Inside Asia Tours: 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 two week Cambodia holiday will take you to little visited wildlife sanctuaries on the search for some of Cambodia's most endangered species.

    Wild Cambodia

    From the ancient jungle temples Angkor and the bird-filled forests of Kulen Promtemp sanctuary, to helping out at an elephant conservation project and tracking gibbons in Mondulkiri, we will take you on a two week trip to experience the wilder side of this fascinating country, giving you a unique insight to the incredible diversity that Cambodia has to offer.

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    This two week Cambodia holiday will take you to little visited wildlife sanctuaries on the search for some of Cambodia's most endangered species.

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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  • 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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  • Duong Lam village

    Duong Lam village

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

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