Phnom Penh became the capital city of Cambodia in 1866. Rich in history and architecture, it was considered the pearl of Asia in the 60’s until, unfortunately, in 1975 it took on the feeling of a ghost-town during the reign of the brutal Khmer Rouge. Since the mid 90’s, Phnom Penh has been on a consistent upswing, re-inventing itself with a lively nightlife scene and developing art scene.
Seeing the city in the late afternoon light and busy evening, it is easy to imagine Phnom Penh’s glory days. Soft light falls on the buildings as the sun sets and in the evening darkness, the city lights illuminate both historic and modern buildings.
The tour begins in the afternoon at Preah Ang Dong Ker, on the riverfront. This is an interesting spiritual centre which is busy with worshippers at all times of day. The shrine is located in front of the Royal Palace, home to Cambodia’s monarchy and the Silver Pagoda. Take time to explore the complex with your guide.
Walk a little along the riverside area of Phnom Penh, a pleasant French style promenade that is great for people viewing. In the early evening it is busy with activity – exercise classes, Khmer dancing and plenty of informal family snacking. Feel free to join in any of the above!
Next you travel north to the small hilltop temple of Wat Phnom for a wonderful city views in the beautiful late afternoon light. As the sun is about to set, its back down for a sunset cruise on both the Tonlé Sap & Mekong Rivers. Watch as the city illuminates itself.
Dinner is while a la carte at the illustrious Foreign Correspondents’ Club, on the waterfront.
Finally you visit ‘Le Moon’ Bar for a cocktail. This stylish bar is housed on a pretty rooftop and is the perfect way to end your evening tour of the capital.