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The vibrant capital of Cambodia - Phnom Penh is situated at the merging point of three rivers - the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle Sap. This is the largest city in the country with an area of 678 km2 and a population of about 2 million.

This ‘gem’ of Indochina is believed to have been founded in the 14 century by a legendary woman, Penh. The city's name was also taken from a well-known hill temple - Wat Phnom, a 1373 built Buddhist worship house. It was also collectively known as ‘Krong Chaktomuk’ meaning "City of Four Faces" referring to its geographic location at the crossroads of three rivers that form an "X". During its golden age in the mid 20th century, Phnom Penh was considered the “Pearl of the Asia.”

Today, this hectic capital city combines provincial charm and tranquility with French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards situated amidst ancient Angkorian architecture. This veritable oasis is a fantastic mixture of Asian exotica, the famous Cambodian hospitality and French colonial heritage.

Phnom Penh's main attraction is the Royal Palace - a complex of buildings which serve as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. Gleaming in gold, the Royal Palace is considered one of Phnom Penh’s most splendid architectural achievements. Built in 1866 by His Majesty Preah Bat Norodom, the palace is made up of four major parts centered by the famous Throne hall - a 59 meter decorated tower used for high official celebrations and coronations. The Royal Treasury and the villa of Napoleon II are in the south of the complex, the Silver Pagoda enclosure known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha stands in the north. The Khemarin Palace and inner court - on the remaining sides of the palace. The main highlight of the Royal Palace is the sacred white elephant, the most auspicious and revered symbol of royal beneficence within Cambodia.

Among the city's other must-sees are the National Museum, the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, the Choeng Ek Killing Fields and Wat Phnom.

Discover the fascinating landmarks of Cambodia's exotic capital.