Touring Phnom Penh

Start your tour early, just as the sun rises over the Tonle Sap. Take a tuk-tuk to Wat Phnom, then climb the staircase and head for the temple, where King Ponhea Yat is venerated. After descending the hill, head east to the Tonle Sap and walk south along the riverfront promenade. Across the street you are greeted by a plethora of breakfast options; pick the restaurant of your choice. After eating, return to the riverfront, where you have a fine view of the Chroy Changvar Peninsula. The cobbled riverside path leads you to Wat Ounalom, one of Phnom Penh's largest and oldest pagodas.

After visiting the wat, continue south on Sisowath Quay, past a busy strip of bars and restaurants, and on to a huge lawn in front of the cheerful yellow Royal Palace. On the grounds of the palace is the must-see Wat Preah Keo Morokat, aka the Silver Pagoda. The palace closes for lunch from 11 am to 2 pm, so plan accordingly. On the northern side of the palace a side street leads to the traditional-style National Museum, which is a peaceful and quiet place to spend an hour or two.

By now you might be hungry again. As you exit the museum, head north on Street 13 to Friends the Restaurant for a light lunch and tasty drink. From there, if you think you can hack it, catch a tuk-tuk to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which will require an hour or more with a clear head. It's a somber, sobering experience, and most locals wouldn’t dream of visiting. Afterward, head to the trendy Street 240 for some good food and interesting shopping.

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