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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Phnom Penh, a Tapestry of History and Culture



Perched at the junction of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, Phenom Penh is a colorful tapestry of Khmer and French Indochina colonialism, evident in every aspect of daily life. Legend has it that the city is named after an old lady known as Daun Penh, meaning “Old lady Penh”, with Phenom being the Khmer word for hill. Within Southeast Asia this is a must visit city full of color, fascination and learning.


The Royal Palace, Home of the Monarchy

From 1866 to the present day, the Royal Palace, except for a period of abandonment under the rule of the Khmer Rouge, has been home to the monarchy. The palace is a complex of residences and exquisitely beautiful golden temples. 


Guides can escort you through the maze of buildings, interesting and educational, the palace gives an excellent insight to the history of life in Phenom Penh. The Royal Palace is an excellent way to begin your visit to this amazing city.  

The Stunning Silver Pagoda

With its elaborate design, brightly orange clad monks, the silver pagoda oozes spiritual peace and well-being. At the entrance of the temple you will understand the meaning of its name, 5,000 sparking silver tiles cover the floor, a gift to the Buddha. 


You can glory at the site, but refrain from trying to walk on it. Ascend the grand staircase and marvel at the bronze Buddha weighing 80kg, the pure gold Buddha, the silver and gold Buddha and the jaw dropping Emerald Buddha encrusted with 2086 diamonds.

Koh Dach, the Silk Island

In the middle of the city, there is a rural island, Koh Dach, or Silk Island. The silk you see sold in the traditional shops and markets most likely came from here. The locals live in traditional teak house, with almost every one of them having a silk spinning machine. Visit the silk factory where the locals collect the silk produced by the caterpillars. Here you can buy silk souvenirs at a fraction of the shop prices. Eat a traditional and cheap meal at the riverside restaurant, and just like the locals, take a dip in the river. Bring a bicycle, it’s a fantastic and fun way to see the island.

A Unique Dining Experience, Dine in the Dark

In support of the 15,000 blind people in the city, this restaurant is designed to heighten our awareness of this disability. The restaurant is completely blacked out. You will enjoy a 4-course gourmet meal that you can never see, it’s served to you in total darkness. Your other senses take over, the taste and aromas become more important and the sounds of your environment become more acute. Hopefully you will leave the restaurant with a greater awareness of one of the difficulties that blind people face throughout every day of their lives.

Pay Witness to the Capital’s Darkest Years.

Cambodia’s history has certainly been a checkered one. Perhaps its darkest years were under the rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, particularly for its capital Phenom Penh. From the capital’s killing fields to its infamous prison S21. Like nowhere else in Southeast Asia, Phenom Penh can truly tell us the story of man’s inhumanity to man. Sobering and thought provoking, visit these sites of infamy for a human experience which is, probably, more humbling than any other visit you will ever make.

Inside the infamous former S21 Prison (now known as the Genocide Museum)
Phenom Penh has so much to offer the visitor. Care for the Sun and Moon bears at the bear sanctuary. Sip cocktails and wine on a Mekong River cruise. Relax on the Sisowath Quay and watch the flaming sun set over the city. Shop at the Olympic market or go quad biking, there is very little the city cannot offer. You can enjoy it all with our great fares, so get aboard here.

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