12 Hours in Phnom Penh | How To Spend Your Time Wisely in Phnom Penh


Visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a can’t miss experience. It is the capital city that remains peaceful yet uncovering by the extensive cultural and historical attractions. Do you know what makes Phnom Penh special? It offers you the exquisite experience with the unique food, a wider range of many interesting tourist sites, and the flourishing nightlife. So, 12 Hours in Phnom Penh? This sounds incredibly crazy because how could it be possible to see the sights and sounds of this fascinating city when you only get 12 hours?

Well, to answer this is I stick to the phrase “Nothing is impossible if you pick up the right plan”. Whether you have 12 hours of an itinerary in Phnom Penh, or you just want to spend your 12 hours to the fullest here. I bet with this ultimate guide, it will get you the most out of your visit in Phnom Penh. So, we put together a list of top things to make sure you will get to see a lot more of Phnom Penh within 12 hours.

You might also be interested:Best Cheap Phnom Penh Restaurant

12 Hours in Phnom Penh

12 hours in phnom penh
Source: Tourism Cambodia

Start your day with Breakfast at Angkor Chum Restaurant (8:00 AM)

Start your day with Breakfast at Angkor Chum Restaurant
Source: saigoneer

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so do not miss out this in the list of 12 hours in Phnom Penh. How about starting your day with the local breakfast at Angkor Chum Restaurant since they have many different kinds of yummy breakfast dishes. Practically, Pork and Rice (Bai Sach chrouk) with the pickled vegetable and a sweet and spicy sauce is recommended because it is one of the popular appetizer across Cambodia for breakfast.

If you want liquid food for your morning, Pork and Seafood Noodle Soup (Kuy Teav) is a good choice. It serves with condiments to be added up to your liking, so you can have your own taste with that soup. Moreover, talking about this restaurant is it has a good location to start your day. This means it will help you to save your time since you need only like 10 minutes to travel to the next destination.

  • Price Range: 2,5$+
  • Open Hours: 7:00am – 9:30pm
  • Location: 72 Preah Ang Yukanthor Stree (19), Phnom Penh. (Behind the Royal University of Fine Arts)

Visit the Royal Palace (9:00 Am) – 12 Hours in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace Phnom Penh
Photo: Dimitry Ruklenko

After you already satisfy your stomach with a rich breakfast, it is time to head to one of the most splendid architecture in Phnom Penh. The Royal Palace is the official royal residence of the King of Cambodia and the pearl in the heart of Phnom Penh. It was first constructed in 1866 on the banks of the Mekong River with the classic Khmer roofs and adorned gilding. Practically, the main entrance to the Royal Palace is situated on Sothearos street, and the tour guides are available at the gates.

Further reading: What to Visit in Royal Palace Phnom Penh!!!

Afterward, you can enter all the buildings in the Loyal Palace and Sliver Pagoda except the Khemarin Palace compound as it is the living area for the Royal family. Anyway, as most of the buildings face east, so the best time for taking photos with the perfect lighting is in the morning hours. Moreover, another important thing that visitors should pay attention to is they have to wear appropriate clothing that covers their knee and elbow; otherwise, they will need to buy sarong as a covering at the ticket booth. All in all, your 12 hours in Phnom Penh won’t be complete without visiting this stunning place with the amazing historical background.

  • Admission Price: 10$/person (foreigner)
  • Open Hours: 8:00-11:00AM, 2:00-5:00PM
  • Location: Sothearos Blvd. between Streets 240 & 184, Phnom Penh.

Visit the National Museum – 12 Hours in Phnom Penh

Visit the National Museum
Source: Shutterstock

National Museum of Cambodia is home to the world which is mainly a showcase of artifacts and statues recovered from the ancient temples with the historical backgrounds. What’s more, it is located next to the Royal Palace, and it stands out as a dignified terracotta structure of the traditional Khmer architecture. Inside that, you will get to see the rare statues, lingas, and other items including stone, bronzes, sculptural, and ceramics that will blow your mind. I personally recommend you to visit this place because once again your 12 hours wouldn’t be worth enough without seeing it with your real eyes. PS: If you want to know more details about the history of each artifact and statue, you can take up the audio tour.

  • Admission Price: 5$/person (10-17y), 10$/person (18years old up)
  • Open Hours: 8:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Location: Street 13 in Central Phnom Penh, next to the Royal Palace.

You might also be interested : Museums in Phnom Penh!!

Having lunch at Kinin Restaurant (12:00 PM)

Having lunch at Kinin Restaurant
Source: silverkris

After a long day of exploring the city, it is time to enjoy your lunch and have some rest. Probably, it takes like 30 minutes from National Museum to Toul Tom Pong area where the Kinin Restaurant is located. Speaking of which, Kinin will give you the romantic jungle vibes like you are in a jungle paradise. Surprisingly, it is an open-air restaurant, yet no AC can’t be a problem. Not to mention, this place has a special menu draws from Western and Asian fusion which bases on old traditional cooking. Or if you want healthy food, they also have on their menu as well. Good service, good food, and drinks, affordable price, amazing music, daydreaming in lushed greenery garden, so what else could you ask for?

  • Price: 3$+
  • Open Hours: 11:00AM- 12:00PM
  • Location: Street 123, corner 446, Toul Tom Poung

La Chronique Café/ Bistro for some peace and quiet place

La Chronique Café
Source: Unknown

Isn’t it the time to relax and heat the beat by having a cup of coffee or green tea?

Perhaps, you only need to spend like 5 minutes from Kinin to this unique coffee shop. Realistically, if you are attracted to old and antique stuff, you have come to the right place. This building design is based on French Colonial landmarks like the post office, and the view inside the shop will bring you back to 60s’ theme with the lifestyle equipment and art. Moreover, they have many different kinds of beverages, yet Ice Latte and Green Tea Frappe are recommended.

  • Price: 2$+
  • Open Hours: 6:30am – 8:00pm
  • Location: #60, St.135, Toul Tom Poung I, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

You might also want to check for: Best Cafe in Toul Tum Poung!!

Visit Toul Sleng Genocide Museum or S-21 (2:00 PM)

Source: Flickr “One more shot Rog”

How could you not visit Toul Sleng Genocide Museum in your 12 hours in Phnom Penh list where you can dig into the dark and tragic history of Cambodia. During the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979), they took this high school building and converted into the killing and torturing center called Security Prison 21. Perhaps, 17,000 people were tortured before being killed which always remains as a painful experience for Cambodian.

Nowadays, this place becomes a well-known museum for the grim exhibition of killings and torturing which has displayed various torture tools, photograph, literature, and historical materials. Meanwhile, it will help you to gain a true understanding of the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime that used to be hell on earth. Not to mention, your heart will bleed looking at some of the ways people used to get torture there.

  • Admission Price: 2$
  • Tour Guide: 6$
  • Open Hours: 8:00AM-5:00PM
  • Location: St.113, Boeung Keng Kang III, Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

You might also be interested: Famous Museums in Phnom Penh You Must Visit

Enjoy Street-Food at TTP Market (4 PM)

Enjoy Street-Food at TTP Market - 12 Hours in Phnom Penh
Source: thetravellinghams

Ahhhh, your 12 hours in Phnom Penh is almost completed, so snack time is calling…! I guess it is time to gather your energy back with the local yummy street-food which is a very reasonable price. Practically, Toul Tom Poung or Russian Market is known as the best spot for a street-food hunter. Speaking of which, there are many kinds of street-food that you will find there, so I will list out some of the best options for you. Fried Banana (Chet Chen stall) is a typical Cambodia snack with the starchy flavor and the crispy batter on the outside.

Fried Beef Meatball, Fried Chicken Wings, Balut, and Grilled Eggs with the Garlic Chili Sauce are the very popular and yummy snack of all time. If you are craving for some sweet, don’t miss out Steamed Rice Cake (Num Ah Kao). It is sweet, soft, and deliciously spongy. Last but not least, Sugar Cane Juice is the type of drinks you should not miss which is freshly pressed and served over the ice with a squeeze of orange. It will definitely save you from this hot weather.

  • Price Range: 0.5$
  • Location: St 163, Sang kat Toul Tom Pong, Phnom Penh.

You might also be interested:Places Where You Can Find Street Food in Phnom Penh

End your day at Bassac Lane (6:00 PM) – 12 Hours in Phnom Penh

Visit Bassac lane - 12 Hours in Phnom Penh
Source: allevents

Are you up for a great time? Bassac Lane should be the best choice to end your 12 hours in Phnom Penh with your folks. This vibrant place serves as a foodie and drinks area with the perfect chilled vibes. Basically, I am sure that you will get to have fine dining here with the Asia and Western fusion dishes. Not to mention, each restaurant has different looked and menu at a convenient price, so you can choose one that you are comfortable with.

What’s more, it is also known as one of the best nightlife spots to get chilled. They serve a variety of cocktails, beers, wines along with the grating music. Besides that each of drinks costing only 2,5$ during the happy hour 5:00-7: 00 PM.

  • Price Range: 2.5$+
  • Open Hours: 5:00pm -12:00pm
  • Location: 308 Off Street, Phnom Penh 120101

Further reading: Bassac Lane

Have you ever heard people say “Time does fly when you are having fun”?

So, we guess it’s true because 12 hours in Phnom Penh is like the blink of an eye. But if you know how to spend it wisely, 12 hours is enough for you to create a thousand memories. How about give it a try? We promise you will get the most out of your visit with this ultimate guide.

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