people and cultures – inspiring journeys
sharing meaningful discoveries in Asia

Phnom Penh

– Phnom Penh:
– Performing Arts Revival, Places to Stay and Eat
– Cambodian Crafts – Fair Trade and artisans with different abilities

– Kampot and Kep Links
– Northern Cambodia:  Kratie and Stung Treng, crossing into Laos


Phnom Penh:

This bustling city was once known as the Pearl of Asia- the loveliest of the French-built cities of Indochine during the 1920s.  Located where the Mekong and Bassac rivers meet,
Phnom Penh was founded by Lady Penh who found four bronze Buddha statues floating in the river. She brought these statues up to a small hill ( phnom) to protect them and where  Wat Phnom is dedicated to her today. Life along the waterfront continues to thrive today. Early morning or late afternoon is best time to be with locals coming out to exercise and socialize.
The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are stunning to visit along with the impressive National Museum showcasing glorious sculpture of the Angkor period.

Life under Khmer Rouge:
Recognizing the dark period of Cambodia under Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge following the Vietnam War from 1975-79 is also very important to understand the trauma the country has been through.  Many visitors venture out to The Killing Fields outside of town  after watching the powerful film produced in 1984,  or to  S-21 Genocide Museum, the school in the city which turned into a death camp known as Tuol Sleng:

Performing Arts Revival:

Today you will see Cambodia thriving to move forward in every sector and a great part of honoring Cambodia’s heritage is in the revival of the performing arts.
Below are links to organizations and projects contributing so much to the renaissance of Cambodia.

Amrita Performing Arts: preserving cultural heritage and promoting inspiring contemporary creations:

Cambodian Living Arts  (CLA)  founded by Arn Chorn Pond working to revive traditional Cambodian music. The story of Arn’s life was documented in the film The Flute Player – a powerful and emotional story dealing with devastating effects of war and the former Khmer Rouge campaign when nearly all the country’s artists and musicians were killed.

Check out performances at the National Museum Theatre in Phnom Penh:
also see if performances and events are scheduled for Siem Reap.
Learn more about CLA:

Cambodian Crafts

Support Fair Trade providing skills and livelihood while producing some gorgeous products!

Tabitha Crafts and Foundation:

Peace Handicrafts by landmine and polio victim artisans.
Just up from the Russian Market- #39 Street 155 in Phnom Penh.

Accommodations in Phnom Penh:

The Plantation: new urban resort with art exhibits. Walking distance to the Royal Palace and National Museum.

Frangipani Hotels with newest property opposite Royal Palace:

Blue Lime boutique accomodations with pool – easy walk to the Palace and National Museum.

Places to Eat:

Mith Samlanh – Friends Restaurant – a great project working with over 1800 street kids a day. Offering care, shelter, education and vocational training. Mith Samlanh is just off the National Museum.
Another Mith Samlanh restaurant called Romdeng is at #74 Street 174.

FCC Foreign Correspondant’s Club: 
overlooking the Mekong in Phnom Penh
also a branch in Siem Reap:

Java Arts Cafe  
supporting local artists:

the new up and coming destination south of Phnom Penh. Colonial architecture by the river and  close to the coast.
Consider taking the restored train line from Phnom Penh operating now on weekends.

Epic Arts Cafe supporting the deaf and disabled

Kool Kampot- one of so many new places in Kampot in quiet area close to river:

Butterfly Tours–  explore Cambodia with local students:

Kep Lodge:  30 min from Kampot on a hill overlooking the sea
Take a trip by boat out to the peaceful beach of Rabbit Island.

Northern Cambodia:

Kratie and Stung Treng:
Journey up the Mekong to see Irrawaddy dolphins and support right livelihood:

TONLE Tourism and Hospitality Training Project
with Guesthouses in Stung Treng and Kratie:
offering  simple but sweet guestrooms and heart in hospitality.

Crossing Overland into southern Laos:
Lao Visa on Arrival at the border. More info on Laos Page.

Maps and more info on Cambodia:

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