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:

  • This tour takes in the highlights of two fascinating countries whose histories have intertwined throughout the centuries.

    Vietnam and Cambodia Uncovered

    Our 14-day exploration of Vietnam and Cambodia picks out the highlights of these two contrasting but equally fascinating and beautiful destinations, tracing the common bonds that link them together to form such a remarkable pair.

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    This tour takes in the highlights of two fascinating countries whose histories have intertwined throughout the centuries.

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