A great city to visit as a pitstop onwards to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.
Phnom Penh geta a bad rep in travel guides and travel blogs because in all honesty there isn’t much to do and see; but there is enough activities for a day trip or as a pitstop on your way to Angkor Wat situated in Siem Reap. Especially if you have crossed the boarder from Vietnam into Cambodia, Phnom Penh is a welcome relief from the exhaustion of travel. It enabled us to stretch our legs and give us our first taster of Cambodia.
We had less than a day here as our main focus was to see the Angkor Wat temples and our coach wasn’t to leave until early evening. With hours to spare we leisurely ventured to a few temples and a Christian church situated in the heart of Phnom Penh to utlize our time there.
Our first stop was the snake temple. Snakes are associated with the Nagas in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Nagas are mythical serpent beings that originated in Hinduism. In Buddhism, they often are protectors of the Buddha and of the dharma. However, they also are worldly and temperamental creatures that spread disease and misfortune when angered. The word naga means “cobra” in Sanskrit. Sometimes you might see the Nagas depicted as mermaid-like women on carvings and wall paintings all over South East Asia.
I really loved this templed dedicated to the Nagas. I particularly love the rituals and ceremonies performed all over South Eat Asia, I find it beautiful and comforting. The flowers, the insense, the altars, the praying, the soft music and the gardens surrounded by people and statues are so vibrant and inspiring. Unlike the West were our places of worship feel drab and melancholy, the temples all over South East Asia seem to celebrate life, death and mystical worlds we can not see.
This serpent temple is called Wat Phnom and is a Buddhist temple located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was built in 1372, and stands 27 metres above the ground. It is the tallest religious structure in the city. The pagoda was given the name of Wat Preah Chedey. Borapaut.
According to Travel Nomads. com “It is not hard to get to Phnom Penh. If you want to go by land, you can go to Pham Ngu Lao Street or Bui Vien Street (get from Ho Chi Minh City) and buy a bus ticket to get to Phnom Penh. The price of a ticket is about 9-10 dollars/ticket. You can go any hour of the day and only take 6 hours to go to the Cambodian capital. If you want to take a flight from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh at a cost of 100-200 USD / ticket. However, if you want to save money when traveling self-sufficient Phnom Penh, the best way is to take the bus.”
Many Phnom Penh’s tourist attractions are quite close together. You can walk up to just a few local trails, or if you want to be fast, you can use the tuk-tuk and … bargain. The price for these services is only 2-3usd / time/person. We sadly only had the day to try and cram site seeing together. I would recomend staying overnight to fully enjoy what Phnom Penh has to offer.
Phnom Penh as Krong Chaktomuk or Krong Chaktomuk Serimongkul is the capital and most populous city in Cambodia. Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French conolization of Cambodia and has grown to become the nation’s economic, industrial, and cultural center.
Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” it was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indo-China.
As with all South East Asian places, Phnom Penh has plenty of pagodas, temples and shrines to visit. The locals allow tourists to enter but please make sure you take off your shoes and be respectful by being quiet and if you’re like me, you are usually more than welcome to join in. In most places where I’ve visited I’ve offered a prayer or sat with locals to meditate.
Phnom Penh is not a favourite destination in Cambodia, but it was a lovely respite from crossing the boarder.
If you enjoyed this short post about Phnom Penh, visit some links below to read more about my travels: