Posted by: James Shannon | November 10, 2012

Wat Phnom And Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

An ancient relief carved into the walls of Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh. It is here where Lady Penh found a Buddha idol, which was taken as a good omen. A temple was built on this spot, and from here, a city was born.

After good times with friends over the previous two days, it was high time to see some sights. The majority of the group checked out the depressing (but necessary) Killing Fields and S-21 (Tuol Sleng Prison), while I, having had my fill of death and despair the previous year, opted to start checking out the non-genocide related landmarks of Phnom Penh.

This post will highlight Wat Phnom, a Buddhist temple of great signifiance in Phnom Penh, as well as the gorgeous Central Market. On with the pics!


Wat Phnom’s central spire stretching into the afternoon sky.

With the cat statues adorning the sides of the temple, it’s only natural that the feline species would find this place to their liking. Here, a tabby relaxes in the tropical heat…

… while another seems annoyed that we’re interrupting his lunch. Err, sorry. Moving on…

Buddha idol looking quite content as a monetary donation rests in his lap.

Depictions of life from an era long since gone…


Carrying on down Norodom Boulevard for about 20 minutes, I arrived at my second destination of the day, Phnom Penh’s Central Market. This centre for commerce is well-regarded for its art deco architecture; indeed, even if you have no plans to purchase anything (though you likely will, given the irresistible prices), it is worth visiting to experience the awe-inspiring aesthetic and feel of this 80+ year old structure.

The exterior of the Central Market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Amidst an unbeatable atmosphere compared to other markets in the city, jewelery brokers conduct their business to locals and tourists alike.

The cavernous dome of the Central Market combines with the sunny yellow paint on the concrete to create a feeling of wonder and amazement that will captivate anyone. Even if you are loath to deal with touts and aggressive salespeople, brave the crowds to see this unmissable sight in Phnom Penh!

There are several more posts on the sights of Phnom Penh still forthcoming, so those who are reading this post intently in order to gather sightseeing ideas that diverge from the depressing mainstays of S-21 and the Killing Fields, stay tuned, as there is plenty more to come soon!


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