As with many Cambodian cities, the best way to tour the city is to hire a TukTuk for the day. You’ll pay about $30 USD and be able to go where you want, when you want with a knowledgeable driver.
For many of these experiences you’ll want to make sure that you dress appropriately (no shorts or skirts above the knee, no bare shoulders).
Start the day with the Killing Fields. This is about a 20-minute ride from the city center. You’ll get an audio player to guide you through the tour, which takes just over an hour. Here, you’ll learn and see evidence of the genocide that occurred in Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot which caused the deaths of three million Cambodians (about one out of four of the population). This is a somber experience but is well worth the trip to understand what the country has gone through.
Lunch stop in Phnom Penh
During your tour stop at Khmer Saravan (#325, Sisowath Quay) for lunch. Situated with a water-front view, they serve traditional Khmer meals that are delicious and very reasonably priced (about $8 for two people to eat).
Wat Phnom & Wat Ounalom
Head to the other side of the city to visit Wat Phnom, a temple that is still quite active and under restorative efforts. The views from the temple are quite nice and the interior is very traditional.
Just down the road from Wat Phnom is Wat Ounalom. While it’s not a popular on most tour lists, I found it be more interesting and beautiful. This compound is the center of Buddhism for Cambodia. Opened in 1443, there is still an active monastery and you can wander through the grounds a bit to see the various statues and the massive temple at the center.
Phnom Penh Royal Palace
Just down the road from Wat Ounalom is the Royal Palace. Your TukTuk driver can drop you at the end of the road. Tickets are about $10 USD. You may have to wait a few minutes to enter, as they take groups at a time to ensure there are not too many people inside at any one time.