Temple which has many similarities in style of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. The temple is the true evidence of how the forest could invade man-made structure where huge tree roots growing over the temple’s roof over the years. The setting consists of a lot of traces and pieces of evidence of the old Khmer Civilization which has also been selected to be a setting of the film “Tomb Raider”. It is possible to rent huts and hammocks at the sight for relatively low prices.

Ta Prohm Temple represents the old Khmer Civilization

Ta Prohm Temple - the set of Tomb Raider

  • Location: Ta Prohm Temple - Tonle Bati, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Opening hours: Open from 07:30 AM
  • Price range: Entrance fee is $3.00/person

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison)

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was formerly Tuol Svay Pray High School before it was turned into an interrogation, torture and execution centre by the Khmer Rouge regime. According to the documents recorded in the museum, 17,000 people were imprisoned beween 1975 and 1978 and only 14 of them were known to have survived. Evidences of imprisonment are still being kept in the museum including pictures of the victims with all kinds of tortures that could not help us but to shed tears.

The outside of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Pictures of victims at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

  • Location: St 113, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Opening hours: 07:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Price range: Entrance fee is $2.00/person or $6 with guide 

The Killing Fields

The Killing Fields, also known as Choeung Ek Memorial, is another tragic reminder of a brutal ruling period of Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1978. Even though it was a short period of time, Choeung Ek is recorded just being one of thousands of mass grave sites throughout the country, but the largest. This execution area’s atmosphere definitely bring about chill to the bones. Tourists will have a better understanding of the Killing Fields after a visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

The skulls of the victims kept in the glass cabinet

  • Location: 15 km from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Opening hours: Daily 07:00 AM - 05:30 PM
  • Price range: Entrance fee is $6/tourist above 12 years old

Russian Market

Once having been to Phnom Penh, tourists cannot miss Russian Market, also known as Tuol Tom Poung Market by the locals. At Russian Market, tourists can shop for souvenirs and discounted brand clothing such as Gap, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein and Zara; however, unauthentic. Apart from clothing, tourists can also find a large number of vendors and stalls selling handicrafts, miniature Buddha, woodcarvings, silk, silver jewelry and musical instrument. Bargain is easier to be made in the afternoon.

A corner of Russian Market in Phnom Penh

A corner of Russian Market in Phnom Penh

  • Location: St 444, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Opening hours: 06:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Explore Cambodia's capital with us on Phnom Penh City Tour!

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