Phnom Penh, the capital • Cambodia

Journey through Time: Explore Phnom Penh's Hidden Treasures". Embark on an enchanting 6-minute tour through Cambodia's royal and ancient history, housed within the heart of its capital. Experience the grandeur of the Royal Palace, admire the centuries-old relics in the Cham Archaeological Museum, and marvel at the intricate designs of the Silver Pagoda. Every minute unveils a tale of power, artistry, and resilience that reverberates through the old and new faces of Phnom Penh. This video not only echoes history but also reveals the perseverance of Cambodia's culture. Get ready for a quick, yet comprehensive, tour of a lifetime!

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Vietnam & Cambodia • 2014

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Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

00:28 • The National Museum of Combodia

01:28 • the apsaras school

02:29 • the Royal Palace

04:42 • the Silver Pagoda


Pnomh Penh, capital of the Khmer Empire.


The history of Phnom Penh is very old since traces of civilization have been found there dating from the 5th century BC. Among other things, we found an old potter's oven in one of the neighborhoods that make up the current city of Phnom Penh.

However, the city did not really gain importance until the middle of the 15th century, when it was decided to transfer the capital of the Khmer empire which was until then Angkor. This transfer, ordered by Emperor Ponhea Yat, follows the destruction of Angkor Thom by the Siamese a few years earlier.

Phnom Penh would retain its status for 73 years before being abandoned in 1505, for a period of 360 years. This loss of status of Phnom Penh was due to the many disagreements and internal wars between the pretenders to the throne during 3 centuries, during which various cities were raised to the rank of capital of a fragmented kingdom.

King Norodom I restored his status to Phnom Penh in 1866 and built the current royal palace.


The colonial period


From 1870, the French colonial authorities modernized the city of Phnom Penh, which until then was more a village on the river than a modern capital. This extension of the city and its modernization would continue until the 1950s, at the time of the reawakening of the national feeling of the subcontinent and the beginning of the colonial wars.


Vietnam War


Cambodia was used as a rear base by Vietnamese Viet Cong fighters and the Vietnam People's Army. It is also in Canbodge that hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees have settled, fleeing the fighting in their country.


The Khmer Rouge


The Khmer Rouge took the city in 1975 after a siege of almost a year. It was one of the darkest periods in Southeast Asian history. The Khmer Rouge ordered the exile of almost the entire population of the city for "re-education" in the countryside. The entire intellectual elite was decimated by these snag leaders. Their regime lasted until 1979 when Vietnam invaded the country. The history of the two countries has always been stormy, and the liberation by the hereditary enemy was variously appreciated. The fact remains that this put an end to one of the most atrocious regimes that the region has known, and the populations gradually returned to live in the city.


Reconstruction of the city


The stability of the government following the Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese episodes made it possible to rebuild the country and the city thanks to foreign investments and thanks to the help of certain countries such as France, Japan and Australia.

about the place, Phnom Penh:

Phnom Penh is Cambodia's largest city, as well as the country's capital. The city was founded in the middle of the 15th century to succeed Angkor as the capital of the Khmer Empire. 

The city currently has a little over 2,100,000 inhabitants and is experiencing strong demographic growth. Also the city does not stop expanding and it is estimated that its area has quadrupled since 1979.



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Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of cambodian traditional music in "Phnom Penh, the capital • Cambodia", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

What's the weather like in Phnom Penh?


Spoken comments in the film: 

The National Museum of Cambodia, devoted mainly to Khmer art, was built at the beginning of the 20th century under the direction of a French archaeologist. It is the largest museum in the country. 

Despite its abandonment and the disappearance of entire collections under the Khmer Rouge regime, the museum, restored and renovated after the demise of the Pol Pot regime, today offers the finest collections of Khmer art in the country.


But Khmer art and soul is not only found in the sculptures on display at the National Museum of Cambodia. Great efforts are also made in music and dance. Thus Phnom Penh is also home to a traditional dance school, a school of apsaras.


The historic capital of the Khmer Empire was Angkor until its destruction by the Siamese army in the mid-15th century. Phnom Penh did not finally become the capital of the country until the middle of the 19th century. It is from this time that the construction of the current royal palace dates.


Within the outer enclosure of the royal palace rises the Silver Pagoda, so named because of the thousands of silver paving stones that form its floor. This building which contains countless national treasures, golden Buddha statues among others, was rebuilt at the end of the 1960s. The original construction which was in wood dates from the end of the 19th century. Unfortunately, photos are strictly prohibited inside the Silver Pagoda.

royal palace, Phnom Penh • Cambodia
the national museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh • Cambodia

the national museum of Cambodia

the royal palace, Phnom Penh • Cambodia

the royal palace

the silver pagoda, Phnom Penh • Cambodia

the silver pagoda

stupa in front of the silver pagoda, Phnom Penh • Cambodia

stupa in front of the silver pagoda

Phnom Penh • Cambodia

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