Hi! I’m Adriana and welcome to my article on why you should visit Phnom Penh – Cambodia’s capital. I’m a full-time travel blogger. I quit my job to go traveling at the beginning of this year with my partner Mike, and for the last nine months I’ve been exploring Asia and I’ve loved every minute of it!
I was born in Australia with Polish heritage. I lived in four different countries by the time I was 14: Australia, Poland, Dubai (UAE) and England. I think this gave me the travel bug! I call London my home but I also love using it as a base to travel to amazing destinations like Cambodia. Recently, we were in Cambodia for two and a half weeks. I was inspired to visit, as I had been to neighboring Thailand a few times and wanted to see how it compared.
I’ve also seen Cambodia on the news and in movies, and desired to see it for myself. My main goal was to discover Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, as well as check out Phnom Penh as I really didn’t know what to expect.
Pleasantly Surprised by Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh wasn’t what I expected at all. It’s a vibrant city with bustling night markets, neon lights, boat rides, an excellent nightlife, and fun and unique floating bars. It also has an extraordinarily sad history which you’ll inevitably learn about in regards to the Khmer Rouge. Yet, it’s important to learn about the history so you can understand why the city is the way it is.
Top 3 Things To Do in Phnom Penh
We did a couple of fun things in Phnom Penh and I can recommend three activities for a day or two in the city. Firstly, make your way to the riverside and take a boat cruise at sunset. Watch the world go by, indulge in a couple of drinks, admire the city palace from afar whilst the wind blows through your hair, listen to music and have a great time on the water.
In addition to the sunset cruise, head to go-karting which is super fun and the go-karts can go surprisingly fast. It’s definitely an adventure and thrill-packed experience. I honestly loved racing Mike around the tracks!
Lastly, make your way over to Floatation – the incredible floating bar and restaurant in Phnom Penh. Not only are the food and drinks delicious, but the entire concept of Floatation is all about using recycled and sustainable materials in order to design/use architecture that is more eco-friendly.
Why Give the Capital a Chance
I feel like you get a real understanding of what Cambodia has been through in Phnom Penh: its difficult past, challenging history and vibrant new beginning. Without visiting Phnom Penh, you won’t be able to learn from the museums where you can witness the country’s tragic history first-hand, nor see how far the capital has come in such a short time.
With this in mind, be sure to visit the Killing Fields (Choeung Ek Genocidal Center) and the S-21 Museum (Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum) to learn about the country’s history. It’s hard to see but so important! There are plenty of other things to do in Phnom Penh that are uplifting (listed above).