Sunset dinner cruise
Lots of companies offer a cruise along the Mekong River, with the option to include a buffet dinner. It’s a great way to see the riverside skyline after dark, whilst enjoying a cocktail and some relaxing Khmer music. Prices start from around US$32 including dinner (around US$20 without dinner), and the cruise lasts between 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Companies with good reviews include Phocea Mekong and Memorable Cambodia.
If you are a fan of beer, then make sure to book a tour with Kingdom Breweries. The brewery offers a 45-minute tour of their facilities for US$6, which generously includes at least two sample beers. After the tour, you can enjoy a few more beers and a riverside view at their bar.
Mekong islands bicycle tour
Escape the city and enjoy a morning cycle on the peaceful Silk Islands. The tour includes a visit to local communities, where you can learn about village life in the Cambodian countryside. Grasshopper adventures offer a 4.5-hour morning tour of the islands for US$45, and you’ll ride a distance of around 20-25km.
If you like temples and countryside views, make sure to visit Phnom Chisor. Though it can not rival Angkor, the temple is a great example of the architecture of the Angkor period. It is set on a hill around 30km outside Phnom Penh in the Takeo Province and offers excellent views of the surrounding countryside. It takes about 1 hour to travel to the temple by taxi, and a return journey will cost around US$40-50. Make sure to visit either early morning or late afternoon, as otherwise you will have to climb 500 steps in the heat!
Kien Svay (Koki Beach)
Kien Svay is a lakeside resort around 15km outside Phnom Penh, and is an excellent place to escape the city and find some peace and quiet. There are plenty of reasonably priced food and drink options, and you can also rent a small waterside hut called a sala for around US$3 to 5. The resort is popular with locals, so it’s probably best to visit during the week to avoid the crowds.
Cambodian Living Arts
This is a great local charity that supports elderly Cambodian musicians by offering them the opportunity to train young at-risk Cambodians in traditional dance and music. You can take a tour of the facilities, watch some of the classes in action, take part in a workshop, or book tickets for a show or private performance. The Traditional Dance show takes visitors on a journey through Cambodian history and culture. The show starts at 7-8pm every night and ticket prices start from US$15.
Many restaurants in Phnom Penh hold cooking classes, all of which offer a similar experience. Most classes also include a tour of the local market and learn about Cambodian produce. Afterwards, you’ll be taught how to prepare several traditional Cambodian dishes (and eat them too!). Popular classes include those offered by La Table Khmere, Feel Good Cooking School and Frizz Restaurant. Classes last between 3-4 hours and are usually in the morning. Prices vary but start from around US$20.
Spa / massage
After a long, hot day of sightseeing, there’s nothing quite like a day at the spa for some R&R. There are lots of spa options available throughout the city, offering a variety of treatments, and even the most expensive ones are still affordable. Recommended spas include Bliss, Aura and Samata.