River cruising in Phnom Penh is a must. The capital city of Cambodia is located along the intersection of three major rivers for no reason. The three river systems are Tonle Sap, Bassac, and the mighty Mekong River. There are a number of short river cruises and sunset cruises that give Phnom Penh travelers the chance to enjoy an unforgettable tour of the city. To book a tour, simply walk along the Phnom Penh riverfront and boatmen will approach you, offering a ride. The short cruise typically takes about 1-2 hours of your time, but the memories will last for a long time, and the photos you take on the cruise will surely be a hit among your family and friends back home.
Phnom Penh is a lovely Southeast Asian city that was referred to as Pearl of Asia during its heyday in the 1920’s. If wars and conflicts did not hamper its growth for decades, Cambodia could very well be one of the leading Asian nations today. Although just a tiny developing city, Phnom Penh is rich in cultural and natural resources, and surely deserves international attention for its tourism.
River cruising in Phnom Penh starts at the Passenger Port near Street 104 and Wat Phnom along the Sisowath Quay. It is not difficult to miss since there are a number of docked boats of varying sizes, not to mention the large placard pointing out that this is the Passenger Port. If you wish for more convenience, you may pre-arrange the cruise at your hotel.
Cruising along Tonle Sap River, you slowly move along the central riverfront area where you get a stunning view of the picturesque Royal Palace, National Museum, and the entire stretch of the Sisowath Quay. You will also see the Silver Pagoda, National Museum, and a number of restaurants, pubs and galleries. You then move up the Mekong River where you get to pass by a number of floating fishing villages. The cruise costs US$10 per boat per hour.
Meanwhile, the more romantic sunset cruises begin at 4:00 PM every day. The sunset cruise costs US$4 to US$5 for each person sharing the boat. If you decided not to take the sunset cruise, the next best time of the day is early morning when the sun warmly bathes the riverfront area and the Royal Palace façade.
If you enjoyed the cruise so much and wanted to extend it, move a bit further or linger along, you may do so by asking the boatman to move slower. Simply describe to the boat operator exactly what you like and then negotiate the price. You may ask for an upriver tour deeper into the paddies and villages, arrange a romantic dinner cruise with a special friend, or take a special tour to Silk Island or Mekong Island.
If you wish to go on style, you might want to try dining at the Kanika Floating Restaurant Bar, a luxurious experience in dining and river cruising in Phnom Penh that is fully equipped with a bar and restaurant. It serves lunch and dinner daily, and is available for chartered private cruises. This unique floating restaurant is located behind the Himawarwi Hotel.