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Phnom Penh River Cruises

About Phnom Penh

Sitting at the point where the Mekong River meets the immense Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia’s capital is a mainstay of every voyage which explores the Mekong River and is home to a wealth of attractions related to various stages in its long history. It’s been the nation’s capital since the days of French colonisation and Indochina and is also regarded as its cultural and political centre. The city takes its name from one of its most prominent nearby Buddhist temples Wat Phnom or ‘hill temple’. Indeed, the city is founded on Buddhism and the legend of its establishment involves a woman in the 14th century who spotted a floating tree while gathering firewood close to the river, in which she discovered four statues of Buddha. It was taken as a sign and a blessing and secured the city’s Buddhist heritage, which can be explored in-depth when you visit. In modern times, it was also involved in the country’s darkest chapter when it suffered immensely under Pol Pot’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime, a part of its history which can also be explored.

Exploring Phnom Penh

The first place most visitors head when visiting Phnom Penh is the jaw-dropping Royal Palace with its incredible Silver Pagoda. It’s a good idea to pick a cruise excursion which offers a guided tour rather than explore on your own, as everything will be put into context by your knowledgeable guide. The architecture is incredible throughout the complex but the centre-piece is indeed the Silver Pagoda. Its ornate golden exterior may have you wondering how it earned its name, but as soon as you step inside you’ll understand why when you catch sight of its incredible floor which comprises thousands of silver tiles. Inside, gold and emerald statues of Buddha are featured as well as a wealth of other treasures.

For many, a visit to nearby Wat Phnom is only fitting given its influence on the city’s founding. It’s regarded by many of Phnom Penh’s citizens as the city’s spiritual heart and indeed, there’s a tangible atmosphere and some beautiful architecture to experience. Sometimes overlooked by visitors is Wat Ounalom, an altogether more modest temple which is nevertheless still beautiful and a great place for some quiet reflection.

Those wishing to get a feel for themselves how the city suffered during the Khmer Rouge regime should pay a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and also the Killing Fields. In the living memory of the majority of river cruise visitors, the twisted ideal of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge resulted in the deaths of huge numbers of the city’s population. Many were detained and tortured and the present day museum is where the atrocities took place, with guided tours available. The Killing Fields is the place where the regime disposed of its victims and today it has been turned into a memorial for the millions who were killed. Audio guides are available to put your visit into context and inform you about how the regime operated. It’s certainly harrowing yet informative and a poignant reminder of how far the city has come since its most harrowing days.

Phnom Penh tips

Though tourists are more than welcome in Phnom-Penh, it should be noted that the Killing Fields are also a place of pilgrimage for many Cambodians who lost family members to the regime, so it’s important to behave respectfully. If you’ve time for a snack during your explorations, you’ll find a satisfying blend of both French and eastern cuisine in the city.

Phnom Penh Itineraries

Ho Chi Minh City

Journey along the Mekong

5 sailing dates January 2021 to May 2021
19 Nights From Depart UK, to Bangkok, Thailand
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £5919pp
Ho Chi Minh City

Majestic Mekong Discoverer Ho Chi MinhCity To Siem

43 sailing dates January 2021 to December 2022
12 Nights From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Cambodia , Siem Reap
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Phnom Penh

Luxury Mekong & Japan in Focus

3 sailing dates March 2021 to May 2021
26 Nights From Depart UK, to Arrive UK
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £12439pp
Siem Reap

Treasures of the Mekong & Mystical Myanmar

2 sailing dates February 2021 to October 2021
31 Nights From Depart UK, to Arrive UK
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £12039pp
Phnom Penh

Mekong Discovery (Northbound)

51 sailing dates January 2021 to April 2022
7 Nights From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Cambodia , Phnom Penh
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong Discovery (Southbound)

49 sailing dates January 2021 to April 2022
7 Nights From Phnom Penh, Cambodia to , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Siem Reap

Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City

39 sailing dates January 2021 to December 2022
12 Nights From Siem Reap, Cambodia to , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Ho Chi Minh City

Majestic Mekong - Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap

42 sailing dates January 2021 to December 2022
7 Nights From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Cambodia , Siem Reap
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Ho Chi Minh City

Majestic Mekong - Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City

43 sailing dates January 2021 to December 2022
7 Nights From Siem Reap, Cambodia to , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Phnom Penh

From the Mekong Delta to Temples of Angkor

20 sailing dates January 2021 to December 2021
10 Nights From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Cambodia , Siem Reap
CroisiEurope logo CALL
Phnom Penh

Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City

9 sailing dates January 2021 to May 2021
11 Nights From Depart UK, to Arrive UK
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2829pp
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap

6 sailing dates January 2021 to March 2021
11 Nights From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Cambodia , Siem Reap

Includes HUGE savings of up to 35%! Cabins selling fast!

APT Cruising logo FROM £3189pp
Phnom Penh

Essential Vietnam & Cambodia from Siem reap

6 sailing dates January 2021 to March 2021
12 Nights From Siem Reap, Cambodia to , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Includes HUGE savings of up to 35%! Cabins selling fast!

APT Cruising logo FROM £3239pp
Phnom Penh

Luxury Vietnam & Cambodia from Siem reap

8 sailing dates January 2021 to April 2021
12 Nights From Siem Reap, Cambodia to , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Fly FREE in Premium Economy!

APT Cruising logo FROM £5039pp
Phnom Penh

Luxury Vietnam & Cambodia from Ho Chi Minh City

7 sailing dates January 2021 to April 2021
12 Nights From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Cambodia , Siem Reap

Fly FREE in Premium Economy!

APT Cruising logo FROM £5039pp
Ho Chi Minh City

Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River

49 sailing dates January 2021 to April 2022
12 Nights From Siem Reap, Cambodia to , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Avalon Waterways logo FROM £4469pp
Angkor Wat

Riches of Mekong

1 sailing date February 2021
7 Nights From Kampong Cham, Cambodia to , My Tho

Includes HUGE savings, flights, transfers, a three-night hotel stay in Siem Reap, a seven-night river cruise and a two-night hotel stay in Ho Chi Minh City!

AmaWaterways logo FROM £4129pp
Siem Reap

Luxury Mekong & Temple Discovery from Ho Chi Minh

31 sailing dates January 2021 to May 2022
13 Nights From Depart UK, to Arrive UK

Includes HUGE savings of up to £3,000 per couple plus a FREE two-night stopover in Dubai on selected sailings!

Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £3129pp
Ho Chi Minh City

Majestic Mekong - Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap

8 sailing dates January 2021 to May 2021
14 Nights From Depart UK, to Arrive UK

The choice is yours! Enjoy HUGE savings of up to £2,400 per couple OR upgrade your flight to Business Class for only £199pp!

Emerald Waterways logo FROM £3229pp
Siem Reap

Majestic Mekong - Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap

43 sailing dates January 2021 to December 2022
14 Nights From Depart UK, to Arrive UK

The choice is yours! Enjoy HUGE savings of up to £2,400 per couple OR upgrade your flight to Business Class for only £199pp!

Emerald Waterways logo FROM £3079pp

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