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Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia, located at the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap rivers.
All of Phnom Penh's streets are numbered. Though some major thoroughfares also known by their names and not numbers. The scheme is simple: odd-numbered streets run north-south, the numbers increasing as you head west from the river, and even numbers run west-east, increasing as you head south.
House numbers, however, are quite haphazard. Don't expect houses to be numbered sequentially in a street; you might find two completely unrelated houses with the same number in the same street.
Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) is the largest airport in Cambodia, located 7km west of the city.
The following airlines operate service to/from Phnom Penh:
AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok)
Bangkok Airways (Bangkok)
Cambodia Angkor Air (Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap)
China Airlines (Taipei)
China Eastern Airlines (Kunming, Nanning)
China Southern Airlines (Beijing, Guangzhou)
Dragonair (Hong Kong)
EVA Air (Taipei)
Jetstar Asia Airways (Singapore)
Korean Air (Seoul-Incheon)
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur)
Qatar Airways (Ho Chi Minh City,Doha)
Shanghai Airlines (Shanghai)
Thai AirAsia (Bangkok)
Thai Airways International (Bangkok)
Tiger Airways (Singapore)
Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane)
The new terminal is a thoroughly pleasant and modern facility, and features a post office, bank (including ATMs), restaurants, duty-free shop, news stand, tourist help desk, and business centre. As of April 2011 there is no more departure tax to be paid at the airport - all taxes are now incorporated into the ticket price.
Getting from/to the airport
There are now air conditioned public city buses: Line 03 of the Phnom Penh City Bus line which began service in 2014. This new line runs between the Night Market and Chom Chav Roundabout. The bus stop is just outside the airport, 100 meters from the gate.
There is a limited freight service running from Kampot to Phnom Penh on the Southern Line. Track repair is underway and passenger services on both the Northern and Southern Lines are set to resume by 2013. Bamboo trains operate in various towns along the line, though the one most pushed to tourists is just outside Battambang.
Phnom Penh's main streets are in good shape; however some smaller streets and footpaths are rutted and pot-holed, clogged with garbage, stagnant water, parked motos, sleeping people and building materials. Many smaller streets bear either no or misleading signage, however Phnom Penh is logically laid out (see orientation) and navigating is not too difficult.
Taxis are growing much more common with well more than 100 meter taxis now operating in the city. They can be found in tourist areas such as the riverfront and Street 51 bar area in the evening. Easier, call one of the taxi companies for pick-up. Non-meter taxis still run throughout the city and can be found along the riverfront tourist area and near major hotels. Fares must be agreed in advance.
What to see
The Royal Palace,. Including the two magnificent pagodas in the Palace Grounds, the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, are among the few public buildings in Phnom Penh really worth seeing. They were built in the 19th century with French technology and Cambodian designs, and have survived the traumas of the 20th century surprisingly well intact. See them early in the day before it gets too hot. No photography is allowed inside the Silver Pagoda and some of the Palace buildings.
The National Museum of Cambodia, Street 13, Sangkat Chey Chumneas, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. Contains an excellent collection of art from Cambodia's "golden age" of Angkor, and a lovely courtyard at the centre. A main attraction is the statue of King Jayavarman VII in mediation pose; other exhibits worth seeing include graceful statues of Hindu gods, ancient stelae (tablets) inscribed in Sanskrit and Old Khmer, and artefacts from a prehistoric burial site.
Wat Phnom, (on a hill at the centre of a small park near Sisowath Quay, on St. 94. Bus Line 01 stop 21). Name means "Hill Temple". The temple itself is notable more for its historic importance than physical structure, but the park is a pleasant green space and a popular gathering place for locals. A few monkeys keep quarters there as well and will help themselves to any drinks you leave unattended. There is no longer any elephant ride, because 'Sampo' is retired.
Sisowath Quay aka Riverside. An attractive boulevard running along the banks of the Mekong and Tonle Sap. It's fronted by a large, long open space with manicured lawns, palm trees and open pathways, all recently re-done as part of a Japanese funded project to upgrade the flood infrastructure along the river.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison), Street 113, Boeng Keng Kang 3, Chamkar Morn (Bus Line 01 stop 41). A school converted into Cambodia's most important prison in 1975. More than 14,000 people were tortured here before being killed here or at the Killing Fields; only 8 prisoners survived.
Wat Botum. Historically the wat favoured by royalty. In the 1930s it housed a charming young novice named Saloth Sar, who later in life changed his name to Pol Pot.
Independence and Liberation memorials. Impressive Buddhist-style Independence Memorial, commemorating the departure of the French in 1953, dominates the centre of the city. The area is especially popular on weekend nights with locals when the multi-coloured fountains are activated and communal music is played.
Olympic Stadium. Built in the 1960s for an Asian Games that never happened, this interesting complex in a modern style has been sold off to a Taiwanese company in a murky deal by the Cambodian government. The new owners have recently renovated it and it has begun to be used once again as a venue.