Inside Vietnam: Cambodia Laos

Historical sites of Phnom Penh

The capital of modern Cambodia is developing at a fast pace, but beneath the surface is an insight to the darker history of the country.

Phnom Penh is modernising at a fast pace, and its scenic location on the mighty Mekong River, welcoming people, lively café culture and world-class food mean that it lives up to its new self-designation as 'the charming city'.

But beneath the bustle of everyday life lie many layers of history, from the ancient Khmer Empire to the more recent French colonial era and the Khmer Rouge. As you explore the city today you'll see remnants of all these periods, from the French-style buildings that once earned Phnom Penh the moniker 'Pearl of the Orient' to the Silver Pagoda at King Sihamoni's Royal Palace, constructed over a century ago. The National Museum, meanwhile, offers an insight into more ancient times with its relics of the Khmer Empire - the civilisation responsible for building the temples of Angkor.

To truly understand Cambodia today, however, you must take stock of more recent history and the atrocities perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge under the dictator Pol Pot. The sobering Tuol Sleng Museum, formerly Cambodia's most notorious wartime prison, and the Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge executed their victims, serve as fascinating monuments to the period, and will be included in the tour this afternoon.

Historical sites of Phnom Penh

located in Phnom Penh

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Experience the glorious and contrasting cultural and scenic highlights of Indochina on our two-week journey through Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

    Indochina Encompassed

    One of the great pleasures of a tour that combines all three of the Indochina nations is the remarkable contrasts of culture, cuisine, scenery and atmosphere that reveal themselves as your journey progresses.

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    Experience the glorious and contrasting cultural and scenic highlights of Indochina on our two-week journey through Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Other suggested History

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  • Dien Bien Phu

    Dien Bien Phu

    The scene of the decisive battle of the First Indochina War, Dien Bien Phu is synonymous with the defeat of the French colonial powers in Indochina.

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  • Duong Lam Village

    Duong Lam Village

    Not far from Hanoi is Duong Lam Village, a rural settlement in the northern Red River Delta famed for its well-preserved traditional architecture.

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  • The DMZ and Vinh Moc Tunnels

    The DMZ and Vinh Moc Tunnels

    The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), also known as the 17th Parallel, was the site of some of the fiercest and bloodiest battles during the Vietnam War.

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  • Cu Chi Tunnels

    Cu Chi Tunnels

    The Cu Chi Tunnels were a stronghold of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, and provide modern visitors with a fascinating insight into the era.

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  • Cyclo Ride around Hanoi Old Quarter

    Cyclo Ride around Hanoi Old Quarter

    Discover the '36 streets: a warren of narrow alleys packed with street food stalls that make up Hanoi's Old Quarter.

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  • War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace

    War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace

    Learn about Saigon's fascinating combination of colonial, post-colonial and post-Vietnam War history through its architecture and museums.

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