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Royal Palace Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Sitting at the confluence of three rivers that stretch out to the north, west and southeast - the Mekong, the Tonle Sap, and the Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh is the vibrant, bustling capital of Cambodia. The city takes its name from the re-known Wat Phnom Daun Penh (nowadays: Wat Phnom or Hill Temple), which was built in 1373 to house five statues of Buddha on a man made hill 27 meters high. Once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, despite the ever-growing presence of modern life, it still retains considerable provincial charm and tranquillity with French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. 

The majority of the population is Sino-Khmer, Cambodia’s merchant class, and it is largely they who are at the root of the city’s thriving commercial life. This and the energy and creativity of the city’s expatriate community mean that Phnom Penh has a lot more to offer the visitor besides the sobering Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the infamous Killing Fields.

The Khmer people love children and there's a surprising amount on offer for families here; just outside Wat Phnom there's a well-maintained playground and little ones will love walking on the silver tiles of the Silver Pagoda at the Royal Palace before playing hide and seek amidst the flower filled gardens with their giant topiary trees carved into the shape of animals, teapots and other amazing shapes. A Buddha grotto set on the top of a small manmade hill is the perfect place for a picnic.

Royal Palace Phnom Penh

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