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The Best Phnom Penh Tours for Backpackers in 2016

The city of Phnom Penh tends to be the starting point for a lot of Cambodia’s visitors. With an airport located in the metropolis and many a sight to see, it’s not surprising that the hectic urban landscape lures in millions of annual visitors. On first glances, you will be greeted by tuk-tuk drivers offering you transportation to your choice of hotel, motorbikes transporting anything and everything to their destination and a whole lot of traffic weaving in and out of the congested roads. Although quite crazy on initial impressions, the capital of Cambodia is actually a very fascinating place, with culture to be absorbed at every twist and turn. Home to over one million Khmer people (and expats), it is the country’s largest city, so why not experience Phnom Penh tours in this part of the world?

A variety of Phnom Penh tours take place every single day and no matter how old you are, where you come from or what your interests might be, it’s definitely worth experiencing at least one of them. Located at the junction of the Tônlé Sap and Mekong rivers, this commercial and cultural centre’s population has swelled over the years, as has the level of tourism. Cambodia’s main two railroads connect to the city, allowing for easy transportation to the Gulf of Thailand and the Thai border. If you are interested in seeing as much of the municipal region in the shortest space of time possible, a tour would be the best option. Let’s take a look at two popular tours offered by VongVeng.

  • Sailing Along the Mekong River

The trans-boundary river that is the Mekong River is one of Southeast Asia’s highlights and a must-see for any visitor. To sail along it is even better and this is made possible with Phnom Penh tours, such as the Phocea Mekong Sunset River Cruise tour. For the price of $29 per adult or $14 for juniors aged from 5-11 years, this great city escape provides travellers with an outstanding glimpse of the beautiful waterways that give Phnom Penh its charm.

You will hop aboard the “Sat Toung” or the “Phocea”, both of which are comfortable and designed to a high standard. All-inclusive, this tour will travel past points of interest like the Royal Palace, Wat Phnom and the Mekong Crossing, which is the 12th longest in the world! Included in the price of the 2.5 hour tour is an all-inclusive bar, nibbles, fresh fruit and a tasty barbecue feast.

  • Delving into the History of the Khmer Rougeon Phnom Penh tours

If there is one rite of passage that Cambodia’s tourists ought to experience, it is the HopOnHopOff S21 Prison & Killing Fields Tour. The name says it all – this tour is a fairly somber experience for all and for many people who book these Phnom Penh tours, tears are shed. This is understandable, considering the fact that the morning or afternoon tour will take you to the Killing Fields, where millions of Khmer people were killed and buried during the horror Khmer rouge.

Led by Pol Pot who died of heart failure in the year 1998, this tour will shed a light on the harsh reality of the Khmer Rouge regime. After visiting the Killing Fields in an air-conditioned mini bus with free drinking water included, you will be transported to the S21 Prison. Here, an optional audio tour will be available for the small fee of $3, allowing you to learn about the Cambodian genocide, which is housed in what was once a Khmer Rouge prison. The cost is $10-$15 and the duration is 4-5 hours.

  • Reserving Your Space on Phnom Penh Tours

When you have decided which Phnom Penh tours you want to embark on, you can make a booking online. The VongVeng website makes this easy. By collaborating with travel tour operators around the country, VongVeng is able to provide travellers with a simple booking process. A portion of the payment will be required to reserve your space and the rest payable on the day of the tour.

Don’t worry about missing out on availability for your selected time and date, because the online calendar clearly shows what slots are open. Pick-up services are also included in the price, eliminating the need for tuk-tuks and other forms of payable transportation.

  • Preparing for Tours around Phnom Penh

Although the majority of Phnom Penh tours will include food and drink, it is best to confirm this beforehand. In doing so, you will know if there is any need to bring additional money to eat at restaurants or from street food vendors in the city. Sun screen is a must, as the annual average temperature reaches 27.7 °C. With so many fantastic sights to witness, be sure to pack a camera and for the HopOnHopOff S21 Prison & Killing Fields Tour, comfortable footwear is essential.

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