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Jakarta Post

More than a gateway to Angkor

  • Sara Veal

    CONTRIBUTOR

Jakarta   /   Sun, August 23 2009   /  12:00 pm

Thinking of visiting Cambodia? You’re likely picturing the serene faces of the Angkor temples. Possibly even the sandy beaches of Sihanoukville. But what about Phnom Penh?

I’ve met countless people who have either entirely bypassed Cambodia’s 143-year-old capital city in their quest for ancient empires and beach parties, or merely considered it a stop-off point, a place to quickly view the tragic remnants of the Khmer Rouge regime. Which is a shame, as Lady Penh (the city’s founder and enduring spirit) is a charming hostess – give her the chance, and she will make you feel right at home, offering an intoxicating, accessible mix of rich culture, fine cuisine and aesthetic delights. Pathway to the past: The gardens behind the National Museum, which houses a vast array of Angkorian artefacts and Buddhas. (JP/Sara Veal)In a single day you can visit elegant pagodas, inspirin...