Historic Sites in Phnom Penh
Feb 20 , 2012
No city in Cambodia has the size, history, or importance of Phnom Penh. It is home to over two million inhabitants and has played a large part not only in the history of the country, but of the entire Asian world.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: While it is now a museum, this site once served as the torture and detention center to the victims of the Khymer Rouge. Walk through with eyes wide open and notice the blood-stained walls and floors. There are also shackles and other torture instruments that were used during the Khymer rouge regime. Although this site is emotionally difficult to visit, it is an important part of Cambodian history.
Independence Monument: This large obelisk is a commemoration to Cambodia's freedom from France in 1953. The structure is not only full of history, but also is beautiful and amazing at the same time. There are certain to be many locals and foreigners hanging out here. Some local vendors will be selling favorite Cambodian foods, including fried and grilled insects.
Central Market: Built in 1937 this Art Deco building is the site of the Central Market in the city of Phnom Penh. It is a city landmark and one of the most important historical sites in the area. There are numerous gorgeous buildings for anyone who is interested in architecture to enjoy and the history here is unmatched anywhere else in the area. Be sure to do a little shopping as well.
Sophea Nhep: These Khymer temples located at Angkor are some of the worlds most amazing architectural treasures. They were built beginning in the 9th century and were not completely finished until the 13th century. It took 12 Khymer kings until the temples, which span 120 square miles, were complete.
The Killing Fields: This historic site is the execution grounds used by the Khymer Rouge. Be sure to listen to the audio tour, which may bring some visitors to tears. Do not rush through as there is a lot to see here. The best time of the day to visit this site is the morning, which will allow time for less emotionally draining sites the rest of the day.
After seeing and feeling the often sad history of the area, shill out with a cold beer, or cocktail in a local bar.