Tours & Travel
While you make our Almond Hotels & Residences your home-away-from-home in Phnom Penh, allow us to assist you in arranging your travel and transportation needs. Through our strong network of the country’s finest travel agencies and guides we are able to secure the best tours, sightseeing trips, adventures or relaxing getaways for you to enjoy your stay more in Cambodia.
For those who are rushed for time but yet wants to explore the highlights of Phnom Penh city, our concierge at Front Desk is able to assist you with a customised 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights tour itinerary; be it tour of historical sites or a gastronomic tour for the foodies.
The Royal Palace
Glittering and golden, the Royal Palace is one of Phnom Penh’s most splendid architectural gems and the home of Cambodia’s monarchy. The palace was built in 1866 by His Majesty Preah Bat Norodom (1834 – 1904). It was constructed on the site of the original township which was especially chosen by a Commission of Royal Ministers and Astrologers for its great geographical significance in relation to the King, who was regarded as a direct descendant of the gods and whose role it was to live and govern on earth under the influence of heaven.
The Royal Palace contains some spectacular buildings; including the majestic Throne Hall, which is still used for official celebrations, ceremonies and audiences with foreign dignitaries and government officials. The Royal Treasury and the Napoleon II villa lie south to the Royal Throne Hall, north to this stands the Silver Pagoda enclosure, otherwise known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha.
Wat Phnom is a Buddhist temple (wat) located in the heart of Phnom Penh, surrounded by gardens and tall trees. It was built in 1373 on a man-made hill of 27 metres high, making it the tallest religious structure in the city. Legend relates that a wealthy widow called Penh (commonly referred to as Daun Penh or Grandmother Penh in Khmer) discovered a large koki tree in the river containing four bronze statues of the Buddha. Daun Penh constructed a small shrine on an artificial hill made by the people living in the village to protect and house the sacred statues. Eventually this became a sacred site and sanctuary where people would make offerings and pray.
Wat Phnom is the centre of celebration during the Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben.
The riverside area of the city is one of the most lively and cosmopolitan thoroughfares in the city, evoking memories of a time when Phnom Penh was known as the Pearl of the East. Trendy cafés, restaurants, bars and boutiques run along one side of the river boulevard, whilst on the riverside stretches the broad landscaped riverbank walkway. During the evening, as the sun goes down this area becomes filled with all the charm and vibrancy of daily life in the city, whilst fishing boats, small cruisers and working vessels ply up and down the Tonle Sap River.
Evening or daytime river cruises, up and down the riverfront area of the city are a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Ranging in price from affordable barges to luxury floating restaurants, the cool river breeze and the impressive perspective views of the city in the relaxed tranquility of your own boat make for a memorable excursion on your travels. Speak to one of our friendly staff to arrange your river cruise.
Koh Pich Island
Koh Pich or Diamond Island sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Rivers. With large exhibition and convention centres, restaurants, amusement parks, beer gardens, golfing ranges, waterparks, landscaped gardens as well as a town hall, Koh Pich reflects the rapid development in Phnom Penh and is a shining example of the emerging modern Cambodia.
The area is popular for weddings, photography and just as a recreational spot for young Cambodians to visit and hang out with their friends.
The National Museum of Cambodia is Cambodia’s largest museum of cultural history and the country’s leading historical and archaeological museum.
The museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art, including sculptures, ceramics, bronze and ethnographic objects. The Museum’s collection includes over 14,000 items, from prehistoric times to periods before, during and after the Khmer Empire, which at its height stretched from Thailand across present-day Cambodia, to southern Vietnam.
George Groslier (1887–1945) historian, curator and author who designed the museum, was the motivating force behind much of the revival of interest in traditional Cambodian arts and crafts.
Upstream on the Mekong River from Phnom Penh lies Silk Island, “Koh Dach” home to scores of artisans who make their living weaving beautiful silks. In a world away from the tourist-laden Killing Fields, foreign faces are rarely seen on Silk Island, where the pace of life is leisurely and the locals are welcoming. A visit to Koh Dach provides a fascinating glimpse into village life in Cambodia.
Aeon Mall Phnom Penh
Within 5 minutes’ walk from Almond Hotel Sothearos and Almond Hotel Bassac River. This shopping mall is one of the largest and most modern in the city with supermarkets, bakeries, restaurants, boutiques, cinema, shopping arcade, bowling alley, food courts, electronics and housewares stores spread over a large area covering three floors and a spacious car park.
For shoppers, movie goers and those looking for familiar, modern comforts and convenient shopping, the Aeon Mall is a favourite destination.
The Tonle Bassac area has been labeled the “East Village” of Phnom Penh, reminding some of the villages of New York in their heyday. The neighbourhood is full of trendy eateries, small pubs and cafes, art galleries, noodle stalls, tailors and fruit vendors. It is a part of the city that retains its character and with that its charm. Bassac Lane offers excitement with its drinking, dining and nightlife options as well as the creative artistic pulse of the community there.
Central to this theme is Bassac Lane at night becomes an inviting place to eat, drink, come together with friends and enjoy the scene and energy of Phnom Penh from a different perspective.
The Independence Monument, “Vimean Akareach” in Phnom Penh was built in 1958 to commemorate Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. Designed by architect Vann Molyvann, it is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the Angkorian style seen at the great Khmer temple at Angkor Wat and other Khmer historical sites.
The Monument also serves as Cambodia’s war memorial and during national celebrations; it becomes the centre of activity. A ceremonial flame on the interior pedestal is often lit by a royal or high official on such occasions and floral tributes line the stairs.
Near the Monument on the same stretch of land, is the newly erected commemorative statue of the much loved former King, His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk who passed away in 2012.
The Central Market “Psah Thom Thmey”, is a large market constructed in 1937 in the shape of a dome with four arms branching out into vast hallways. This unique Art Deco building is an outstanding Phnom Penh landmark located in the centre of the city. Its initial design and layouts were by French architect Louis Chauchon and construction was supervised by Russian born engineer Wladimir Kandaouroff.
The market opens from 7:00am to 5:00pm. It is popular all year round with both the locals and visitors and a definite “must see” stop for the tourists. The market is teeming with stalls that sell a countless variety of both perishable and non-perishable goods, ranging from precious gems and jewellery to electrical products, souvenirs, books, flowers, food, vegetables and shoes.
Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung)
So-named because of the prevalence of items from the Eastern Bloc in past times, Today Russian Market is the most popular market among tourists and expats and probably the best place to pick up souvenirs. It does not look like much from the outside but when you get in you will find everything from beautifully hand carved statues, colorful lanterns and handmade silk scarves to fake bags, printed T-shirts and DVDs.
Russian market is located in the south part of Phnom Penh and is known to the locals as Phsar Toul Tom Poung. The reason why it is called Russian market is because it was a popular market among the Russian expats during the 1980s when most of the western expats in Phnom Penh were Russian.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a museum in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, chronicling the Cambodian genocide. The site is a former secondary school which was used as Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. From 1976 to 1979, an estimated 20,000 people were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng (the real number is unknown). Tuol Sleng means “Hill of the Poisonous Trees” or “StrychnineHill”. Tuol Sleng was just one of at least 150 torture and execution centers established by the Khmer Rouge, though other sources put the figure at 196 prison centers. On July 26, 2010, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia convicted the chief of Tuol Sleng Prison, Kang Kek Iew, (alias Duch) for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Choeung Ek is the site of a former orchard and mass grave of victims of the Khmer Rouge – killed between 1975 and 1979 – about 17 kilometres (11 mi) south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is the best-known of the sites known as The Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge regime executed over one million people between 1975 and 1979.
Mass graves containing 8,895 bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of the dead were former political prisoners who were kept by the Khmer Rouge in their Tuol Sleng detention center and in other Cambodian detention centers.
Today, Choeung Ek is a memorial, marked by a Buddhist stupa. The stupa has acrylic glass sides and is filled with more than 5,000 human skulls. Some of the lower levels are opened during the day so that the skulls can be seen directly. Many have been shattered or smashed in.
Tourists are encouraged by the Cambodian government to visit Choeung Ek. Apart from the stupa, there are pits from which the bodies were exhumed. Human bones still litter the site.
On May 3, 2005, the Municipality of Phnom Penh announced that they had entered into a 30-year agreement with JC Royal Co. to develop the memorial at Choeung Ek. As part of the agreement, they are not to disturb the remains still present in the field.