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Phnom Penh

 Phnom Penh is the most gentle of capital cities. With its tree lined boulevards and street cafes, Phnom Penh was considered 'the Paris of the East'  during its heyday.
A couple of days can happily be spent relaxing here, visiting the few attractions the city has to offer, such as the National Museum, and the Grand Palace. The Killing Fields at Cheung Ek and Tuol Sleng are both stark reminders of the recent horrors the country has gone through. Even though Phnom Penh is a small, slow-moving city, it has great charm and is slowly moving forward into the 21st Century!

Things to See and Do:

The Royal Palace is still home to  the current Royal family of Cambodia. Built during French colonial rule, the Royal Palace is a wonder of the Indochine world -a fusion of French and Cambodian ideas and design. With its Silver Pagoda and 5000 silver floor tiles, along with an impressive Emerald Buddha, it is well worth an afternoon of exploration.
 
The small National Museum of Cambodia has some very good artefacts from the Angkor region as well as some fine art from the rest of the country. It provides a good overview of the history of this fascinating country.
The Killing Fields at Cheung Ek is the site where so many Cambodians were brought to be executed and buried during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror during the late 1970’s. The small site is marked by burial pits, and a sombre reminder of this period of Cambodian history. There is also a Buddhist Stupa here, filled with several thousand human skulls.
 
Tuol Sleng was once a primary school, now it is a Genocide Museum showing the true horrors of the reign of Pol Pot. It is thought that as many as 15,000 people passed through this prison, suffering torture before being executed at Cheung Ek. The ex-classrooms have been left as they were found when the Vietnamese Army took the city in 1979; it is a very emotional site and will leave an ever-lasting impression on all those who visit.
 
The Central Market is housed within a lovely 1930’s Art Deco building and where you can pick up some very good quality copies of clothing and bags. The market is fun and you’ll see a different side of Cambodian life.

AT A GLANCE

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