Wat Phnom is one of the most visited temples in the country. The original sacred temple was built atop a hill in Cambodia’s capital city in 1373, however the spot where travelers visit today was rebuilt in 1926 and underwent a serious facelift in 1998. Traditional games take place on temple grounds to celebrate the Khmer New Year, and during the Festival of the Dead animists from across the country venture to the pagoda to make sacred offerings.
Travelers should beware of a group of gangster monkeys that residents have grown to despise. These friendly-looking furry creatures are notorious for stealing food, money and even biting tourists. It’s become so serious that Cambodian Police have issued a US$250 bounty on them (perhaps a worthy pursuit if you’re running low on cash).
Entry to the grounds costs between US$1 and US$2. Close proximity to the US Embassy, the French Colonial post office and Raffles Hotel on Michael Howe Street makes the wat an ideal starting point for a tour around the city.