|Phnom Penh (Capital) - General Information|
Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)
Prior to 1975, Toul Sleng was a high school. When the Khmer Rouge came to power it was converted into the S-21 prison and interrogation facility. Inmates were systematically tortured to extract confessions, after which they were executed at the killing fields of Choeung Ek. S-21 processed over 17,000 people, less than a dozen of whom survived. The building now serves as a museum, a memorial and a testament to the madness of the Khmer Rouge regime.
Choeung Ek Memorial (The Killing Fields)
Located about 17km south of Phnom Penh, Choeung Ek was once an orchard and a Chinese graveyard. It was used by the Khmer Rouge regime as an execution ground to put down thousands of people between 1975 and 1979. The site is now better known as the Killing Fields. Mass graves containing thousands of bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of the dead were former inmates in the Tuol Sleng prison.
The origin of the Ounalom Pagoda can be traced to as far back as the 15th Century. It was built in 1422 by King Ponyea Yat, the last king of the Khmer empire. It is one of the five original monasteries in Phnom Penh that King Ponhea Yat had built.
Street 240's tree shaded avenue harbors a unique collection of quality boutiques and souvenir shops, offering Cambodian silks and silk fashions, Southeast Asian art, handicrafts, curios andfurniture. There are a few restaurants, bars, wine shops, bookstores, and travel agencies interspersed along the way. After visiting the Royal Palace, stroll around the corner to explore Street 240. Most of the shops are concentrated along the couple of blocks between Street 19 and Norodom Blvd. At the corner of Street 240 next to the Royal Palace, the Council of Ministers building sits distinctively, particularly photogenic in the late afternoon. Before heading up 240, consider taking a short detour through the park to Wat Botum to see the towering white 'Buddha Relic Stupa'. As you are walking up Street 240 from the Palace area note the well preserved colonial era villas on the south side of the street.
Boeung Keng Kang 1 (BKK1)
Boeung Keng Kang 1 (BKK1), bordered by Sihanouk, Norodom, Mao Tse Toung, and Monivong Boulevards, has been considered the city's 'foreigner quarter' since the 80s. The area is the base for many NGOs, embassies, expatriate residences and hotels catering to long-term visitors. The whole of Boeung Keng Kang 1 is dotted with visitor-oriented businesses hotels, restaurants, bars, silk shops, massage spas, travel agents and realtors, with the greatest concentration of businesses at the northern end in the Street 278/282 area, particularly between Streets 51 and 63. Street 278 is lined with restaurants, bars, shops and small hotels frequented by an interesting mix of NGO and IO workers as well as tourists and expatriates. The Street 278 area is well worth a visit and a stroll anytime of day, but especially for lunch or dinner, or even better, in the early evening when the bars are cafés are full and the street is at its liveliest.