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FCC Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia


By Day:

  • Explore the sights of historic Phnom Penh. The National Museum with its Angkor-era treasures is just behind, the gold-roofed Royal Palace, with its Throne Room, Silver Pagoda and 17th-century emerald Buddha, a little to the right. The Central Market with its billion cheap knockoff goods is not far away. A million tuk-tuk and motorcycle drivers are eager to take you anywhere you want to go

  • Pay your respects at S-21, also known as Tuol Sleng. This erstwhile high school has a bloody past as the prison where the Khmer Rouge tortured many of its inmates before sending those who survived to their death in the Killing Fields. It’s not a happy place, but it is an important one, and it survives pretty much as it was 30 years ago

  • Take a tuk-tuk to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Just 14km southwest of the town, this was the final resting place of S-21’s prisoners. 17,000 people died here and you'll see mass graves plus a memorial tower filled with skulls. It's a shocking reminder of Pol-Pot's regime and well worth going to

  • Wander around the old town, peer up at the tenements and crumbling colonial mansions, watch fish die in the markets, or have a leisurely drink by the riverfront in any one of 100 restaurants and cafes

  • Have a ‘seeing hands’ massage by blind masseurs, in one of the many places nearby

  • Shop for things you should, like ‘ethically’ produced fabrics and Angkor sandstone reproductions, from nearby shops like Sentosa Silk and the National Museum

  • Shop for things you shouldn’t, from Valium and Viagra to the stolen intellectual property of starving artists like Phil Collins or Jerry Bruckheimer

By Night:
  • Meet people you should, like the clean-limbed independent travellers who throng the bars and restaurants along the river and beyond

  • Meet people you shouldn’t. For nightlife, the legendary Martini bar has moved to a distant part of town (about $2 on a motorbike), but in the murk under the sprawling trees unmentionable unions are still being formed, pool is being played with a vengeance, and ghostly blockbusters play on the dark projection screen. Gangsters still haunt Heart of Darkness ($1 on a motorbike), so by all means dance the night away to the ear-splitting R&B pop, but do move over if a local gentleman lodges a claim to your chair

  • Let the driver decide: he’ll overcharge a little, but he won’t cheat you

Further Afield:
  • You'll most likely be heading onwards to Siem Reap for the wondrous Angkor Wat; if staying over for a couple of nights, try their sister property FCC Angkor

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Food and wine
  • Historical sites
  • Museums/galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping/markets
  • Traditional cultures
Save to favouritesPrintMailFCC Phnom PenhAh, the history! It was right here, under the great black ceiling fans, overlooking the lazy flow of the river, that the legends of the lawless UNCTAD days got distorted beyond recognition in the retelling - from sozzled foreign correspondentís mouth to stoned travellerís ear - until people really thought you could hire an AK-47 and tell a local child to run. The foreign correspondents have fallen (not to AK-47s but to the economies of the newspaper industry), and the travellers with their beards and beads have decamped, but the Foreign Correspondents' Club still thrives. Now, though, it is under corporate ownership and its logo is on T-shirts, bags and what-all else. Perhaps itís for the best. The location remains the very centre of Phnom Penhís tourist ghetto, a stoneís throw from the National Museum, a lazy stroll to the Royal Palace. And nowadays you can even get service in 8 well-appointed [r:CA009:rooms]. The terrace and rooftop still have the best views in town; throw open your window, lie on the bed and know youíre in the throbbing heart of a strange city - a great feeling.

Book this hotelfrom 115USD

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