Rosewood Phnom Pehn

Rosewood Phnom Penh occupies the top 14 floors of Vattanac Capital Tower which soars 188 meters above the heart of Phnom Penh’s business district. The property has a total of 175 rooms, including 37 suites, each with unparalleled views of the city and elegantly furnished to create comfortable, residential-style living spaces. Guests can choose amongst a variety of in-house dining options, including continental, Japanese, French and Cambodia fare as well as a steak and seafood grill. Oenophiles and wine connoisseurs can sample wines or enjoy a bottle from the Wine Vault’s extensive range of fine wines. Sense, the Rosewood brand’s signature spa, will offer guests a tranquil haven and wellness getaway, while the fitness center provides wide views of the city skyline and state-of-the-art fitness equipment available 24 hours a day.


The light and airy Executive Rooms offer a choice of either a king-size bed or twin beds, ideal for all types of travelers who enjoy a spacious and comfortable room. The Executive Rooms average 50 square meters (538 square feet) of elegant accommodation with an indulgent marble bathroom and panoramic views of historic Phnom Penh.


The Grand Premier rooms offer 62 square meters (667 square feet) of sumptuous accommodation, blending a contemporary interior design sensibility with indigenous touches. This thoughtfully appointed room features rich wood furnishings and soft neutral palette. Each room is elegantly decorated with fine artwork, books and decorations, creating a modern and welcoming living environment.


Spanning 65 square meters (700 square feet), the Mekong Suites are spacious one-bedroom suites perfectly suited for couples seeking privacy. Featuring residential-style living space and remarkable views of the legendary Mekong River, these king bedded suites contain a large living room and bedroom, entrance foyer, and ample closet space.


Exquisitely refined and supremely comfortable, Manor Suites are one-bedroom suites occupying an average of 82 square meters (882 square feet) of living space. Entered through an elegant foyer, the suites provide an airy living room and a gracefully designed bedroom, making them ideal for guests seeking extra space. Manor Suites feature a panoramic view of Phnom Penh skyline.


Rosewood Suites are tastefully appointed and individually decorated in a contemporary style with an average 95 square meters (1,022 square feet) of living space, with picturesque views of the Mekong River. The exclusive Rosewood Suites offer guests a spacious entrance foyer, separate living room and bedroom, dining area, custom fabrics and linen and contemporary artwork adorning the walls.


Rosewood Phnom Penh’s breathtaking Monivong House possesses the elegant grandeur befitting its one-of-a-kind architectural arrangement with an average size of 160 square meters (1,722 square feet.) The opulent suite blends a serene bedroom and spacious walk-in closet with a delightfully large, light-filled living room, cozy private study and dining area.


The Norodom House is the epitome of luxurious hospitality. Beautifully designed with bespoke furnishing, the 225- square-meter suite comprises a spacious foyer, airy sitting room, spacious bedroom with dressing chamber, private study and chic dining room which combine for an undeniably versatile and elegant accommodation.

To understand Phnom Penh, you need to understand its history. On April 17, 1975, a vicious military group led by heinous leader Pol Pot, drove tanks through the streets of Phnom Penh and began a reign of terror over the country. First, they removed families from their homes, separated children from their parents, turned kids into gun wielding-soldiers, and filled labor camps around the country.

The Khmer Rouge specifically targeted doctors, lawyers, artists, teachers and intellectuals- anyone who could think for themselves and possibly revolt. These people were murdered. The Khmer Rouge was in power for just 4 years. By the time the regime fell in 1979, over 2 million people were murdered. That was only 40 years ago. Today, Cambodia is been rebuilding their infrastructure, culture, and government from the ground up. What you’ll experience when you visit Phnom Penh- the former epicenter of the regime- is a city that holds dear to the traditions that survived and a society reinventing itself to push for a better future.

Today, Phnom Penh is a rather safe city full of kindhearted people. While you can still see remnants of Cambodia’s cruel recent history, you can also visit beautiful masterpieces from the country’s rich ancient history and witness the progress that has been made to move forward. There is lots to eat, plenty of shopping to do, lots of relaxing to be had, and so much history to be learned. Don’t hesitate in spending a few rewarding days in this underrated city.

Let’s have a look at the best things to do in Phnom Penh:

The Killing Fields

The Killing Fields are emotional. It’s not a pleasant experience or even an easy one- but if you want to grasp the reality of what happened here in Cambodia, you need to see it with your own eyes. These fields are where hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were brought and killed. Their bodies were stacked in huge ditches in the ground where their bones still remain. The large pits with human bones and clothing sticking out from the ground have not been staged for dramatics. In fact, when heavy rains fall on these fields, more and more bones tend to rise up out of the earth.

Upon your visit to the field, you’ll be given a headset that will guide you through, painting the picture of the monstrous acts that happened here with narration and personal stories from survivors. Walk silently and respectfully as you take it all in.

S21 Prison

When the Khmer Rouge took power in Phnom Penh, they needed a place to gather and brutalize their victims and so they converted a high school into a torture prison. Over 4 years, 14,000 people entered this prison and only 7 survived. Today, the prison has been turned into a museum with the photos of prisoners on the walls, torture chambers still in place, and stories depicting the reality these victims faced. In some areas of the prison, there are scratch marks on the walls and blood stained into the floor. It’s gruesome but tells an important story. Outside of the prison, an old man has set up a table with a book he wrote about surviving the S21 prison. He is one of the only survivors and today he bravely tells his story in person. Many people join their visits to The Killing Fields and the S21 prison into one somber day with a tuk tuk driver and then go for much-needed beers afterwards.

Phnom Penh Night Market

After a day of cultural sightseeing, treat yourself to the modern pleasures of Cambodian life at the Phnom Penh Night Market. Interact with cheerful vendors as you sample bites of Cambodian food. You’ll find lots of grilled meat on sticks, noodle soups, dried seafood, and fruit shakes. There will also be drinks. Nearby are plastic tables and chairs where you can gather all your goodies and have a feast.

After you’ve had your fill, wander around to the shopping sections. There is stall after stall selling clothing, jewelry, bags, shoes, dishes, hardware, and a collection of small trinkets that make for perfect souvenirs.

National Museum

With ancient artifacts from the 1600s, cultural performances by Khmer dancers, stone busts of Buddhist figures, full statues of Cambodian warriors, models of traditional Khmer houses, clothing and accessories worn by modern day farmers, and more- the National Museum is a comprehensive representation of Khmer culture. Covering ancient times to present day, give yourself a few hours to absorb all of the information presented in the various galleries. The museum itself is gorgeous, built with dark red clay bricks and roofs that spirals toward the heavens. It is surrounded by a lush green garden providing areas to sit and shade to cool you down. There are also a few pagodas in the garden with gorgeous meditating Buddha statues.

Daughters Of Cambodia

In Cambodia, the sex trade is still a harsh reality. Daughters of Cambodia Visitor Centre is a place where former victims of sex trafficking have been given a chance to start over by acquiring skills and learning a trade that will lead them to a better life. Visit the boutique where you can buy souvenirs with a cause. From fashion accessories to children’s toys, every item is handmade by Cambodian workers on the road to a bright future.

Have a seat in the café where chefs in training will whip you up a scrumptious brunch or a decadent dessert while you lounge in the air-conditioned dining room. Afterwards, women can treat themselves to a much needed massage, manicure and pedicure.

Russian Market

Many tuk tuk drivers will call out to you on the streets offering to take you to the Russian Market. It’s called “The Russian Market” as this was the popular area amongst Russian expats back in the 1980s. You’ll find a few “Russian” things here like Russian dolls and small Russian flags, but the bulk of the selection is classically Cambodian. You can expect to find great souvenirs like silk scarves, spices, woodcarvings, and more.

As one of the largest markets with the widest variety of goods in Phnom Penh, the Russian Market is the best market to visit if you’re short on time as you’ll find a little bit of everything here.

Bring a bottle of water with you as this market tends to tire you out with the heat.

Wildlife Alliance

Rest assured, the Wildlife Alliance is an animal sanctuary and conservation center- not a zoo. Founded in 1995, this non-profit organization has been working around the world to strengthen protected areas and educate communities on conservation. In Cambodia in particular, the alliance works with anti-animal trafficking efforts and towards habitat conservation.

Here in Phnom Penh, you can take a tour with the Wildlife Alliance where you’ll visit a local fruit market to pick up fresh fruit which you’ll then hand feed to a group of rescued elephants. You’ll visit tigers, play with monkeys, and stop by the nursery where a collection of wild animals are undergoing rehabilitation. A traditional Cambodian lunch is included, as well as pick up and drop off to and from your hotel.

Central Market

This huge golden domed market in the center of Phnom Penh has literally every item you could ever want to buy while on vacation. Need sunglasses? They have hundreds. In the market for a knock-off NBA cap? They’ve got every team represented. Looking for children’s clothes to send back to your niece and nephew? Outfit them like an adorable Khmer kid. You could easily spend hours wandering this market. When you get hungry, they’ve got row after row of Khmer food stands selling fried fish, hot soup, and an array of fried bugs and spiders. Bring your camera as there are plenty of novel things to see here.


Phnom Penh is the land of dirt roads, so why not explore them the right way? Hop on an ATV and go from city life to village life with the crew over at Village Quad Bike Trails. The ATV tour starts out in the city where you ride over to the Killing Fields and the S21 prison. After this intense experience here, settle down with a calming and peaceful ride through the rural villages of Phnom Penh. You’ll pass by farmers in the bright green rice paddies, traditional Cambodian houses, cows grazing, kids playing, and birds chirping. You can stop by some village shops to buy some goodies before you head back to base. The entire tour lasts about 4 hours and you can choose to go on a morning tour or afternoon tour.

The Royal Palace

Built in the 1860’s, this opulent palace has since served as the royal residence in Phnom Penh, discounting a brief point of abandonment during the Khmer Rouge. On site, there are multiple golden temples and quarters, each more beautiful than the next. The entire complex sits riverside where you can watch motorboats and paddle boats floating on by and capture some great photos of daily river life in Phnom Penh. You’ll get a chance to learn about the history of the royal family in Cambodia and the history of Phnom Penh with the help of informational plaques and guide available on site.

When you visit, dress appropriately for Buddhist culture. Women should cover their knees and shoulders while men should wear shirts with sleeves.

Silver Pagoda

This gorgeous Buddhist temple represents the epitome of South East Asian culture. From the shiny golden roof to the monks dressed in bright orange, the Silver Pagoda brings everything you envisioned about Cambodia to life.

Once approaching the entrance of the temple, you’ll realize why this temple is called the “Silver Pagoda”. The floor is covered in 5,000 glittering silver tiles as a gift to Buddha. To protect these tiles, you cannot walk on them but you can look. Head up the grand staircase and you’ll be led to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha who is sparkling in 2086 diamonds. As if that wasn’t lavish enough, this Buddha sits next to an 80kg bronze Buddha, a pure gold Buddha, and a silver-gold Buddha, each with its own story to tell.

Wat Phnom

You won’t find many hills in Phnom Penh, and certainly not many covered in grass and trees. That’s what makes Wat Phnom so special. Sitting atop a 27 meter-high grassy knoll with scattered trees is Wat Phnom, a pagoda that is said to have first been built in the 1300’s. Climb the wide staircase lined with Buddha statues and lions and you’ll be met with a traditional temple with an extraordinary purpose.

Home to 4 statues of Buddha, Wat Phnom now serves as a place for local school kids to pray to Buddha for good marks on their school exams and for gamblers to pray for good luck in the casino.

Old Market, Phnom Penh.

The Old Market, also known as Phsar Chas, is an authentic Cambodian market known to the locals as the best produce shopping spot. If you want to taste truly fresh and organic mangoes or jackfruit- this is the place.

Located in the Old French Quarter next to the river, this market is the perfect place to start your morning. Sit on a bench with your fresh finds and watch morning traffic zooming motorbikes and food stalls feeding workers on their way to work. If you were thinking of having a dress or custom bed sheets made, then you’re going to need to pick out some fantastic fabrics at the Olympic Market. With three levels and hundreds of fabric stalls, take your time feeling your way through. You can haggle with the vendors and also ask them for advice in choosing the right fabric for your intended design.

You’ll come across a few tailors in the plaza who can create what it is that you’ve dreamed up. If you can’t spot a tailor on your own, ask the fabric vendors where to find one and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Don’t forget to check out some of the food carts that line the market, catering towards the local vendors- this is how you find some of the most authentic Khmer dishes.

Sisowath Quay

Visit the boardwalk in the evening and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the orange sun setting over the city. The boardwalk is lined with comfy benches where you can rest as vendors, both adult and adolescent, come up to you selling peanuts, popcorn, beer, coconuts, and more. Keep you beer or soda cans to give to can-collecting kids passing by.

On the main street across from the boardwalk, you’ll find both Khmer and Western restaurants, as well as bars serving ice-cold Ankor beer. There are shops to get your shoes repaired, keys made, passport photos taken, hair cut- the whole lot.

Mekong Cruise, Phnom Penh

Whether it’s romance you seek or adventure you’re after, there’s no better way to fulfill your desires than a sunset river cruise. Phocea Mekong Cruises has a variety of river cruises on the Mekong to choose from.

The Sunset Cocktail River Cruise offers an onboard BBQ with local ingredients and traditional Khmer sides, along with cocktails and wine. Eat slowly as you pass the Royal Palace and watch the sun go down over the river. This cruise lasts about 2 ½ hours and is perfect for couples and groups.

There are also destination cruises to choose from that take you to places such as the former capitol of Cambodia called Udong, Silk Island, and even multi-day cruises up to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.

Free The Bears, Phnom Penh

Sun Bears and Moon Bears are indigenous to Asia, but their habitats are slowly being destroyed. Free the Bears is a sanctuary that focuses on bear habitat conservation and preservation of the species. That means baby bears.

When you visit the center, you can see the happy bears playing in their enclosed forest habitats, and learn what the bears eat. You’ll make snacks for the bears and then hide the snacks within their enclosure for them to forage and find later.

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