Cambodia Banner 2 Logo Cambodia (1)
Back to Listing

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is still finding its feet again as Cambodia's capital as years of war have taken their toll. The Khmer Rouge emptied the city of its inhabitants and frog marched them to the countryside to be re-educated as labourers or taken to the infamous and chilling Killing Fields outside the city, never to be heard from again. After the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 and the fall of the Pol Pot’s Maoist regime, people began to move back and by the early 1990s, as hopes for peace grew, foreign investment began to trickle back into Phnom Penh. In the decades that have elapsed since, the UN has also assisted in reconciliation efforts among the population through holding tribunals that have held former senior Khmer Rouge leaders accountable for the atrocities committed under their rule. Striking to the first-time visitor of the city is now, however, the positive and resilient attitude of the locals, many of whom experienced the war first-hand and who can help bring the stories of the Khmer Rouge era to life through personal tales. It is these accounts, and the relative recentness of the horrors of the regime, that make a trip to Phnom Penh so fascinating and deeply moving.

The city itself retains a charming small-town feel, filled with characterful old French colonial buildings and shady boulevards dotted with pagodas and monks’ saffron robes. A stroll down the Mekong takes you past groups of ladies practising Tai Chi, landmine victims selling local crafts, and beautiful boats cruising down the riverbanks. The riverside also abounds delicious local eateries, from popular ice-cream store Blue Pumpkin to cosy and casual restaurant Oskar Bistro. For the more spiritually inclined, a dip into one of the local pagodas to witness and partake in meditation alongside local worshippers makes for a special experience.

Shopaholics will lose themselves in the frenetic atmosphere and bargain hunting on offer in on the local markets. Central Market, once the largest market in Asia offers up an unrivalled collection of local jewellery, whilst the Russian market brims with Western designer brands from local factories at unrivalled prices. Foodies will be fascinated by stalls supervised by crouching Khmer women that overflow with a stomach turning yet captivating array of indigenous delicacies, from crickets and skinned frogs to boiled duck fetus; contrasted with neighbouring arrays of more palatable fresh fruits including mangosteens, coconuts and durian. Lovers of textiles will be in awe of the skilled local craftsmen weave quiet masterpieces on Silk Island.

Phnom Penh truly has something for everyone, from the young in search of electric nightlife, to historians intent on discovering the country’s rich past, photographers in search of the best sunrise Mekong shot and everyone in between.

CAMBODIA - National Museum CAMBODIA - National Museum
Phnom Penh Cambodia 3 Phnom Penh Cambodia 3
Phnom Penh Cambodia Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh Cambodia 1 Phnom Penh Cambodia 1
Phnom Penh Cambodia 2 Phnom Penh Cambodia 2


To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
Bill Bryson

We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India

From our Instagram

You’re bound to meet friendly locals like these in #Vietnam 🇻🇳
Tour this wonderful country with us to immerse yourself in its energy, sweeping landscapes & fascinating history
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Set within an inviting oasis of elegant palms and eucalyptus trees, #Amanbagh stays true to its name 🍃(‘Peaceful garden’ in Sanskrit and Hindi) 🇮🇳
One of @jamesjayasundera’s favourite hotels in the world, #Ampersand believe that there’s no better place to enjoy rural #Rajasthan than this luxurious idyll
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
☀️ Hazy sunlight bathing the #TempleOfTheTooth in #Kandy 🇱🇰
Beautifully captured by @pradeep_gamage 📸
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Intense colours of #India are the perfect antidote to the Monday blues 🇮🇳🌺🌼
Our India specialists are gearing up for a research trip to #Rajasthan - covering #Udaipur, #Jodhpur, #Nagaur, #Jaipur, #Ajabgarh, #Ranthambore, #Agra & #Delhi
Don’t miss out on #Teardrop’s new boutique hotels while touring #SriLanka 🇱🇰
Each sleek property brings a fresh twist to the traditional hill country - from #NineSkies in #Ella to #CamelliaHills in #Dickoya, plus #Goatfell in #NuwaraEliya 🍃
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Treat yourself to a stay in #Amangalla - the stately grand dame of #GalleFort while in Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
Not only will you step into a bygone era here, but you’ll also have all the surrounding sights right on your doorstep 🏰
✨Brand new blog post curated by one of our specialists: ‘5 Unmissable experiences in North India’✨
Follow the link in our bio to read about some of Ampersand’s favourite cultural experiences in #Varanasi, #Calcutta, #Delhi & #Mumbai 🇮🇳
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Ampersand’s Top 10 Luxury Sailboats 🌊
@silolonasojournsphinisi @sailtigerblue @voyagemischief @alilapurnama @alexaprivatecruises @duniabaruadventures @lamimayacht @burmaboating @mutiara_laut @ultimateyachtsco
Explore our #Highlights to see our hotlist and get inspired to take your own nautical adventure 🗺🇮🇩 🇲🇲
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
🎌 Hot off the press - #AmanKyoto is set to open at the end of this year (November 2019) & we can’t wait! 🎌
Located in a secret garden behind the Golden Temple #Kinkakuji, this new property will offer a secluded retreat in the ancient Imperial city complete with beautifully-designed interiors by the celebrated #KerryHillArchitects

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences