Eco-friendly travel guide to Phnom Penh advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$ 20 - $300
- Budget per day: US50 - $500
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. It is home to the majority of the population and is also the business hub of the country, where the nation's economic, industrial, and cultural centre are. The city is one of the most visited cities in Cambodia, both by local and international visitors. It was nicknamed the "Pearl of Asia," as it was said to be one of the most stunning French-built cities in Indochina. Various things can be done to ensure responsible travel, and these include:
- Using Public transport such as trains, trams, buses and streetcars that are available across the city.
- Support local businesses.
- Eat local food. Numerous restaurants serve local dishes that you can try.
- Avoid littering and try to recycle whenever possible.
- Find non-profit organisations and try to support them either financially or by volunteering.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Phnom Penh is relatively reasonable and will pose little to no challenges, even for those who are sensitive to low air quality. However, in as much as the air quality is good, it is essential to note that air pollution does occur in the city from exhaust fumes as well as industries, to name a few.
In general, Cambodia has seen quite an intense growth both in its economy and its population. This fast growth has led to an increase in environmental pollution, especially in Phnom Penh, where there is the largest population. Phnom Penh is considered as being both the cleanest city as well as the most polluted city in the country, depending on which part of the city you are exposed to. The city is still facing challenges when it comes to the management and disposal of solid waste, which explains the levels of land pollution.
Water pollution is also another issue in the city, as some of the poorly managed solid waste tends to end up in the water; also, industries tend to dump their waste products in the water. This has made finding o safe, and sustainably-sourced water remains a challenge.
As is typical with most cities where there is bustling life, there is bound to be some noise caused either by cars, businesses and people as they go about their daily lives. The noise pollution in Phnom Penh, is relatively reasonable, although it is much higher in areas with a lot of construction sites.
Respect the Culture
The culture around the city has always been structured around religion. Cambodians have, for close to two millennia, developed a unique Khmer culture and belief system that emanates from combining the indigenous animistic beliefs with the Indian religions of Buddhism and Hinduism. They have different birth and death rituals that you might find weird or odd, but it is important not to judge or show outright disrespect or disregard of their beliefs.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Phnom Penh has a wide array of places to visit and go sightseeing. There are several breath-taking outdoor as well as architectural and historical sites to visit. Below is a list of the top 10 places to add to your itinerary.
- The Royal Palace (Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol) located in Chey Chumneas, is a compound with many buildings which is the home of the king of Cambodia. It is a beautiful historical building that has been home to the royal families of Cambodia since the 1860s. The palace is beautifully designed and is still in good condition; its yellow colour is attractive and gives it a unique vibe. The entrance fee is $10, and you can get into a few of the buildings and walk around the grounds for a few hours. There is no information, so you need to go with a tour guide if you want to get the full experience, including the history of the palace. It is recommended to visit in the morning to ensure that you enjoy your tour of the grounds without worrying about the heat. Also, it is essential to note that you are not allowed to take photos inside the main buildings.
- Wat Phnom is a massive, historical Buddhist temple located in the city that was built in 1372, and stands 27 metres tall. The temple is the central part of the city and is the tallest religious structure in the city. The temple has an entrance fee of $1 for all foreigners although it is free for locals. Once inside the temple, you get to experience the wonder of Buddhism, including burning incense to Buddha if you want to. There are also exquisite grounds that you can take a walk around, with several benches where you can relax. Also, there is a small coffee shop and a gift shop at the back of the temple. The temple is almost always overcrowded with tourists so if you don't like crowds you might not enjoy it.
- Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot translated to; the Silver Pagoda is one of the royal palace temples, located south side of the Royal Palace in Chey Chumneas. The temple is home to several national including a Buddha statue that is made of jewels and a life-sized gold Buddha dressed in royal regalia. You can take photos outside the temple, but inside it is prohibited.
- Choeung Ek is the site of a former orchard and mass grave of victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide. It is known as The Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge regime executed over one million people between 1975 and 1979. If you want to appreciate the tour truly, you can consider reading up on the history a bit before visiting the site. The environment is sad and quite horrific as it shows the tragic power that guns can have. It also serves as a reminder of what hate can do to a people. It is possible to get an audio guide.
- The Central Market is, quite simply a work of art, it is a bright yellow building with a 26m high central dome. The building also has four tall arch-roofed arms branching out diagonally across the block to create hallways that have many shops and all kinds of goods. The market is clean, and various items can be found there, including souvenirs, shirts, bags, jewellery, art pieces etc. they usually have bargain prices for those buying in bulk.
- Phnom Penh Night Market is a night market that allows you a glimpse into Cambodian culture. Several places offer affordable local cuisine; however, they do not have tables so you sit on a carpet with your legs crossed, which some people might find uncomfortable. There are many different things to buy, including clothing and souvenirs. The market also has several forms of entertainment, such as live performances. Taking relaxing evening walks along the riverfront is another thing that is possible at the night market.
- Wat Ounalom is a beautiful and well-maintained monastery near the Royal Palace of Cambodia. It is the most important Wat in the whole country as it is home to the s the seat of Cambodia's great order of monks, as well as the centre of Cambodian Buddhism. It is an old and large building that was built in 1443 and has 44 structures. There is a hair that is well kept in the Wat that is believed to be the eyebrow hair of Buddha. Photos outside the Wat are permitted, and they show its beauty, especially at sunset. Entry is free and open to everyone as long as you remove your shoes before entry. Also, the monks can pray for you, and you can donate should you wish so.
- Tonle Bati is a small lake that is located about 30 km south of Phnom Penh. The lake is a relatively popular weekend destination amongst the locals. One of the most popular activities at the lake is fishing which is enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Another attraction to the lake is a cottage that floats on the river where people can go and enjoy a bit of seafood-based Cambodian cuisine. There is also a tour via boat ride which allows you to see the village around the river and the Buddhist temples that you can visit and pray for happiness and good luck.
- The Silk Island is a group of traditional silk weaving villages that offer demonstrations and tours on how to make silk by hand and an old-style loom. They sell silk at the same price as the markets in town. The villages offer a great experience of watching the silk-making process. The silk island makes for a great day trip as it is just a quick ride away from the busy city, and it also has other activities besides silk making, such as ferry rides and exotic animals. The entrance fee is only $1.
- National Museum of Cambodia is the largest museum and the leading museum of history and archaeology in the country. The museum is exquisitely designed with magnificent stone and bronze work. Entrance is relatively cheap, with children charged $5 and adults $10. The museum is home to multiple pieces of Cambodian history. They offer audio guides which you can rent to make your tour better; by making it easier for you to understand as well as ensuring that you don’t have to do too much reading; for $5 as well as a cultural show at 7 pm every day.
Phnom Penh is a fast-growing city, both economically and in population. There are numerous things to see and do in the city to ensure that you get the best experience from vacationing there. There are several world-class restaurants, shopping malls, parks and museums that will keep you busy and occupied. The city also has a rich culture and history, and there are numerous opportunities for visitors to learn and experience both. The food in the city is quite adventurous and worth trying as well if only so you can have a story to tell about the time you ate ants. The choice to visit Phnom Penh is without a doubt a great one, and it will be worth your time and every cent spent. Keep reading to be able to find out more about this fantastic tourist destination.
There are many parks in the city. Some are garden sort of parks, and others are of memorial or historical value. Listed below are the most popular parks in the city.
- Angkor Phnom Penh City Park is a park that is most popular amongst those people who have children as the park is considered as mainly being an amusement park for kids. The playground is large and has some slides and swings for the kids as well as young people. The park is well managed and marvellous to look at. There are a lot of food options nearby, so you don't have to pack a picnic basket. There is very delicious coconut that is sold near the playground, and it is a must-try. Some people also use the park for exercise. The view at night is exquisite, as the park has gorgeous decorative lights that look amazing under the night sky.
- Royal Palace Park is, as the name suggests a park in the royal palace. It is a beautiful and relaxing place, with most people preferring to visit in the evening, between 4 and 6 pm. The park is quite popular and tends to get a tad bit overcrowded, especially in the evening. People go for walks as well as exercise around the royal palace park; popular activities include running, jogging and cycling as there is a big ground that accommodates such. The park is quite close to the riverside in front of the palace, so you can take a walk in that direction and enjoy the fresh river air. There is also a variety of food options in the park for those who want to eat, with a majority of these being street food, with Amork being the most popular amongst the local food options.
- Riverside Park is a rather popular park with fitness fanatics. The park is large and has a vast expanse of lovely green grass. In general, the park has a comfortable and relaxed environment. The most popular activities in the park are sports, meeting friends, and enjoying the atmosphere of the morning or evening looking at the vast Mekong River. The park is considered as being the best place for a morning run with a cool breeze. There is also a fantastic view of the city and the nearby lake from the park at sunset. Several locals sell street food and snacks in the evening as well as many restaurants and bars nearby. There is also a ferry ride at the river, so at popular ferry times, you might see queues in the park.
- Phnom Penh Safari is the first and biggest zoo in Phnom Penh and the whole of Cambodia. It is a huge zoo and designed like a real jungle, with a clean and fresh environment. The park is an excellent place for tourists to visit as they get to see a variety of animals including but not limited to tigers, crocodiles and elephants. There are many activities such as sightseeing, feeding the animals and many other exciting and surprising events. The entrance fee is quite reasonable. It is an excellent place for family fun, but it is also suitable for people of all ages.
- Kirirom National Park, which is officially known as Preah Suramarit-Kossamak Kirirom National Park is a large national park. Most parts of it are in Phnom District, while the rest is in the neighbouring Koh Kong Province. The park is lovely and full of nature. There is a beautiful waterfall with relaxing sounds, the smell of nature, and the singing of birds. The grounds are big enough for a drive-through tour, where you can see the beauty of nature as well as enjoy the great weather. The best time to visit the park is during the dry season, which runs from November to April; this is to avoid having to trudge through mud. It is an excellent place for couples, and if you want to have lunch while there, Pine Resort which is just next to the park, is the best place to go. The park is not too far from the city, so the trip to the park can be a one day trip.
There are no beaches in Phnom Penh itself, but there are amazing beaches in nearby cities. With the closest being about 3 hours away, so it is possible to drive to and from in one day.
- The Independence Monument in Phnom Penh was 1958 to commemorate the independence of Cambodia from France in 1953. The monument is on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the centre of the city. The Independence Monument is one of the iconic structures and attractive tourist destinations in the city. It is a magnificent building that looks like a lotus flower which is found in many historical sites across Cambodia. The Independence Monument is a very eye-catching monument, especially at night, as the gold colour seems to glimmer. It is surrounded by a big roundabout where there is constant traffic, so it is not easy to get to close to it. It is opposite a huge park, from which the view is quite impressive. The monument is the hub of activity during national celebrations, where a royal or high official lights a ceremonial flame on the interior pedestal.
- The Cambodia–Vietnam Friendship Monument in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, is a large concrete monument that commemorates the former alliance between Vietnam and Cambodia that was built in the late 1970s by the communist regime that overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime. The monument is at the Botum Park near the middle of Phnom Penh and close to the Royal Palace. There are heroic statues of Vietnamese and Cambodian soldiers as well as images of a woman and baby representing Cambodian civilians.
- The Royal Palace is a compound with many buildings which is the home of the king of Cambodia. The palace is beautifully designed and is still in good condition; its yellow colour is attractive and gives it a unique vibe. The entrance fee is $10, and you can get into a few of the buildings and walk around the grounds for a few hours. There is no information, so you need a tour guide if you want to get the full experience, including the history of the palace.
Phnom Penh is a city with a story. The city has a rich history which, without a doubt, needs to be well preserved and documented—the need to keep history alive leads to the building of museums. There are several museums in the city that should be on your must-visit list as you prepare to visit the city. Below is a list of some of the most prominent museums in the city.
- The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a museum whose sole purpose is to record the Cambodian genocide. The site is a former secondary school which was used as Security Prison by the Khmer Rouge regime, with an estimated 20,000 being imprisoned there between 1976 and 1979. The museum serves as a reminder of a horrible time in the country and how greed and the love of power can lead to destruction. The museum is a must-visit and the audio guide is greatly recommended, as you can listen to the information as you walk around the museum at your pace.
- Sosoro Museum is a great museum even by international standards; it mainly teaches about the history of Cambodia and money. The museum is organised from the 1st century to modern-day Cambodia economic and monetary system, and there is information written about most exhibits, so you can make your way around without needing a tour guide. If you are not someone who loves to learn about history or money, you might not enjoy the museum. Entry costs $5, and photographs inside the museum are prohibited.
- National Museum of Cambodia is the largest museum and the leading museum of history and archaeology in the country. The museum is exquisitely designed with magnificent stone and bronze work. Entrance is relatively cheap, with children charged $5 and adults $10. The museum is home to multiple pieces of Cambodian history. They offer audio guides which you can rent to make your tour better; by making it easier for you to understand as well as ensuring that you don't have to do too much reading; for $5 as well as a cultural show at 7 pm every day.
Phnom Penh has several dishes that are exclusive to Cambodian cuisine. As a visitor, you can take your time to try out food from different areas as well as enjoying other things on different days. There are also several street vendors, and if you are not afraid, or a person who quickly gets sick, you should give these a try.
Traditional Local Restaurants
One of the best things about travelling across the world is being able to try the various local cuisines that are available in that area. Traditional restaurants are, in most cases, the best place to experience not only the taste of local foods but maybe even a bit of the culture behind said dishes. Phnom Penh has many traditional local restaurants that you should try. Below is a list of the most famous traditional local restaurants in the city.
- 54 Langeach Sros is a local Khmer-style barbeque and beer garden that is well known for serving a delicious plate of ribs with a unique, tasty combination of sweetness as well as spiciness. If you are hungry, you might be disappointed as the ribs take about an hour to arrive, but they are worth the wait as perfection can't be rushed. There are several other local dishes, and you can ask the staff to translate the menu for you as well as describe some of the dishes to be sure what exactly you are ordering. The food is reasonably priced. The restaurant also serves various types of local beer, which are sold either in cans or pitchers. The restaurant is open daily from 4 pm to midnight, and on weekends they usually have entertainment in the form of cover bands.
- Sovanna Restaurant is a relatively new upscale restaurant that is well known for serving excellent food. Their main dishes include grilled beef and pork, as well as fish soup with a lemongrass broth. The restaurant is popular with tourists as the menu is accommodative of none Khmer people by having photographs and English translations.
- Romdeng is one of a kind restaurant that serves traditional Khmer dishes, modern Cambodian cuisine, and even a few “creepy-crawly” dishes, such as deep-fried tarantulas and stir-fried red ants. It is also famous for its unique and creative cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Vegetarian and Vegan
- Vibe Café is a simple looking but large restaurant that has three floors of dining space and a beautiful rooftop area with plants and lounging areas. They have an extensive vegan menu that has many very healthy plant-based options. All the dishes are well presented, delicious and come in large and satisfying portions. They also have lots of takeaway items, including jars of cashew cheese. The restaurant closes at 6 pm, so it is best for either lunch or an early supper.
- Masala Dosa Street Kitchen is a well-loved vegan restaurant that offers an exciting menu which includes an incredible selection of dosas and other Indian delights. The restaurant had a cosy vibe, and the owner makes sure that customers are satisfied with both the food and the service. The food is both delicious and reasonably priced. The restaurant is conveniently located a short walking distance from the National Museum of Cambodia.
- Sacred Lotus Café and Guesthouse is the newest vegan option in town that not only offers top-notch vegan dining and accommodation but also offers a co-working space. Their menu boasts of delicious plant-based food with both Western and Khmer dishes available. They also serve $1 plant-based coffees every Tuesday.
Street food is quite popular in Phnom Penh as it is almost everywhere. Many restaurants sell street food, as well as vendors who make a living from selling street food. There are various types of street food in the city; including, The Cambodian Sticky Bamboo, Grilled Bananas And Sweet Potato Cakes, Fish Amok, Sea Food, etc. Restaurants that specialise in street food include:
- Street Food Soup Grill Café is a cheap and cheerful restaurant that mainly sells soup, hotpot and a few Korean hotplate dishes. The staff is friendly and offers excellent service. They also boast of a great drinks collection.
- Toul Tom Pong Seafood - Street Food is a street style restaurant that offers fresh seafood dishes at a reasonable price. You get to select your own freshly caught fish and watch as it is cooked for you. They tend to get crowded, but the service is fast.
Phnom Penh is a relatively hot city, and as is common with areas with high temperatures, people need to stay hydrated. There are several non-alcoholic drink options across this hit which can help you accomplish this goal. Water is the obvious go-to beverage, but there are also things like soft drinks, lemonade and milkshakes that people can enjoy to cool them down on a hot day. On the colder days, especially during winter, the beverages of choice are usually hot with things like tea, coffee and warm milk being the most sought after drinks.
The alcohol consumption in Phnom Penh is relatively low when compared with that of other capital cities in the world. There are various brands of alcohol in the city, both local and international brews. Cambodian beer is usually flat and watery and takes a long time to get a person drunk, so most people prefer Thai beer. Imported beers tend to be a bit more expensive, though. There are various, wines and whiskeys available at most bars, with most hotels having a selection of fancy French wines.
The tap water in most areas across Cambodia is not recommended for drinking, and this rings true for Phnom Penh as well. In as much as the quality of drinking water varies from one region to the next, there are high chances of plain tap water having harmful bacteria or viruses present. The safest options are to either treat or purify your water, or opt for bottled water. In most cases, hotels have safe drinking water available for their patrons.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without artificial nutrients, pesticides or other chemicals. Eating organic has become a widespread trend where people are very selective about what they put in their bodies. There are several organic cafes which attract patrons of all ages who are careful about nutrition. There are many cafes in the city which cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic cafes that one could try in the city:
- Kor Khor Organic Café
- Artillery Arts Café
- Café Solei
Phnom Penh has a small but fast-growing craft beer scene, with several local breweries where beer makers toy around with various local ingredients to brew batches of beer in a few bars. Locals tend to be proud of their local beer and to enjoy drinking it. A few of these breweries include:
- Cerevisia Craft Brewery
- Riel Brewing
- Hops Brewery
Exploring Phnom Penh and taking time to experience and enjoy the various activities in the city is something that both local and international tourists can enjoy. Various activities suit the multiple needs of people, depending on their preferences. There are museum tours, hikes, bike riding, game drives; to name a few. Some of the activities are in the city centre whilst others are on the outskirts. It is essential to carefully plan your itinerary to ensure that you get the best out of what the city has to offer.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is traditionally a Hindu discipline that focuses on physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. It has become quite popular across the globe, and there are yoga studios in almost every country in the world. Phnom Penh has several yoga studios, although there are some which are preferred, including:
- Nataraj Yoga Studio
- Angkor Yoga Company
- Phokeethra Sports Club
There are numerous accommodation options across Phnom Penh. The type of accommodation that you end up in depends on your budget, taste and sense of adventure. This section will look into some of the accommodation options that are available for tourists to select from.
- House Boutique Eco Hotel is a small and classy hotel that focuses on sustainable tourism. They are known for paying fair wages to its staff, moderating water usage, plastic and waste control, and educating both tourists and visitors on environmental issues. The hotel has modern rooms with simple décor, a swimming pool and a restaurant and bar area.
- Plantation Urban Resort and Spa is a simple hotel, which has several large rooms, a spa, gallery space, two bars and restaurants. The hotel is close to the Royal Palace, meaning you can take a leisurely walk to the sights in that area. There is an on-site spa, gallery space and two bars and restaurants. The hotel makes an effort to be eco-friendly as it ensures that there is minimal use of plastic, and sometimes hosts green events to help promote the importance of the environment to both local and international audiences.
Hostels and Guest Houses
- Mad Monkey Hostel is a popular name across Cambodia as there is a branch in most cities. They have grown a reputation for themselves for providing affordable accommodation in the form of dorms private rooms. They also have a pool, tours and a bar and restaurant which offers both Western and Asian food.
- The Happy House is a modest guest house that offers both private and shared rooms for its guests. It is a walking distance from the Royal Palace and Wat Phnom. It also has a café and a bar.
If you intend to stay in Phnom Penh for a long time or are travelling as a group, renting an apartment is the reasonable thing to do, as it allows you to share costs making your stay much cheaper. Apartments tend to have a flat rate which means you can divide the cost amongst the number of people staying there. Also, there is self-catering which is cheaper than having to pay for each meal at a hotel. The going rate of an apartment in the city starts from $150 to $550 per month depending on the facilities.
Couch surfing refers to staying with a host family that rents out a part of their house to tourists. This is a trend that is slowly becoming popular in Phnom Penh. There are several websites where people who are willing, can put their houses on offer and tourists can book the one they find most interesting or convenient. One such website is simply called couch surfing.
There are numerous campsites across Phnom Penh for those tourists who want to rough it, by living outside during their vacation. Camping offers a sense of adventure as it allows people to get the full outdoor experience and can be quite affordable. Camping provides a great experience, including the fresh night air as well as the magnificent night skies. Below are some of the more popular campsites in Phnom Penh:
- Elephant Rolling Mountain Campsite
- Khmer Camping
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to Phnom Penh. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use aeroplanes.
The Phnom Penh International airport is the only airport that serves the city. Both national and international flights land at this airport. There is an airport shuttle train that was introduced in April 2020 that takes 40 minutes to travel from the airport to the city centre. Some taxis can be found waiting at the airport or can be hailed through various mobile apps such as Uber to carry people into town.
There are multiple bus companies which offer inter-city travel at reasonable prices. There are fancier buses which stick to a time table and others that leave the bus station when they are full. For the fancier buses, you may need to buy a ticket in advance.
There are a few trains that travel across most cities. The train station is centrally located and easy to get to. However, the trains should only be used by those who are not in a hurry as they are slower than road transport. Tickets can be bought in person at train stations and can be purchased days in advance.
Hitchhiking is quite a popular way of finding transport to Phnom Penh. Trucks and Lorries are most likely to give you a free lift, although you will probably be at the back of the vehicle and not inside. The sign used to signal that you want to hitchhike is hitting the air with your hand.
Taxis are also a standard mode of transport used to get to Phnom Penh. There is also a seaport, which is mainly used for transporting goods.
Phnom Penh is quite a large city, so moving around it can be complicated and needs to be well planned out. In as much as some tourist attractions are near each other, some are a bit far apart. There are several ways to move around within the city, as will be shown below.
The city is too big for an individual to be able to cover it all on foot. Several places are conveniently located a walking distance away from each other, and people can enjoy a leisurely walk from one place to the other as they enjoy the beautiful scenery.
It is relatively easy and common for people to rent bicycles either for the day, week or month, to use as they move around the city. Bike rental is relatively cheap, starting from$5 per day.
There are no active electric cars in the city yet.
Several public buses cover the various bus routes across the city. Buses are a cheap and readily available mode of transport across the city as there buses on the hour every hour. In most cases buses are comfortable, but there are a few which do not have air conditioning, and they tend to get overcrowded during peak hours. Public buses operate from 530 am to 8 pm.
Tram, Train and Subway
The only form of rail transport that moves around the city is the airport shuttle train. The journey from the airport to the city centre takes less than 40 minutes.
There are many shopping centres in the city whereby tourists and locals alike can go for shopping. It is more sustainable to shop in local shops as well as to ensure that you do not only stick to one shop but try to spread the wealth by visiting different shops.
There are several markets across the city that are dedicated to selling fresh food. They sell both local and international food, processed or unprocessed. Some of these markets include:
- Orussey Market
- Sovana Fresh Market
- Khmer Markets
There are several flea markets across Phnom Penh which offer an exciting shopping experience. Most of them sell a variety of things at reasonable prices, some of which are found in local shops. They offer a chance to experience the culture. Some of these flea markets are:
- Central Market
- Russian Park
- Phnom Penh Night Market
Second Hand Stores
The trend of second-hand stores has caught the world by storm; numerous stores have opened where people can buy things they wouldn't usually afford for less than half the price. The most common ones in Phnom Penh are:
- Keo Mony Second Hand Clothes Store
- Yano Secondhand Clothes Shop
- Sakura recycle shop
People have become more cautious about how their actions and choices affect the environment and have started doing things to ensure that they reduce their carbon footprint. Several eco-friendly materials are found in the city such as silk and the krama (the traditional Khmer scarf). These products tend to be made by underprivileged communities, and by buying them, you will be supporting several social empowerment projects. Some shops to look into are Cambodia Creations and Friends’n’stuff.
Phnom Penh generates a large amount of inorganic waste that needs to be recycled. Plastic, cardboard and metal are the main items that are recycled. The waste pickers (or edjai) collect recyclable waste in the streets or dumpsites and sell them to one of the few recycling depots. Most of the recycling ends up going to neighbouring countries like Thailand and Vietnam.
Phnom Penh is facing considerable challenges in waste management due to population growth, increasing income and consumption levels, expanding urbanisation and inadequate waste management. There are several landfills where waste is dumped, but the high volumes of garbage lower the effectiveness of these dumpsites.
Work and Study Abroad
Phnom Penh is still developing and as such is not yet that popular with ex-pats, but there are several hundreds of people who have moved there either for school or work. Getting a job in the city depends on what qualifications you have and the availability of jobs. There are several universities in the city, meaning there are a substantial number of international students as well.
Most universities in Phnom Penh have exchange student programs. To qualify for these programs, you need to have been nominated by the institution that you attend for a yearlong program that is offered in English. These programs are not open to every country, and you should check if your county is eligible. Information about this program is available on university websites.
An au pair is a young foreign person, who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and some pocket money. The concept of Au pairs is just starting in Phnom Penh and is growing in popularity. Several agencies and websites connect potential Au pairs with families that need them. There are several other requirements that one needs to fulfil to qualify as an au pair. These include:
- Must be above 18 years of age and less than 30
- Be healthy, without chronic diseases
- Must intent to stay with the host family for at least a year
- Have at least a high school diploma
Volunteering has become a way through which some people emigrate. However, some people are genuine about their desire to help people. Numerous areas need volunteers in Phnom Penh, which you can volunteer at long term or even for a short time as you visit the city. Some of these areas are:
- NGO Friends International (FI) which works with the country’s most marginalised youth.
- Free the Bears
- Animal Mama