Phnom Penh

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    Phnom Penh is the gateway to an exotic land – the world heritage site, the largest religious complex in the world, the temples of Angkor in the west, the beaches of the southern coast and the ethnic minorities of the North-eastern provinces.

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    Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre is a wildlife centre located roughly 25 miles (40 km) by road south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The centre was established in 1995 and with an area of over 6,000 acres of protected regenerating forest, this is the largest zoo in Cambodia.

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    A visit to Phnom Penh would not be complete without a visit to the National Museum of Cambodia, even if it is just to gaze at the renovated building. Inside the museum you will see the best collection of Khmer art, and there are a total of over 14,000 artifacts from prehistoric times to after the Khmer empire.

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    Kandal Market is a genuine local market that is located in the center of Phnom Penh close to Riverside. The Khmer name of the market is Phsar Kandal which translates to “market in the middle” or “central market”, not to be confused with the “real” Central Market, Phsar Thmei.

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    Mekong Island is home to a silk weaving village and silk centre, where you can see how the whole silk production process works from beginning to end, from mulberry-chomping silk worms in golden cocoons through to the complex manual loom weaving process.

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    Silver Pagoda is located on the south side of the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh. The temple’s official name is Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) which is commonly shortened to Wat Preah Keo. The pagoda is also home to a precious crystal Buddha to which the one in Phnom Penh bears an uncanny resemblance

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    Russian market is located in the south part of Phnom Penh and is known to the locals as Phsar Toul Tom Poung. The reason why it is called Russian market is because it was a popular market among the Russian expats during the 1980s when most of the western expats in Phnom Penh were Russian.

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    The Central Market was built in 1937 during the French colonial period, in Art Deco style, and is painted bright ochre. It consists of four wings dominated by a central dome, the design allows maximum ventilation. It is probably the cleanest and most airy market in Phnom Penh.

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    Wat Ounalom is the focal point of Cambodian Buddhism. Established in the 1440s, it is one of Phnom Penh’s five original monasteries and the seat of Cambodia’s Maha Nikaya order, where the country’s most important monk resides.

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    Sisowath Quay is an ideal spot to sample local beer, strong coffee and real French baguettes. Travelers can comb through traditional handicrafts at Colours of Cambodia, or purchase a “happy monk” painting at the Happy Painting Gallery next door. Street 178, also known as Artists’ Street, offers local silk and numerous shops that are worth a look.

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    The Royal Palace is a famous landmark in Phnom Penh and was constructed over a century ago to serve as the residence of the King of Cambodia, his family and foreign dignitaries, as a venue for the performance of court ceremony and ritual and as a symbol of the Kingdom.

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    The Killing Fields is part of the legacy left by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. When Pol Pot and his murderous organisation took control of the country, he tried to enforce his communist dream through a nightmare of fear and violence. Anyone with the ability to think for themselves was seen as a threat and he set out to eliminate them.

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    Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was one of hundreds of detention and interrogation centres created all over Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge – who gave the former high school the sinisterly innocuous name S21 – where countless thousands of Cambodians were ruthlessly processed until they were dead.