If you know about the troubled history of Cambodia, you know what I’m talking about here. And if you don’t and want to know more (and in detail), I can recommend the books “First they killed my father” by Loung Ung (which also came out as a movie that Angelina Jolie directed) and “Cambodia’s Curse” by Joel Brinkley. I didn’t know what to expect, when I visited one of the killing field in Phnom Penh (6USD entry fee incl. audio guide), but while listening to the audio guide and walking on the same ground hundreds of people were killed got me very emotional to say at least.
Tuol Sleng Museum
Like the killing fields, the Tuol Sleng museum tells the history about Khmer Rough and how they killed 2.5 million of their own people from 1975 – 1979. Again, I recommend doing the tour with the audio guide (8USD entry fee incl. audio guide). It is unbelievably touching to see where the people were kept and tortured. Also the photographs really help understand how things really were.
As every Royal Palace in the SEA this one contains multiple complexes that are very impressive by its architecture. They use lots of gold ornaments to decorate the palaces. Make sure to cover yourself properly (shoulders, legs) when you’re planning on visiting.
Close to the Royal Palace is Wat Phnom, a temple on a small hill in the middle of the city. It looks more like a park from the outside and it is really nice to just have a stroll around and enjoy a little quieter in the buzzing city. Tourist pay a 1 USD fee.