The capital of Cambodia is a hive of cultural activity with an abundance of places to visit and learn more about the country’s rich culture and history. We throw the spotlight on 10 of the best.
As one of Phnom Penh’s most important temples, Wat Langka is home to a large collection of practising monks and ancient scriptures. Guests are welcome to roam the sprawling grounds and temples, provided they behave respectfully. Free meditation sessions, led by a resident monk, are held in the spacious meditation hall every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, from 6pm to 7pm, and Sundays, from 8.30am to 9.30am and 10am for longer sessions.
Helping to push forward Cambodia’s arts scene, Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) runs an arts tour of Phnom Penh. From architectural heritage sites to contemporary galleries, the capital is rich in arts and culture and this tour takes visitors to the highlights, including galleries and back-alley secrets, led by the artists and cultural leaders who are shaping the arts scene. Key stops include Chaktomuk Theatre, built by revered Khmer architect Vann Molyvann, and the Royal University of Fine Arts.
If you fancy learning first hand the traditional art of apsara – Cambodian ballet – or bokator – the ancient Khmer martial art – then Selapak, which translates from Khmer to the arts, is a good place to start. It runs traditional dance and martial art initiation classes, demonstrations and lessons, all led by experts in their field. Private classes can be arranged on request.