Getting to know Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh was recognized as the capital of Cambodia in 1432 and in the mid-16th century the city transformed into a powerful and vibrant trading center and port before being burned down by the Thais in 1772. After almost 200 years, in 1975, the Khmer Rouge forced the population into the countryside, several never returned. The Tuol Sleng Museum and the genocide camp at Choeung Ek provide a look into the city’s dark past, as the sites where thousands of Cambodians and even foreigners were beaten or tortured to death by the Khmer Rouge before burial in mass graves.
Nowadays, things are calmer and Phnom Penh is rising in popularity with tourists who just a couple of years ago considered Cambodia as a one trick pony, with just the Angkor temples as the main attraction. The National Museum is a must for all travelers visiting Phnom Penh. The Royal Palace is another noteworthy attraction, whose walls surround the Silver Pagoda, renowned for its 5,000 silver floor tiles.
Of the city’s several pagodas, Wat Phnom is the most noteworthy, located on the exact location where a lady named Penh constructed her sanctuary and founded the city. Nowadays, the city prides itself with some of the best entertainment and dining selections to be found in the country. The city is definitely brimming with prosperity and renewed energy, and to think that this atmosphere was unimaginable as recently as the 90s. it is the perfect time to be in the city; two or more nights is recommended to experience all that Phnom Penh has to offer.