Discover the best budget boutique hotels in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh has worked hard to rise from the ashes of its troubled past, reinventing itself as a bustling cultural capital. Cleared by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, the city was abandoned and left to crumble – but that history has little to do with the newer generations, whose forward-thinking attitude has kept that chapter firmly in the past. Today, Phnom Penh is buzzing with energy: the majority of the action takes place in the Riverside district, where the mighty Mekong meets the Tonlé Sap river to form the Bassac. In this cosmopolitan area, traditional chophouses rub shoulders with French-style cafés and upscale restaurants putting Khmer cuisine back on the map. And if it’s tradition and gilded splendour you’re after, the nearby Royal Palace and its Silver Pagoda won’t disappoint. Inside the latter, you’ll find a floor of silver tiles and a golden buddha set with over 9,000 diamonds, proving Asia’s pearl still shines bright.