Well, it actually depends on an individual as to what you are looking for at Phnom Penh. My personal experience with my family is as below.
I was quite surprised to learn that the currency widely used in Phnom Penh is USD!
The first night, we stayed at Essence Hotel which was a nightmare. However, the staff were extremely helpful and friendly. Air conditioning was not working, they checked us in only about 5pm (MYT) and the phones in the room wasn’t working. A sad state of affairs for a 4 star hotel.
We then decided to book ourselves into Nagaworld hotel. A decision we were thankful of. Everything was top notch – given it is a 5 star hotel. Services, cleanliness, comfort, luxury – you name it, it deserves nothing short of 5 stars! I recommend this hotel 100%! I absolutely love the casino in the hotel at the ground floor. Yes, I made USD75 in 20 minutes but I guess that is beginner’s luck.
As you step out of the hotel, there are tuk-tuks (public transport like the ‘auto’ in India and a little carriage pulled by a motorbike). Bargain and you will get a good deal to take you around town.
Well, in Phnom Penh, specifically where we stayed (Samdech Hun Sen St), we were 1km away from the city. Honestly nothing much to do or see except for the Russian & Central markets. Though there are loads of things to see and buy at both markets, the Russian market proved to be a challenge for us as the pathways in the market were extremely narrow with poor ventilation. The heat exhausted us. Nevertheless, if you can withstand the head and don’t mind poor ventilation, don’t miss out on these two places where you can get almost everything at a reasonable price (you MUST bargain!)
We took the liberty of visiting the Killing Fields where thousands of innocent victims were killed during the Khmer Rogue period. Extremely sad to see skulls, bones, teeth and clothings of victims which are preserved at the Killing Fields. It was quite a long walk and needless to say, the heat nearly killed us. We also visited the Silk Island which is a 10 minute ferry ride. We got the chance to see how silk is produced and weaved into beautiful finishing.
Food in Phnom Penh is not cheap. A normal meal in a restaurant costs USD6 for a person which is rather expensive. However, if your tummy is open to adventure, then do try the stall food which is way cheaper. Street 132 – 136 offers some nice road side food which is cheap.
Where fashion is concerned, there is nothing much to shout about so I shall reserve my comments.
Conclusion – if you are looking for a slow, laid back holiday which isn’t very cheap, then Phnom Penh is recommended.