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Phnom PenhCulture & history

Our most recommended Phnom Penh Culture & history

Phnom Penh: Private City and Genocide Tours

1. Phnom Penh: Private City and Genocide Tours

1. The first stop will be at a couple of the most significant sites in Phnom Penh, Wat Phnom and Lady Penh Statue. Before visiting the actual Temple you will see the statue of Lady Penh, who Phnom Penh is named after. Learn her story before taking the steps up to the Wat (Temple). Entry fee: $1pp 2. Wat Onnalom was originally built in 1442 after the capital was founded in 1434 by King Ponhea Yarth. It is one of the most important monasteries in Phnom Penh. Free entry. 3. The National Museum was built in 1920 while Cambodia was a French colony. It is worth visiting, if only from the outside, to admire one of the best examples of traditional Cambodian style building. Free 4. The Royal Palace is most beautiful in the morning with the sun as it faces east. Perfect for photography opportunities. The public park in front is popular with local people to relax and socialise with family and friends. Outside visit only: Free. 5. The Cambodian Vietnam Friendship Monument commemorates the former alliance between the two countries. It is located not far from the Royal Palace in Botum Park. Free. 6. The King Norodom Sihanouk Statue stands impressively on the largest park strip in Phnom Penh. It was built in honour of the King in 2013 after his death the year before. Free. 7. The striking Independence Monument is nearby, representing independence of Cambodia from French colonisation which lasted for 90 years, from 1863 - 1953. It was built in 1958 and completed in 1962. Free 8. The darker and tragic side of Cambodian history takes us to the Genocide Museum. Formally a school, the site became a significant centre of imprisonment and torture during the Khmer Rouges reign. Approximately one and half hours is a suitable time to spend here. An audio guide is included in the entry fee of $10 pp. 9. We make a lunch stop at a local restaurant before heading to the Killing Fields, 45 minutes from the city. This is the second significant historical site of Khmer Rouge Genocide in Phnom Penh. An audio guide is included in the entry fee of $6pp. 10. The Russian Market is a great place to pick up Khmer products for souvenirs, many of which have been sourced from local businesses and organisations. Free. 11. Explore Diamond Island at the end of the tour, the 'Paris of Phnom Penh'. A swamp prior to 2000, it now continues to develop as a satellite city to the main central city of Phnom Penh. Along the way you will see the Patriarch of Monks Statue, the Buddhist Institute, the Cambodian Parliament Building, China Town and other newer developments of the capital. Nearby is the confluent of the Tonle Sap, Upper and Lower Mekong Rivers and Tonle Bassac. You will learn the significance and uniqueness of the rivers that meet here and flow through Cambodia. Free.

The killing Field and S21 half day tour.

2. The killing Field and S21 half day tour.

For this haf-day tour, the travelers will be picked up directly at the hotel or at the departure point. For the whole the tour, the travelers will be accompanied and escorted in the comfortable van by the tour guide from the hotel or the picking up point plus a very warm welcome and hospitalities by the tour guide. On the way from Phnom Penh to the Killing Field, the tur guide will be doing presentation about Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot as, it takes around 25 minutes and 15 Kilometers. At the Killing Field, the travelers will experience the seeing and getting more deeper understanding about the atrocities committed by Khmer Rouge, like seeing the bones, the rags of bones, the clothes, the rags of clothes, the Killing Trees ( where more than 300 children and babies were slaughtered at the tree, their heads were smashed against that tree), the graves and the mass graves and specially the memorial stupa full of 9000 skulls, classified into sex, age, nationalities and causes of death). Then the travelers are coming back to the city center to visit the Genocide Museum ( S21). At the Museum, the travelers will find out a lot more about that regime and especially the atrocities to the victims at that prison. Even more shocking, the travelers will see the blood, small toilets of the prisoners, rooms, cells, photos ( with sad and hopeless eyes contact and facial expression looking to the travelers). The visitors will even be able to have chance to see the survivors and they will be telling the travelers how they could survive from that brutal prison. It is building by building. Then the tour guide will escort you back directly to the travelers' hotel by the professional driver safe and sound. During the whole tour, travelers can ask any questions and raise any concern.

Half Day Silk Island Tour with English Speaking Guide

3. Half Day Silk Island Tour with English Speaking Guide

In this trip, our tour guide will pick you up from the hotel and bring you to see the Golden temple which was built in 1928. After we will catch a ferry to silk island and you will enjoy seeing the lifestyle of people, the seasonal crops that grown on this island and visiting the silk farm where you will learn about silk the processing of silk production from caterpillars to main products.

Phnom Penh: S-21 Prison and Killing Fields Half-Day Tour

4. Phnom Penh: S-21 Prison and Killing Fields Half-Day Tour

At 8:00 AM, depart from your hotel and drive to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, located about 16 kms south of Phnom Penh. Here,you will experience a very moving and confronting experience. The Killing Fields were the final resting place for over 17,000 men, women, children and infants between 1975 and 1978. It is estimated the Khmer Rouge Regime took the lives of between 2 and 4 million Cambodians during their destructive and devastating time in control between 1975 and 1979. Your guide will provide you with a detailed tour of the fields. Continue to Tuol Sleng Museum. In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot’s security forces and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). It rapidly became the largest center of detention and torture in the country. Prisoners were repeatedly tortured and coerced into naming family members and close associates, who were in turn arrested, brought to S21, tortured and eventually killed. Spend time discovering the harrowing truths of the prison. At 12:00 PM, your tour comes to an end and your guide will transfer you back to your hotel.

Private Tour to Oudong Mountain annd Koh Chen Island

5. Private Tour to Oudong Mountain annd Koh Chen Island

Explore Koh Chen island which is known as a Silversmith village, we will have a short walk in the village to see the lifestyle of the people who lives on this island and to see the processing of silver, cooper, brass productions. After we will going to visit the Buddhist center where will see the community of Buddhist nuns who live and spend their life in Buddhism. And then we will do some hiking up the mountain where we can see a stunning scenery from the mountain top, the stupa containing the remains of former kings and marvel at 5,000 Buddha statues. Experience to walk and see the street foods market.

Phnom Penh: Historical Guided Tour

6. Phnom Penh: Historical Guided Tour

Our driver and knowledgeable guide will be waiting for you at your hotel, ready to take you on an incredible journey. Royal Palace is your first stop are home to King Sihamoni and closed off to the public, but you will be able to visit the sacred Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex. This sacred site provides an opportunity to experience a unique part of Cambodian history, culture and art that no other place in the country can offer. Then, head to the Wat Phnom when exploring the city and it is a 14th-century Buddhist temple that stands at 27 meters tall, making it the highest religious structure in this area. This temple has a long history, offering visitors insight into the culture and religion of Cambodia. The complex features several highly decorated structures, including a large stupa at its center. Your included visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum will introduce you to the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Your expert guide will tell you the story of this period in detail, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of this dark chapter in Cambodia's history.

Alternative Tour to Silk Farm, SilverSmith Village and Udong

7. Alternative Tour to Silk Farm, SilverSmith Village and Udong

After crossing the Tonle Sap (river) by bridge, stop at the impressive Golden Temple and then cross the mighty Mekong by ferry to reach Silk Island. Silk Island, known as Koh Dach, gets its name due to the silk production on the island. We will spend time exploring the island, seeing local people at work, with the opportunity to talk to them and learn about life on the island. Local women weave silk scarves and skirts in the shade of their houses and export to the marketplace in Phnom Penh. The handmade goods are also for sale on the island. Spend an hour or more inside a Silk farm seeing and learning about silk production from the silk worm, silk worm food, cocoons, silk thread and silk production, as well as relaxing in the gardens on the farm and along the Mekong river. From Silk Island to Udong is about an hour by very comfortable road. You will see a village where original people make jewellery from silver and copper. After that, you will see the biggest Buddhist centre at the foothill before cliaming up the mountains of 300 steps. There are 5 original stupas on the top of the mountain. Once you reach the top, you will see a beautiful landscape and a Buddha stupa where the local paying repect to buddha relics and more ten thousands statues underground. The four other stupas are King's properties and ashes of different generations of kings. Returning to Phnom Penh, we will take approximately 90 minutes, and we will seek out some hidden street art before going back to your hotel. This tour is approximately 8 hours.

Phnom Penh: Tour of Tuol Sleng Prison and Choeng Ek Memorial

8. Phnom Penh: Tour of Tuol Sleng Prison and Choeng Ek Memorial

You will be picked up from your hotel at the preferable time you selected by a shared A/C transport to visit the highlights of Phnom Penh and learn more about the history of Cambodia from our professional tour guide, starting with S-21(Security Prison 21)of Tuol Sleng that was In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot’s security forces and turned into a prison. Spend time discovering the harrowing truths of the prison, and then drive to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, located about 16 kms south of Phnom Penh. You’ll visit the memorial built in memory of the more than 17,000 victims who were killed at Choeung Ek by the Khmer Rouge. Transfer you back after this half day tour completed.

Angkor Wat and Floating Village: 3-Day Private Tour

9. Angkor Wat and Floating Village: 3-Day Private Tour

Explore Angkor Wat and visit the enchanting floating villages of Cambodia. See Ta Prohm jungle temple, embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees, and trek along tranquil forest roads that are inaccessible by car. View Cambodia's dense jungle from the top of Ta Keo Temple, built by the Khmers over 1,000 years ago. On this private 3-day tour visit the ancient Buddhist university of Preah Khan, built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII, and admire the famous island temple Neak Pean. Go boating on the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia, and see one of Cambodia's famous floating markets as well as a crocodile farm. Experience the exquisite ‘Women’s Citadel’, then trek up Kbal Spean Hill to see the hidden waterfall and an 11th century carving of Hindu deities on the river bed. Then visit Banteay Samre Temple. Day 1: Ta Prohm /Ta Nei /Takeo/Angkor Thom/ Bayon (L) Morning visit to Ta Prohm. Continue to Tanei, a temple inaccessible by car, and then Ta Keo Temple. Afternoon visit to the Victoria Gate of Angkor Thom, Elephant Terrace, and Leper King Terrace, the enclosure of the Royal Palace. Also visit Phimean Akas Temple, Baphuon Temple, and the impressive Bayon Temple. Evening dinner at a local restaurant with an Apsara traditional dance performance. Day 2: Angkor Wat/Preah Khan/Floating Village (L/D) Morning visit to Angkor Wat. Continue to Preah Khan and Neak Pean. Afternoon visit to the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. Day 3: Banteay Srei/Kbal Spean/Banteay Samre (L) Morning visit to Banteay Srei. Continue to Kbal Spean, and enjoy a picnic lunch and visit to a sugar palm farm to meet the local farmers. Visit Banteay Samre Temple. Return to the city, where the tour ends at your hotel.

From Siem Reap: Angkor Wat and Floating Village 3-Day Trip

10. From Siem Reap: Angkor Wat and Floating Village 3-Day Trip

Day 1: We should depart at 8:00 am from your accommodation and before taking you to the Angkor Archaeological Park, we will take you to buy the Angkor pass first and drive you to the last ancient capital city of the Khmer Empire names as Angkor Thom(Gigantic city) to visit beautiful stone temples such as BAYON( temple with many smiling faces), Terrace of Elephant, Royal Palace area, Terrace of Leper King and Baphoun( It is considered as largest Hindu temple in Angkor Thom ). We will have lunch at a local restaurant opposite the Angkor Wat temple. After enjoying your lunch, we continue to explore the most spectacular Angkor Wat temple. If you prefer to watch the sunset, the best spot is Phnom Bakheng hill and we should arrive at the mountain's top before 4:30 pm. Day 2: You will be picked up from your hotel at 8:00 am via a private A/C vehicle to Banteay Srei known as " ladies' temple". This journey takes you through rural Cambodian villages, where you may observe locals going about their everyday lives and admire beautiful landscapes such as rice paddies and traditional dwellings. Stop at the most authentic village"Phum Preah Dak" where you can learn how the local people make palm cake and palm sugar. Afterward, we continue to the pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei and jungle temple of Beng Mealea. After all the crawling, we stop for lunch at a local restaurant, where you can enjoy Cambodian food. After having a great lunch, then we'll go directly to see two main temples of Rolous Group like Bakong temple and Lolie temple and then continue to Kampong Phluk, flooded & fishing village of Tonle Sap lake, located just 21 kilometers from Siem Reap town. Once in the lake port, we'll take a local boat from the ferry to explore the famous floating villages of Kampong Phluk. There, you can see firsthand what everyday life is like for the many families who make their living primarily from fishing. Most families live on the lake shore in brightly colored houses on long poles, so the high water levels are not a problem during the rainy season. Explore the flooded mangrove forest surrounding the area, which is home to a variety of species, including crab-eating macaques and 3,000 inhabitants. We will then take you to visit a Buddhist monastery built on an artificial island and back to your hotel in Siem Reap. Day 3: Please ask your hotel’s staff to pack a takeaway breakfast and we will pick you up at 4:40 am for the sunrise tour at Angkor Wat temple. In order to avoid the crowd, we will start to visit the jungle temple of Ta Prom known as ‘’Tomb raider temple” early and continue with other temples like Preah Khan (Father temple), Neak Pean Ta Som (Tree’s temple), East Mebon (10th century brick temple) and Pre Rup temple known as temple royal crematorium. Drop you off at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Phnom Penh

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 282 reviews

This tour is a great start to any trip to Phnom Penh and to Cambodia in general. Be ready to live the most intense emotional rollercoaster ever, as you’ll go from the magnificent Royal Palace to monuments that were the theater of the darkest times in human history. If you have children under 20 with you don’t take them on this tour, though. I’m an adult and some monuments traumatized me.

Mr. Hong our guide used to be a history teacher, and his passion and talent for prividing information in a fascinating way made this trip so enjoyable. I wish I could have Mr. Hong guide us for our entire stay in Cambodia! the prison is very interesting to see, and I woukd highly recommend this tour.

We really enjoyed our tour. Our guide Sophy was extremely helpful, kind and very informative. He also gave us lots of nice recommendations of things to do and places to eat in Phnom Penh after our tour. We would really recommend this tour. Thanks Sophy.

This tour and my guide was amazing. I would highly recommend this tour to other travelers.

Excellent guide who really brought history to life for us.