Phnom Penh |City sights

City sights around the streets of Phnom Penh

During our days in Phnom Penh we enjoyed many city sights, some we passed often, other city sights were unusual and different. The Independence Monument we saw many times. This Monument is on one of the main thoroughfares at a roundabout. There are many large statues or monuments standing in the center of roundabouts in the main cities of Cambodia.

Independence Monument city sights Phnom Penh Cambodia

Independence Monument Phnom Penh, city sights

 Familiar city sights in Phnom Penh

The Independence Monument is an imposing reddish-brown structure, built-in 1958 to celebrate Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. The Monument is at the intersection of  Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the center of Phnom Penh.  The Independence Monument is in the form of a lotus-shaped Stupa,  based on the famous towers of Angkor Wat. Cambodian architect, Vann Molyvann conceived the design for the structure.

Street Scene - Bikes and motor cycles popular forms of transport in Phnom Penh

City sights – Phnom Penh – bicycles & motor bikes popular forms of transport

Wat Ounalom- the most important Wat of Phnom Penh

 We passed Wat Ounalom many times, I was always impressed by the sight of a large, imposing grey Stupa in the grounds, clearly visible from the bus. Wat Ounalom is on Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh and is one of many city sights  free to enter and enjoy. It is the most important Wat in Phnom Penh and headquarters of the Buddhist order in Cambodia. A large complex, established in 1443, consisting of 44 structures. Although damaged during the years of the Khmer Rouge, the Wat has now been restored.

Wat Ounalom Headquarters Buddhist order in Cambodia.City sights Phnom Penh

Wat Ounalom Headquarters Buddhist order in Cambodia.City sights Phnom Penh

Samdech Huot Tat, the revered leader of the Buddhist order in Cambodia, was murdered  by the Khmer Rouge for his religious beliefs.   The Khmer Rouge then threw his statue in the Tonle Sap river, however, the  statue was later recovered and is now on view on the second floor of the main temple.

Wat Ounalom seat of Buddhism in Cambodia. Phnom Penh City

Wat Ounalom seat of Buddhism in Cambodia. Phnom Penh – City sights

Behind the main building of the complex stands a Stupa which holds an eyebrow hair of Buddha.  There is also a large Buddhist Library in the main temple.  Don’t miss an opportunity to have a  walk through the grounds of this peaceful complex when you have an hour to spare. It is in walking distance from Sisowath Quay or the National Museum. It is also easy to hire a tuk tuk if you don’t feel like walking.  A tuk tuk is cheap transport, drivers helpful and pleasant, a nice way to see the city sights of Phnom Penh. The Wat is open from dawn to dusk everyday.

Phnom Pehn city sights. Cambodian Street Scene

Phnom Penh – City sights

Traffic and transport –  city sights of Phnom Penh

Traffic in Phnom Penh has modern cars, tuk tuks, taxi’s, motor bikes, and bicycles. Judging by the number of motor bikes on the streets, motor bikes would seem the main form of family transport. They carry all the family, up to three or four people some times (mum, dad and two or three children).

Traffic chaos in Phnom Penh City

Traffic chaos – city sights – Phnom Penh

Cambodia has introduced some safety measures for riders. The driver now has to wear a helmet?  Pretty scary stuff in peak hour traffic, especially when  little children are on board. We saw plenty of this when returning to Phnom Penh on the bus late one evening. The traffic is quite chaotic,  many close calls between motor bikes and larger vehicles.

Phnom-Penh-city sights-varied forms of transport

Phnom Penh city sights – motor bikes a popular form of transport

Local Barber shop  – Phnom Penh – city sights

The local barber operates in Phnom Penh city streets and is kept busy by the locals. I suspect he may have to close up shop quickly when the monsoon rains arrive. However, he appears  ready for a quick getaway.

Waiting at the local-barber-shop Phnom-Penh city sights

Waiting at the local-barber-shop, Phnom Penh – city sights

The other modern con Cambodian people are quite attached to is the mobile phone. They are very popular with the city dwellers as well as country dwellers.  This contrasts hugely sometimes with their living circumstances, but being able to keep in contact with their families must make a big difference in their lives.

Sights of the city - Phnom Penh city streets

Hanging out the washing – City sights -Phnom Penh

Tomorrow we look forward to visiting  our first Cambodian Temple and the seaside resort of Kep……

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  1. Thank you for sharing the photos. Awesome. You’re lucky to have the opportunity to travel to wonderful places like this one.

    • Every time I look at my photos I realize how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to travel, however I believe you have to make those opportunities for yourself! thanks for your comment.

  2. The traffic in Phnom Penh is moderate unlike here in the Philippines where vehicles are just centimeters apart lol. Great adventure Lyn, love the photos and the place. Great post as expected 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment. I think its the unusual mix of vehicles that make the traffic and transport so interesting in other countries.

  3. Phnom Penh is an interesting city. I would love to visit it one day. But, what I find most interesting is the barber shop. It’s cool how they just set the shop on the sidewalk! No need to pay for rentals, right? 🙂

    • I hope you get your wish to visit Phnom Penh one day. I don’t really know about local laws in Cambodia. One would hope they are not as tied up in red tape as we are in Western countries. Here you have to have a license to set up on the footpath for anything. However in India, China and Cambodia, Barber shops on the footpath appear to be the norm. Thanks for your comments.

  4. I went through Phnom Penh (always have trouble spelling that one) a couple of months ago. The airport was fairly small, but nice. They had a nice Dairy Queen that I enjoyed while waiting for my plane. Overall, Cambodia was much poorer than I expected.

    • The Phnoms,Penhs and Prohms are all very tricky. I’m constantly checking. Hope you get to see more of Cambodia. Thanks for your comment.

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