3 Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Phnom Penh
other_name =
native_name =
nickname = Pearl of Asia (pre-1960s)
settlement_type =
motto =

imagesize = 280px
image_caption = Aerial view of Phnom Penh

flag_size =

seal_size =
image_shield =
shield_size =
city_logo =
citylogo_size =

mapsize = 200px
map_caption = Location of Phnom Penh Province, Cambodia

mapsize1 =
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dot_mapsize =
dot_map_caption =
dot_x = |dot_y =

pushpin_label_position =left
pushpin_map_caption =Location of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
pushpin_mapsize =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Cambodia
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Phnom Penh
subdivision_type2 = Subdivisions
subdivision_name2 = 7 districts (khans)
subdivision_type3 =
subdivision_name3 =
subdivision_type4 =
subdivision_name4 =
government_footnotes =
government_type =Municipality
leader_title =Mayor & Governor
leader_name =H.E. Keb Chutema
( _km. កែប ជុគិមា)
leader_title1 =Vice Governors
leader_name1 =H.E. Than Sina, H.E. Map Sarin, H.E. Seng Tong
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 =
leader_title3 =
leader_name3 =
leader_title4 =
leader_name4 =
established_title =Settled
established_date =1372
established_title2 =Became Capital
established_date2 =1865
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude = 1 E8
unit_pref =
area_footnotes = [http://www.stat.go.jp/info/meetings/cambodia/pdf/pre_rep1.pdf Cambodian 2008 census preliminary results, Statistics Japan ] 2-6, Tables 2.2-2.6 ]
area_total_km2 = 290
area_land_km2 =
area_water_km2 =
area_total_sq_mi =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2008
population_footnotes =
population_note =
population_total = 1,325,681
population_density_km2 = 4571.3
population_density_sq_mi =
population_metro =
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban = 1,242,241
population_density_urban_km2 =
population_density_urban_sq_mi =
population_blank1_title =
population_blank1 =
population_density_blank1_km2 =
population_density_blank1_sq_mi =
timezone =UTC/GMT +7 hours
utc_offset =
timezone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
latd=11 |latm=33 |lats= |latNS=N
longd=104 |longm=55 |longs= |longEW=E
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m =
elevation_ft =
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code =855 (023)
blank_name =
blank_info =
blank1_name =
blank1_info =
website = http://www.phnompenh.gov.kh
footnotes =

Phnom Penh (Khmer: ភ្នំពេញ, official Romanization: "Phnum Pénh"; pronounced|pʰnum pɯɲ) is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. It is also the capital of the Phnom Penh municipality. It is an economic, industrial, commercial, cultural, tourist and historical center.

Once known as the "Pearl of Asia" [Peace of Angkor [http://www.peaceofangkorweb.com/PhnomPenh.htm Phnom Penh] Accessed July 27 2007] in the 1920s, Phnom Penh, along with Siem Reap, is a significant global and domestic tourist destination for Cambodia. Phnom Penh is known for its traditional Khmer and French influenced architecture.

Phnom Penh is the wealthiest and most populous city in Cambodia. It is also the commercial, political and cultural hub of Cambodia and is home to more than one million of Cambodia's population of over 14 million [ [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cb.html CIA - The World Factbook - Cambodia ] ] .


The city takes its name from the "Wat Phnom Daun Penh" (known now as just the "Wat Phnom" or Hill Temple), built in 1373 to house five statues of Buddha on a man made hill convert|27|m|ft|0|spell=us high. It was named after Daun Penh (Grandma Penh), a wealthy widow.

Phnom Penh was also previously known as "Krong Chaktomuk" meaning "City of Four Faces". This name refers to the junction where the Mekong, Bassac, and Tonle Sap rivers cross to form an "X" where the capital is situated. "Krong Chaktomuk" is an abbreviation of its ceremonial name given by King Ponhea Yat which was "Krong Chaktomuk Mongkol Sakal Kampuchea Thipadei Sereythor Inthabot Borei Roth Reach Seima Maha Nokor".


Phnom Penh first became the capital of Cambodia after Ponhea Yat, king of the Khmer Empire, moved the capital from Angkor Thom after it was captured by Siam a few years earlier. There are stupa behind Wat Phnom that house the remains of Ponhea Yat and the royal family as well as the remaining Buddhist statues from the Angkorean era. There is a legend that tells how Phnom Penh was created.

It was not until 1866, under the reign of King Norodom I, that Phnom Penh became the permanent seat of government, and the Royal Palace (pictured) was built. This marked the beginning of the transformation of what was essentially a village into a great city with the French Colonialists expanding the canal system to control the wetlands, constructing roads and building a port.By the 1920s, Phnom Penh was known as the "Pearl of Asia", and over the next four decades continued to experience growth with the building of a railway to Sihanoukville and the Pochentong International Airport.

During the Vietnam War, Cambodia was used as a base by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong, and thousands of refugees from across the country flooded the city to escape the fighting between their own government troops, the NVA/NLF, the South Vietnamese and its allies and the Khmer Rouge. By 1975, the population was 2,000,000, the bulk of them refugees from the fighting. The city fell to the Khmer Rouge on April 17. Many of its residents, those who were wealthy and educated, were forced to do labor on rural farms as "new people". Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot's forces and was turned into the S-21 prison camp, where Cambodians were detained and tortured. Pol Pot sought a return to an agrarian economy and therefore killed many people perceived as educated, "lazy" or political enemies. Many others starved to death as a result of failure of the agrarian society and the sale of Cambodia's rice to China in exchange for bullets and weaponry. Tuol Svay Prey High School is now the Tuol Sleng Museum in which Khmer Rouge torture devices and photos of their victims are displayed. Choeung Ek (The Killing Fields), convert|15|km|mi|0|spell=us away, where the Khmer Rouge marched prisoners from Tuol Sleng to be murdered and buried in shallow pits, is also now a memorial to those who were killed by the regime.

The Khmer Rouge were driven out of Phnom Penh by the Vietnamese in 1979 and people began to return to the city. Vietnam is historically a state with which Cambodia has had many conflicts, therefore this liberation was and is viewed with mixed emotions by the Cambodians. A period of reconstruction began, spurred by continuing stability of government, attracting new foreign investment and aid by countries including France, Australia, and Japan. Loans were made from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank to reinstate a clean water supply, roads and other infrastructure. The 1998 Census put Phnom Penh's population at 862,000; [General Population Census of Cambodia 1998, National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, Phnom Penh, Cambodia] by 2001 it was estimated at slightly over 1 million.


Phnom Penh is located in the south-central region of Cambodia, at the confluence of the Tonlé Sap, Mekong, and Bassac rivers. These rivers provide potential freshwater and other resources. The city, located at coord|11.55|N|104.91667|E| (11°33' North, 104°55' East, [http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/cntry_files.html] ). Covers an area of convert|375|km2|sqmi|0 which some convert|11401|ha|acre|0|lk=on in the municipality and convert|26106|ha|acre|0 of roads. The agricultural land in the municipality amounts to convert|34.685|km2|sqmi|0| with some convert|1.476|km2|acre|0| under irrigation.


The climate is hot year-round with only minor variations. City temperatures range from 10° to 38 °C (50° to 100 °F) and experiences tropical monsoons. Southwest monsoons blow inland bringing moisture-laden winds from the Gulf of Thailand and Indian Ocean from May to October. The northeast monsoon ushers in the dry season, which lasts from November to March. The city experiences the heaviest precipitation from September to October with the driest period occurring from January to February.

It has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures rise up to convert|40|C|F|0 around April and is generally accompanied with high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April when temperatures can drop to convert|22|C|F|0. The best months to visit the city are November to January when temperatures and humidity are lower. Infobox Weather
location=Phnom Penh
Jan_Hi_°F =88 |Jan_REC_Hi_°F =
Feb_Hi_°F =91 |Feb_REC_Hi_°F =
Mar_Hi_°F =93 |Mar_REC_Hi_°F =
Apr_Hi_°F =95 |Apr_REC_Hi_°F =
May_Hi_°F =93 |May_REC_Hi_°F =
Jun_Hi_°F =91 |Jun_REC_Hi_°F =
Jul_Hi_°F =90 |Jul_REC_Hi_°F =
Aug_Hi_°F =90 |Aug_REC_Hi_°F =
Sep_Hi_°F =88 |Sep_REC_Hi_°F =
Oct_Hi_°F =87 |Oct_REC_Hi_°F =
Nov_Hi_°F =86 |Nov_REC_Hi_°F =
Dec_Hi_°F =86 |Dec_REC_Hi_°F =
Jan_Lo_°F =71 |Jan_REC_Lo_°F =
Feb_Lo_°F =72 |Feb_REC_Lo_°F =
Mar_Lo_°F =74 |Mar_REC_Lo_°F =
Apr_Lo_°F =76 |Apr_REC_Lo_°F =
May_Lo_°F =76 |May_REC_Lo_°F =
Jun_Lo_°F =76 |Jun_REC_Lo_°F =
Jul_Lo_°F =76 |Jul_REC_Lo_°F =
Aug_Lo_°F =76 |Aug_REC_Lo_°F =
Sep_Lo_°F =76 |Sep_REC_Lo_°F =
Oct_Lo_°F =76 |Oct_REC_Lo_°F =
Nov_Lo_°F =74 |Nov_REC_Lo_°F =
Dec_Lo_°F =71 |Dec_REC_Lo_°F =
Jan_Precip_inch = 0.30
Feb_Precip_inch = 0.40
Mar_Precip_inch = 1.40
Apr_Precip_inch =3.10
May_Precip_inch =5.70
Jun_Precip_inch =5.80
Jul_Precip_inch =6.00
Aug_Precip_inch =6.10
Sep_Precip_inch =8.90
Oct_Precip_inch =9.90
Nov_Precip_inch =5.50
Dec_Precip_inch =1.70
source =weather.com cite web
url=http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/CBXX0001 link |title=Weather for Phnom Penh | accessmonthday =Jan 4 |accessyear=2008


*Law enforcement in Cambodia


Administratively, Phnom Penh is a municipality standing at 375 square kilometers and is governed with a status that is equal to provinces of Cambodia. As such, it has a similar political structure to its provinces. The municipality is subdivided into 7 administrative divisions called Khan (district) and of the 7 Khans, Dangkor, Meanchey and Russei Kaev are considered the outskirts of the city. All Khans are under the governance of the Phnom Penh Municipality. The Khans are further subdivided into 76 Sangkats (communes), and 637 Kroms.

The municipality is governed by the Governor who acts as the top executive of the city and manages the general affairs as well as overlooking the Municipal Military Police, Municipal Police and Bureau of Urban Affairs. Below the Governor is the First Vice Governor and 5 Vice Governors. The Chief of Cabinet who holds the same status as the Vice Governors, heads the Cabinet that consists of 8 Deputy Chiefs of Cabinet which in turn are in charge of the 27 Administrative Departments. Every khan (district) also has a head Chief. [http://www.citynet-ap.org/En/user/resource/docs/241.pdf]


As of 2008, according to preliminary census results, Phnom Penh had a population of 1,325,681 people, with a total population density of PD km2 to mi2|4571|precision=0|spell=UK in a convert|290|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=on city area. Annual population growth in the city over the period 1998-2008 is 2.82%.

Phnom Penh is mostly inhabited by Cambodians (or Khmers) - they represent 90% of the population of the city. There are large minorities of Vietnamese and Chinese, other ethnic groups are Thai, Budong, Mnong Preh, Kuy, Chong, Chams.The state religion is Theravada Buddhism, hence more than 90% of the people in Phnom Penh are Buddhists with the Chams practicing Islam and over the years since 1993, there has been an increase in the practice of Christianity which was practically wiped out after 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took over. English and French are widely used in the city, but the official language is Khmer.


Double-digit economic growth rates in recent years have triggered an economic boom, with new hotels, restaurants, bars, and residential buildings springing up around the city. Phnom Penh's wealth of historical and cultural sites makes it a very popular tourist destination.

Phsar Thom Thmei market was built in the shape of a dome in 1937 and is the capital's main shopping centre.

Nowadays, the market is a tourist hot spot, most tourists that came to Phnom Penh visited this market because they want to see the varieties of products that this market has to offer. The four wings of the yellow coloured Phsar Thom Thmei are teeming with numerous stalls selling gold and silver jewellery, antique coins, clothing, clocks, flowers, food, fabrics and shoes.

With the economic growth seen since the 1990s, new shops have opened as well as western-style malls such as Sorya Shopping Center and the new Sovanna Shopping Center. Two international franchises have also opened up in Phnom Penh. Dairy Queen has already opened up inside Phnom Penh International Airport and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has opened up a restaurant on Monivong Boulevard and is planing on opening more soon. [ [http://www.mysinchew.com/node/11537 Qsr Brands On Kfc Expansion Plans In Cambodia | My Sinchew ] ] The same company that opened up KFC in Cambodia has now obtained franchise rights to open Pizza Hut in the country. [http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_a04e888d-cb73c03a-cbd8dc00-773c33cf]

Cityscape and architecture

The oldest structure is the Wat Phnom from the founding days of the city, constructed in 1373. The main tourist attractions are the Royal Palace with the Silver Pagoda, which dates to the mid 1800s; the National Museum, constructed during the French colonial era in the late 1800s in the classical Khmer style hosts a vast collection of Khmer antiquities; the Independence Monument (Khmer: "Vimean Akareach"), although modern from the 1950s, is also constructed in the ancient Khmer style.

The French, who were the colonial masters from the 1800s to the 1940s, also left their mark, with various colonial villas, French churches, boulevards, and the Art deco market Phsar Thom Thmei. A famous landmark of the colonial era is the Hotel Le Royal.Starting with independence from the French in the 1950s and lasting until the era of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, Phnom Penh underwent tremendous growth as the capital city of a newly independent country. King Sihanouk was eager to present a new style of architecture and thus invigorate the process of nation building. A new golden era of architecture took off, with various projects and young Khmer architects, often educated in France, given opportunities to design and construct. This new movement was called "New Khmer Architecture" and was often characterised by a fusion of Bauhaus, European post-modern architecture, and traditional elements from Angkor. The most prominent architect was Vann Molyvann, who was nominated chief national architect by the king himself in 1956. Molyvann created landmark buildings such as the Preah Suramarit National Theatre and the Council of Ministers building, other architects helped construct the newly founded Royal Khmer University, the Institut of Foreign Languages and the National Sports Centre. With the growth of the upper and entrepreneurial middle class, new suburbs were built in the 1950s and 60's.

Although these buildings survived the Khmer Rouge era and the civil war, today they are under threat due to economic development and financial speculation. Villas and gardens from that era are being destroyed and redeveloped to make place for bigger structures. The landmark National Theatre by Molyvann was ripped down in 2008 [ [http://www.ka-tours.org/ Khmer Architecture Tours] ] . A movement is rising in Cambodia to preserve this modernist heritage. Old villas are sometimes being converted into boutique hotels, such as the "Frangipani Villa [http://www.frangipanihotel.com] " and the "Knai Bang Chatt".

Monuments and memorials to the genocide during the Khmer Rouge era in the 1970s are the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (a former high school used as a concentration camp) and on the outskirt of the city the Choeung Ek Genocide Center. The Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument was commissioned by the Vietnamese communists as symbol of Khmer-Vietnamese "friendship" during the late 1970s following the liberation of Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge.

The addition of a new urban developments such as Camko City is meant to bolster the city landscape. The Bureau of Urban Affairs of Phnom Penh Municipality has plans to expand and construct new infrastructure to accommodate the growing population and economy. High rise buildings will be constructed at the entrance of the city and near the lakes and riverbanks. Furthermore, new roads, canals, and a railway system will be used to connect the city. [People's Daily Online [http://english.people.com.cn/200507/18/eng20050718_196801.html Cambodia unveils Phnom Penh development plan] Accessed June 14 2008]



*Phnom Penh Post, a daily English-language newspaper published in Phnom Penh.
*The Cambodia Daily, another English-language daily newspaper.

Khmer language dailies

*"Sralagn' Khmer"
*"Chakraval Daily"
*"Kampuchea Thmei Daily"
*"Kampuchea Thnai Nes" ("Cambodia Today")
*"Kanychok Sangkhum"
* [http://ka-set.info/kh/khmer.html "Ka-set"]
*"Koh Santepheap" ("Island of Peace")
*"Moneaksekar Khmer" ("Khmer Conscience") - Published by the Sam Rainsy Party.
*"Rasmei Kampuchea" ("Light of Kampuchea") - Cambodia's largest daily, it circulates about 18,000 copies.
*"Samleng Yuvachun" ("Voice of Khmer Youth")
*"Udomkate Khmer" ("Khmer Ideal")
*"Wat Phnom Daily"

French language dailies

* [http://www.cambodgesoir.info/ "Cambodge Soir"]
* [http://ka-set.info/ "Ka-set"]


Phnom Penh International Airport (Phnom Penh) is the second-largest and second-busiest airport in Cambodia. It is located 7 km (4.3 miles) west of central Phnom Penh. Taxis, pick-ups and minibuses leave Phnom Penh for destinations all over the country, but are fast losing ground to cheaper and more comfortable buses. Phnom Penh also has rail service.There are two bus companies, Phnom Penh Public transport and GST Express, servicing to Sihanoukville, Kompong Chang, Udong & Takeo.

Also Phnom Penh Sorya Transport Co. offers bus service to several provincial destinations along the National Routes as well as Ho Chi Minh City. Motocycles are a popular form of quick travel in the city streets.

Although the city is 290 km (180 miles) from the sea, it is a major port on the Mekong River valley, and it is linked to the South China Sea via a channel of the Mekong delta in Vietnam

Local means of public transportation within the city most often include the cycle rickshaw, known in Khmer as "cyclo" and motorcycle taxis. Private forms of transportation include bicycles and automobiles.

Highways in Phnom Penh

As the capital of Cambodia a number of National Highways connect the city with various parts of the country:


The Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) is the oldest and largest institution of higher education in Cambodia. As of 2008, the university has over 10,000 students across three campuses, and offers a wide range of high-quality courses within the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL). There are about fifty higher institutions in Cambodia, most of which have no small campuses.


The martial arts of Bokator, Pradal Serey (Khmer kick boxing) and Khmer traditional wrestling have venues in Phnom Penh watched by dedicated spectators.

Cambodia has increasingly become involved in modern sports over the last 30 years.

As with the rest of the country, Football and the martial arts are particularly popular.

The most prominent of venues in the city is the Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium with a capacity of 50,000. Built in 1964 it is home to the Cambodian national football team, although the country never hosted the Olympic Games. Noted clubs include Phnom Penh Empire, Khemara and Military Police.

Notable people

* Francois Chau, actor
* Narath Tan - painter
* Norodom Ranariddh, politician
* Norodom Sihamoni, king of Cambodia since 2004
* Norodom Sihanouk, king of Cambodia until 2004
* Rithy Panh, film director
* Sam Rainsy, politician
* Tioulong Saumura, politician
* Vann Molyvann - architect
* Vann Nath - painter
* Yim Guechse - poet and author
* Loung Ung - a Cambodian American human-rights activist, an internationally-recognized lecturer, and the national spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine-Free World.

Sister cities

* Long Beach, California, USA
* Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
* Providence, Rhode Island, USA



*cite book |title=Journey Through Phnom Penh|last=LeBoutillier|first=Kris|date=2003|pages=80 pages|publisher=Times Editions|location= |id=ISBN 978-9812325969
*cite book |title=Dreams of Cambodia Phnom Penh|last=Hoskin|first=John|date= |pages=56 pages|publisher= |location= |id=ISBN 978-9889814021
*cite book |title=Phnom Penh Then and Now|last=Igout|first=Michel|date=1993|pages=56 pages|publisher=White Lotus Ltd.|location= |id=ASIN B000UCLNR2
*Denise Affonço: "To The End Of Hell: One Woman's Struggle to Survive Cambodia's Khmer Rouge"; ISBN 978-0955572951

External links


* [http://www.phnompenh.gov.kh/english/introduction.html Phnom Penh Government Website in English]
* [http://www.phnompenh.gov.kh/english/PhnomPenh_Profile/E_PP_profile.pdf Profile]


*wikitravel|Phnom Penh
* [http://www.phnompenhpost.com/ Official website] of the "Phnom Penh Post", Cambodia's oldest English-language newspaper, issued fortnightly.
* [http://www.yellowpages-cambodia.com/maps/phnompenh/ Detailed Phnom Penh map] at the website of [http://www.yellowpages-cambodia.com/ Cambodia Yellow Pages]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAdhjKglM3A] [Flooding due to seasonal showers Phnom Penh-Cambodia > Video attachment]

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