Phnom Penh Past & Present
Your Phnom Penh tour will start by learning about and confronting Cambodia’s tragic past. You’ll take a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school that served as a Khmer Rouge torture center. Then, head out of the city to the Choueng Ek Memorial, where a pagoda made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of one of the infamous Killing Fields. Afterward, make a difference to the Cambodian community by enjoying a Khmer lunch at an NGO training restaurant.
Next, you’ll travel by moto-remork (a Cambodian tuk-tuk) and head out of Phnom Penh on the Japanese Friendship Bridge before catching a ferry across the mighty Mekong River to Mekong Island. The island is famous for silk weaving, agriculture, and aquaculture (85% of residents earn their living from these industries). We’ll stop to see the silk weavers at work in the village, where you can purchase some of the local products if you wish. As you wander the village, you can explore a Buddhist temple and floating fish farms, see fields of rice and morning glory, and enjoy local Khmer snacks at a family home.
Say goodbye to the tuk-tuk and board a boat to enjoy the sunset from the water at the junction of the Tonle Bassac, Tonle Sap, and the mighty Mekong. You’ll see the distinctive architecture of Cambodia, with Khmer-influenced buildings such as Wat Ounalom, the Royal Palace, and the Silver Pagoda, as well as French colonial buildings — some renovated, some ravaged by neglect and the war.
Finally, we’ll close off the Mekong boat tour with a gorgeous sunset view. After the cruise trip, head to the riverside area of Phnom Penh, a pleasant French style promenade that is great for people viewing. In the early evening (and morning), various activities take place include exercise classes, Khmer dancing and plenty of snacking on local food. You can participate in a Khmer dance class which is a lot of fun for all! From here, you can either return to your hotel or left to explore this bustling area independently and have dinner at one of the many great restaurants on the riverfront.