An Afternoon Walking Tour of Phnom Penh

Published April 10, 2018
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We arrived at Phnom Penh early in the afternoon straight from Ho Chi Minh. Most people skip this place, but I thought, why not stay even just for a night to check out the vibe at Cambodia’s capital. From the National Stadium where the bus dropped us off, we took a tuktuk to Good Morning Hostel where we pre-booked a fan room.

Where to go?

  • National Museum
  • Royal Palace
  • Wat Botum Park
  • Independence Monument
Me at the National Museum

Me at the National Museum

The good thing about Phnom Penh is that major attractions are easily walkable to each other. Starting from our accommodation, the National Museum is just a few blocks away. We didn’t get to enter the museum and I forgot why, I think it was because of Khmer New Year. But we did get to enter the gates and the front area, not just the interior.

Front of the Royal Palace

Front of the Royal Palace

A short walk to the south is the Royal Palace. It was a very cool afternoon and locals were chilling outside the palace complex, feeding doves or sitting on grass. This was the vibe that I enjoyed the most on Phnom Penh. It’s very worry-free, lazy afternoon, that you don’t get to feel anymore once you graduate college tbh.

Two monks enjoying the afternoon outside the Royal Palace

Two monks enjoying the afternoon outside the Royal Palace

After the Royal Palace was Wat Botum Park, a long block with kids running around and adults playing some version of Sepak Takraw. At the end of the park is a road that leads to the Independence Monument. That structure in the middle of a roundabout stood so beautifully right at the golden hour. The intricate end of each edge draws hard lines that separates the shadow from the sunset-lit face of the monument. It’s super beautiful!

Independence Monument and cars around it

Independence Monument and cars around it

We walked back to the guest house and had some rest before having dinner. There are lots of restaurants around the area so we just went to random one, which I think was named “Happy Pizza Restaurant” or something. No, we didn’t order a happy pizza because my Annual Physical Exam was coming up. I didn’t want some complications with that, so Loklak it is. I’m quite surprised at how amazing Cambodian food was. I had no idea about it so I was so glad it turned out great. My favorite part is the lemon pepper sauce. I’m not sure if it’s native to Cambodia, but it’s legit!!!

That’s it for my afternoon walk at Phnom Penh! For me, an overnight in this city is enough to get a feel of it. This afternoon walk was packed enough that you wouldn’t really miss out on a lot. After this city, we went to Siem Reap where we stayed for 2 Nights. Click here to see my full Indochina Itinerary!

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