Phnom Penh

 12:55:23.9330000 | 4.25.2011

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. It exudes a sort of provincial charm and tranquillity with French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. Phnom Penh is a veritable oasis compared to the modernity of other Asian capitals. A mixture of Asian exotica, the famous Cambodian hospitality awaits the visitors to the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
The Royal Palace, the official residence of King Norodom Sihanouk, is an oasis of calm away from the bustling streets beyond its walls. Many buildings are closed to the public, but it is possible to view the Silver Pagoda, but it is possible to view the Silver Pagoda, some important ceremonial buildings and the lush gardens.
The spectacular Silver Pagoda is named in honor of the 5000 silver tiles weighing 1kg each that carpet the floor. It is also known as Wat Preah Keo, thanks to a large Buddha made of baccarat crystal. In front of the dais stands a life-sized Buddha made of solid gold and decorated with 9584 diamonds, the largest weighing 25 carats. Tiffany’s eat your heart out.

National Museum
The National Museum is home to the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture from the Angkor period, set in a graceful terracotta structure of tradition design.
Inside are breathtaking masterpieces of Khmer art, artisanship and sculpture dating from the pre-Angkor period of Funan and Chenla empires, the classical Angkor period and the post-Angkor period.

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. It soon became the largest such centre of detention and torture in the country. Almost all of the people held at S21 were late taken to the extermination camp at Choeung Ek, southwest of the capital and were excited. Detainees who died during torture were buried in mass graves inside the prison found. During the first part of 1977, S21 claimed a terrifying average of 100 victims per day.

Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
Between mid-1975 and Dec 1978 about 17,000 men, women and children, detained and tortured at S21 prison, were transported to the extermination camp of Choueng Ek to be excited. Many were bludgeoned to death, to avoid wasting precious bullets.
The remains of 8985 people many of whom were found bound and blindfolded, were exhumed from mass graves in 1980. Fragements of human bone and bits of cloth are scattered around the disinterred pits.

Wat Phnom
Occupying the highest point in the city, don’t get too excited, it’s just a 27m high tree-covered bomb was once visible from all over the city. According to one of Cambodia’s many legends, the grist pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four Buddha statues deposited here by the waters of the Mekong and discovered by a women named Penh.

Independence Monument
The grand Independence Monumen was built in 1958 and stunted versions of it are found in provincial capital around Cambodia

Wat Ounalom
The headquarters of the Cambodia Buddhist patriarchate, Wat Ounalom is the focal point of the Buddhist faith in Phompenh. Under Pol Pot, the vast complex of 44 structures founded in 1443, was heavily damaged and its extensive library destroyed. Today, the Wat has once again return to prominence as a pre-eminent centre for Buddhist education.

New Central Market (Phsar Thmey)
Around the main buildings are stalls offering Krama's (red and white checked scarves), stationery, household items, clothes for sarongs, flowers and second hand clothes, usually from Europe and the US. For photographers, the fresh food section affords a lot of opportunities. There are a host of good value food stalls on the structure's western side, which faces Monivong Blvd. Central Market is undoubtedly one of the best of Phnom Penh's markets for browsing. It is the cleanest and has the widest range of products for sale. Opening hours are from early morning until early evening.

Tuol Tom Pong Market (Russian market)
More commonly referred to by foreigners as the Russian Market, this is located at the corner of St. 440 and st.163, south of Mao Tse Tung Blvd. It is the best place in town for souvenir shopping, having a large range of real and fake antiquities. Items for sale include miniature Buddha's, silk, silver jewelry, gems, video, ganja and a host of other goodies. Clothes such as t-shirts, trousers, jackets or shoes are very reasonable. It's well worth popping in for a browse.

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