A Photo Tour of the Temples of Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Tomorrow marks the anniversary of when a Vietnamese army toppled the Khmer Rouge regime from the Cambodian capital, so I thought it fitting that today’s post included a photo tour of the temples of Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This oft-overlooked Southeast Asian hub is extremely rich in both culture and history. SVV and I led a Semester at Sea trip of students to the thriving city, before continuing onto Siem Reap in an itty-bitty plane.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Our time there was brief, but jam-packed: After a Mekong River cruise upon arrival, followed by a visit to Palm Tree Orphanage, we had a full itinerary of sightseeing ahead of us the next day.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Semester at Sea

While a larger city—the population numbers upward of 2.2 million people—Phnom Penh was a refreshingly laid-back, not to mention quiet, change following the somewhat frenetic city of Ho Chi Minh, particularly as there is no honking allowed there. It managed to slow down my pulse a bit after riding around Vietnam on the back of a motorbike!

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The early morning hours were spent at the Royal Palace, before we continued onto the more sobering remnants of Pol Pot.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This complex, built in the 19th century, is the royal residence of the king of Cambodia and consists of the Silver Pagoda, Moonlight Pavilion, Khmerian Palace, Throne Hall and other buildings. It’s not small either: It spans 1.9 million square feet. Sadly, the king wasn’t home when we dropped in to pay our respects.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The city itself is so plush and green and rife in palm trees and other tropical foliage, yet punctuated by gilded temples and ornate palaces—quite the dichotomy for your usual urban sprawl.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I think we blended in quite seamlessly while cruising around the temples of Phnom Penh—I mean, there was no way to tell we weren’t locals what with our glaring fuchsia bus chauffeuring us around town.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We didn’t have near long enough in Phnom Penh—I didn’t even get to make it to the Russian Market, which was a high priority on my list—but it’s definitely one of those cities you could spend days roaming by foot. I highly suggest not passing it up in your rush to see the temples of Angkor.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

COMMENTS
  • January 6, 2012

    Oh my goodness, this is absolutely gorgeous.

    xox

    • January 6, 2012
      Kristin

      I still think you need to go to Palm Tree to volunteer…you’d love it there! =)

  • January 6, 2012

    That bus is HILARIOUS! I have wanted to get to Vietnam for quite some time, have even had a trip nearly booked, but changed to another location – I have got to get it back on my list.

    • January 6, 2012
      Kristin

      Vietnam and Cambodia are so close, you could easily do a dual trip. Our flight was just half an hour between the two capitals!

  • January 6, 2012

    As we try to decide what 2012 will look like on the travel front, Cambodia remains high on our list of possibilities. It looks gorgeous and calm in these pictures.

    • January 6, 2012
      SVV

      It IS calm and gorgeous. It’s something like 95 percent Buddhist and it really shows. No honking, no arguing, friendly bargaining, suicidal motorcycle drivers (because it’s The Way brother) and a tenderness that’s hard to describe because it’s mixed with their recent history.

      Two thumbs up recommended.

  • January 6, 2012

    So beautiful. That intricate fence ended up being a great photo opp.

    • January 8, 2012
      Kristin

      Thanks, Bess! I want a fence like that for my next house, ha. I can pose the puppy behind it!

  • January 6, 2012

    I can’t wait to hear more about this experience! Love the dress you’re wearing 😉

    • January 6, 2012
      Kristin

      Thanks, girl! It was my sister’s (from Target), and I actually threw it away after this trip because I had to use safety pins to keep it up, ha! Not something you want out of a travel garment =)

  • January 6, 2012

    The colors look so vibrant! It almost looks fake. So lovely!

    • January 7, 2012
      Kristin

      The whole city was awash in green and gold…it was a bit surreal. This was also just days after all that flooding in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia ended, so that could have something to do with the colors, too!

  • January 6, 2012

    That through the fence shot is Awesome!

    • January 7, 2012
      Kristin

      I had a good model! 😉

  • January 7, 2012

    My favorite city, featured again! Isn’t it just amazing there? You’ve got to make it back again and spend more time there for many reasons, Russian Market included 🙂

    • January 7, 2012
      Kristin

      Phnom Penh will always make me think of you, first because you love it so and secondly because we were THISCLOSE to meeting there. Sigh. I’ll always blame SVV for making me leave my computer/iPad on the ship!

      • January 8, 2012

        Well next time I’m in the States I’ll have to make a road trip down South!

        • January 8, 2012
          Kristin

          You always have a free place to stay! (OBVIOUSLY.)

  • January 7, 2012
    Haidang

    “I highly suggest not passing it up in your rush to see the temples of Angkor.” I laughed when i read this!!!! Because of you I am NOT passing PP up when Im going in Feb!!!! Im also surprised it’s more quiet…you would assume it’s the same thing like HCMC. But thats what traveling is all about right? Break assumptions, learn new facts!!! 😉

    BTW- love photo friday. always have always will! before i logged on i said to myself, i need to see KLs photo friday!!!!! : ) Cheers

    • January 8, 2012
      Kristin

      Yay, I’m so glad you’re going to Phnom Penh! You’re going to love it.

      • January 8, 2012
        Haidang

        I think I love your blog a little more! 😉

  • January 9, 2012

    I didn’t have cambodia in the list of places that I want to visit. After your recent posts I need to add it. I saw Ecuador in you list of upcoming trips. I just got back from there and my husband is from Quito. If you need help planning your trip just let me know.

    • January 10, 2012
      Kristin

      I’ll be there for work—very briefly—and so far,I don’t know what all that entails exactly, but we’re docking in Manta…know anything about it per chance?

      • January 10, 2012

        Apparently it is the new “it” beach in Ecuador. I never heard of it until marrying a ecuadorian. Salinas, montañita, and esmeraldas are the best know beaches. Manta recently became popular bc of the Americans living there. I can ask for more info once you know what u will b doing.

        • January 11, 2012
          Kristin

          Thank you! I’ll be back on the Semester at Sea ship, and it stops in Manta for three days, though I’m *hoping* I’ll get to go on one of the field excursions to the Galapagos during that time. I just assumed that Manta was an industrial port town–good to know there are a lot of good beaches in the area.

  • January 11, 2012

    That bright pink bus is awesome. It’s basically a giant flamingo on wheels. Pretty stylish!

  • April 25, 2012
    Chea Chan

    I like it
    when you came cambodia agian?

  • August 22, 2012

    Nice shots! Will add the Royal Palace to our next visit!

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