Phnom Penh - general information, weather, seasons, time

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General information

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the largest city of the state.

It is located in the south-central part of the country at a distance of 150 kilometers from the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. The population of the city is more than 2 million people.

Previously, the city had the name Krong Chaktomuk, which means "The City of Four Faces", because of the three rivers Mekong, Bassak and Tonle Sap, which form the letter "X" intersecting in the city.

There was a city, or rather then a village, in 1372. "Phnom Penh" in Khmer means a hill (mother) The stump. According to legend, the village was founded by a nun named Stump, who saw a lumbang tree trunk floating on the Mekong River, in the branches of which something glittered. It turned out that these are 4 bronze statues of Buddha and one stone. The statues, presumably, were washed away from one of the Lao temples. With the assistance of the Stump, a large hill (phnom) was built next to her house, and an altar was installed on which the statues were placed. Subsequently, Wat Phnom monastery appeared on this site.

But the city did not immediately become the capital. At that time, the capital of the kingdom was the city of Angkor (on the site of the current Angkor temple complex), which was often attacked by Siam. As a result, the King of Cambodia was forced to leave the city, and went in search of a new place for the capital. On the way, he passed by the village of Phnom Penh, where he heard the story of Mother Stump. In addition, he really liked the location of the village at the confluence of three rivers, and it was decided to establish a new capital here. This happened, according to various versions, in 1432, 1443 or 1446. In 1505, the city lost its status as the capital, although it always remained the largest city and the economic center of the country, and restored it only in 1866.

For tourists, Phnom Penh is not such a popular holiday destination, since there are no beach holidays and night entertainment. The infrastructure for the city, which is the capital, is poorly developed, there is no public transport. Although, there is almost everything for tourists here: a considerable number of hotels of different categories from cheap to expensive (there is even a backpacker quarter), travel agencies and excursions, offices selling bus tickets to all corners of the country, restaurants and cafes. Therefore, every year the number of tourists visiting the city, even for a short time, is growing, and the infrastructure is improving.

Usually tourists stop in Phnom Penh when they go to the popular beach Sihanoukville resort or to Angkor Temple Complex to Siem Reap. The stop is most often short – one or two days. Sometimes a stop in Phnom Penh is necessary due to the specifics of transport: night buses in Cambodia almost do not run, so tourists have to stay in Phnom Penh to continue their journey to Sihanoukville or Siem Reap the next day.

Although why are they forced? If you have enough time, then it's definitely worth taking a day or two to get to know Phnom Penh, according to the author. And it is not necessary to do this just to look at the standard sights. It is interesting to stay here to study the life of this city in more detail, get to know the local population, take a walk along the embankment in the evening, relax in cafes selling "happy pizza". Phnom Penh is also the center of Cambodia's nightlife, and a separate category of tourists lingers here for exotic sex tourism. If you want to limit yourself to sightseeing the sights of Phnom Penh, you should not stay more than a day here. You will simply have nothing to do here.

Weather, seasons

The climate in Phnom Penh is tropical, hot all year round, with pronounced rainy season and dry season. At the same time, considering that Phnom Penh is not visited for a beach holiday, which simply does not exist here, we can say that the season for visiting it lasts all year round, although there may be some inconveniences during the rainy season.

The ideal time to visit and the high season are considered to be the months from November to January, due to the more gentle low temperature and minimal rainfall.

The doge season lasts from April to October, with the wettest months being September and October.

The dry season lasts from November to May. The difference in the amount of precipitation between the driest month - February, and the rainiest - October is almost 30 times.

Current Phnom Penh weather and forecast*

Useful information

Street names. Many streets in Phnom Penh are not named, but numbered according to a very simple scheme: odd - from north to south; even - from east to west, although many main streets have names. But it is unlikely that this will be useful to you, because the useful advice is that it is almost impossible to find something at an address without a card and it is not even worth trying. The numbering of buildings on the street is chaotic, and there are even buildings with the same numbers on the same street.

Money. Do not rush to change dollars to local currency. Dollars are in use here and they can be settled almost everywhere, but the local currency is not in high esteem. More about the currency of Cambodia here.

Purchases. For shopping, go either to the main market (Central Market) or visit the Russian Market, but you need to bargain everywhere. There is also a large modern shopping center City Mall next to the Olympic Stadium.

Be very careful with buying precious stones and metals: if you don't understand them, then at best buy artificial stone, and at worst glass. There is absolutely no point in looking for branded clothing and fashion items in local stores. Cambodians themselves buy fashionable things in neighboring countries. You can find a good fake watch.

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