The Rivers
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Situated on the west side of the Tonle Sap River, Phnom Penh is, before all else, the city at the Chaktomuk on the Mekong River. – the ‘four faces’ – riverine crossroads in the heart of Cambodia with the Tonle Sap River running northwest to the old Angkorian capital, the Mekong River north to Laos and branches south to the delta and the South China Sea.

The River Front

Some of Phnom Penh’s most important cultural sites as well as dozens of pubs, restaurants and shops sit along the picturesque park-lined riverfront overlooking the chaktomuk – the confluence of the Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac Rivers. The Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum are clustered together between Street 178 and 240 and restaurants and pubs line the riverfront road Sisowath Quay, stretching north from the Royal Palace area all the way to Street 104 near Wat Phnom. Visit the Royal Palace and National Museum and stroll up the riverfront for a drink or a meal or to do some shopping. Just off the riverfront, Street 240 behind the Royal Palace harbors several restaurants and high-quality boutiques and Street 178 next to the National Museum is known as ‘Art Street’ and is dotted with interesting little art galleries and silk shops. Early risers, check out the spectacular sunrise over the river in front of the Royal Palace area.

River Cruises

Short river and sunset cruises along the Phnom Penh riverfront are easy to arrange and offer an interesting view of the city.

A tour cruise typically takes about 1 – 2 hours and runs up the Tonle Sap River along the central riverfront area providing a picturesque view of the Royal Palace and Phnom Penh skyline, and then across the Tonle Sap and up the Mekong River to view floating fishing villages. (Photography: Best lighting in the early morning as the low sun illuminates the riverfront.) Longer cruises are also possible and can be tailored to your requirements – upriver tours to villages and paddies, dinner and party cruises, sunset cruises, trips to Silk Island.

Boat trips can be arranged through your hotel or travel agent or you can deal with the operators directly. Tourist boats are clustered together on the river along Sisowath Quay just north of the Phnom Penh Port. Starting at around $20-$25/hour, depending on the duration and number of passengers.


Regularly scheduled, daily river cruises and excursions departing the Phnom Penh Floating Port on a western managed boat. Cruises depart every day, on schedule without fail. All cruises offer buffet meals (optional), full bar and lots of extras including live traditional Cambodian music, free filtered water and exceptionally good service.

The Silk Island Lunch Cruise departs at Noon and returns at 4:00PM, including lunch buffet and Silk Island tour. $34 with buffet, $24 without the buffet.

A 2 hour Sunset Dinner Cruise departs at 5:00PM daily and return at 7:00PM. $24 with buffet, $15 without the buffet.

It is best to book online through the CamboCruise website, though you can also book through your hotel or a travel agent, but make sure to specify that you want the CamboCruise tour. All cruises depart in front of Yi Sang Riverside / Tourist Information Center, just south of the Royal Palace. You can usually even just show up at the dock just before departure. If you do show up without advanced booking, ignore touts at the Port that try to direct you to other boats.

Tel 092-290077

KKS Travel

Riverboat offering daily sunset (4PM-6PM) and evening ‘firefly’ (6:30PM-8PM) boat cruises on the Tonle Sap and Mekong. Music and cold drinks. W.C. on boat.

Tel 016-994161

Independence Monument
Silk Island (Koh Dach)
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