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Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Some basic knowledge about Phnom Penh:

·         Phnom Penh - the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

·         Largest city of the country

·         Population – 2,3 millions people

·         Location - south central part of the country

·         At a distance of 150 kilometers from the coast of the Gulf of Siam.

Previously, the city had a name Krong Chaktomuk, which means "City of four persons," because of the three rivers of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap, which cross the city in the form of the letter "X".  


The Legend of the Origin

The city was created in the late 1372, at that time it was more a small regional village. "Phnom Penh" in Khmer means hill (Mother) Penh. According to the legend, the village was founded by a nun named Penh, which saw floating down the Mekong River a tree trunk, the branches of which were carrying something bright. It turned out that these were four bronze statues of the Buddha and one stone. Statues were believed to have been washed away from one of the Lao temples. Penh then decided to make a small hill next to her house that was called Phnom and set the altar there, on which she placed these statues. Subsequently, at this very place the temple Wat Phnom was founded.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh as Capital

But the city did not immediately become the capital of the Cambodia. At that time, the city was the capital of the kingdom of Angkor, which are often attacked by Siam. As a result, the King of Cambodia was forced to leave the city, and set out to find a new location for the capital. On the way he passed the village of Phnom Penh, where he heard the story of Mother Penh. In addition, the location of the village at the confluence of three rivers was very favorable for him, adding special atmosphere, and it was decided to found a new capital there. The actual time of the capital foundation is very different according to different versions, the most often dates are 1432, 1443 or 1446. In 1505, the city has lost the status of the capital, although it always remained the largest city and economic center of the country, and restored its title only in 1866.


Phnom Penh as Tourist Destination

As for the tourists Phnom Penh is not so much a popular holiday destination because there is no beach or other recreational place and nightly entertainment. Except during common or national holidays like Cambodian New Year or Cambodian Water Festival. Infrastructure for the city, which is the capital, is poorly developed, there is no public transport. Although, for tourists there are almost everything: a considerable number of hotels of different categories from cheap to expensive, travel agencies and tours offices selling tickets for buses to all corners of the country, restaurants and cafes. So every year the number of tourists visiting the city even for a short time is growing, and thus the funds come mainly for improving infrastructure. 

Usually tourists stay in Phnom Penh, when they come also to the popular beach resort of Sihanoukville, or after visiting the temple complex of Angkor in Siam Gulf. Though their stay is usually very short – one or two days, as this is quite enough to see everything the place offers you. Sometimes the stop in Phnom Penh is necessary due to the nature of transport: the night buses on Cambodia go very rarely, so tourists have to stay in Phnom Penh in order to continue their journey to Siam Gulf or to Sihanoukville on the next day.






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