City Guide – Phnom Penh and La Rose Suites

City Guide - Phnom Penh and La Rose Suites

Photos: La Rose Suites, Phnom Penh

Visiting Cambodia has been on my mind since September 2012. I can exactly pinpoint it to September 2012, because that was when my dear friend Cailee sent me the most detailed Facebook message about the main sites to see and places to eat in various cities in Cambodia. After spending a year in Cambodia, Cailee knew so much about the country. I felt like I was getting the insider scoop. So why would I miss it?

So below I will share my first City Guide – Phnom Penh with many suggestions provided by Cailee!

We spent four days in Cambodia’s beautiful Capital, Phnom Penh. I am not sure what I was expecting prior to arriving in Phnom Penh, but I was greeted with a booming city of color, lights, motorbikes and the smell of cooking food. However, the chaos of the outdoors was quickly silenced the minute we exited our TukTuk, and walked through the beautiful double doors of La Rose Suites in Phnom Penh. As avid users of TripAdvisor (see my post here on Five tips for using TripAdvisor), we found La Rose Suites easily as it #1 rated hotel in Phnom Penh on TripAdvisor. The tranquility of the reception area is divine and we were offered a delicious welcome drink. Thank you very much!

City Guide - Phnom Penh and La Rose Suites

City Guide - Phnom Penh and La Rose Suites    City Guide - Phnom Penh and La Rose Suites

ROOM: I cannot rave enough about the room. It’s spaciousness is enough to make any traveler swoon. Also the bed, its so comfortable, it is like sleeping on a cloud. Ryan spent a good portion of one evening sitting in the desk chair watching soccer and only after a good two hours in that chair did he get up, sit on the bed, and begin the lamenting process of all the time he missed laying in the bed as opposed to sitting in the desk chair.

SPA: La Rose Suites offers a very professional spa service. I had a relaxation massage, and it was wonderful. Although, there was one odd portion when I was laying on my back and the masseuse began massaging my stomach. Totally laughed but the masseuse maintained professionalism. I would say I never need a belly massage again, but it was interesting nonetheless. Also, since the spa is on the 3rd floor (we were on the 2nd), I wore this robe to my massage. Since I am obsessed with gingham, I was seriously thinking about keeping the robe. I had no idea prior to arriving in Asia, but so many hotels basically allow you to buy ANYTHING in the room. From the TV to the robe, it can all be yours for a price.

City Guide - Phnom Penh and La Rose Suites

City Guide - Phnom Penh and La Rose Suites

La Rose Suites is a perfect spot to launch your Phnom Penh explorations. It is a few minutes walk from Independence Circle and just a TukTuk ride away from anything in the city.

GETTING AROUND: Most TukTuk drivers will try to convince you that everything is far away to try and charge you more for the ride, but friends, nothing, aside from an airport TukTuk ($7), should be more than $2-$3. I am sure it should only be a $1, but hey, there is always a tourist price and a local price, just make sure you don’t get the extra tourist price.

CURRENCY: Since Cambodia’s economy is still in recovery mode, their currency, the riel, is interchangeable with the USD. $1 = 4100 riel. As our hotel manager said, “Cambodia is the land of wonder!” So you can pay however you like. So prior to arrival in Cambodia, only bring small bills. The ATMS spit out $100 bills like its no one’s business (yep, I am just rolling in my $100 bills – I wish) and it is a pain to exchange for smaller bills.

1. National Palace : GORGEOUS to wander through but make sure your shoulders, chest, and knees are all completely covered.
2. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: An important memorial to visit while in Phnom Penh to fully understand recent Cambodia history.
3. Russian Market: Do it over Central Market (super touristy). The Russian Market is a REAL Cambodia market, but you will still be able to get your printed elephant pants, promise!
4. Flicks: It’s a really awesome movie house with delicious A/C and you can watch the movies on giant pillows on the floor! $3.50 for as many viewings as you want.
5. Cambodian Living Arts: Fosters traditional Khmer art forms by sponsoring masters who survived the genocide and trained youths in dance, music, and traditional shadow puppetry.

1. Friends: Really good food and benefits a great charity for street children.
2. Sovanna: Authentic Khmer BBQ experience. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE HIGHLY ENOUGH!
3. FCC: Beautiful place to get drinks overlooking the river at dusk. AVOID the food though, it’s not great and overpriced.
4. Warung Bali: Great Indonesian restaurant.
5. Romdeng: Associated with Friends, so also a great cause.


We are currently in Cambodia, follow along on Instagram!

Additionally, I am cohosting a link up with Laura, from I do deClaire this week!

I do deClaire (Bloglovin) | Ginger Side of Life (Bloglovin)

LocationLOCATION: Phnom Penh

    • If I have a chance to visit Cambodia one day I definitely gonna check your useful tips, Chelsea! Wonderful rooms with dark wood! So stylish somehow!
      And I would laugh all the time while having a belly massage too! I can imagine what a funny moment it must have been for you, lovely! :-DD

      xoxo Ira

  1. I so want to pack up all my bags and go on a trip of a lifetime like you are doing! Too funny about the cab drivers. All of the photos are gorgeous, especially the first table photo and what are those drinks? They are very colorful!


    • The drinks were a grapefruit drink! I loved mine so much, I greedily asked for a second :/ it was so nice to enter the hotel to a fresh and cold juice!

  2. How nice that you got the inside scoop on all the places to go in Cambodia! I’m having fun living vicariously through all your travels :)
    Oh, and I would have totally wanted to buy that robe too, it’s too cute!

  3. OK, I need a trip to Asia pronto… and adding Cambodia to the list! Phnom Penh sounds llike such an amazing city to explore. The National Palace and the movie house sound like so much fun! I’d love to take a visit to the Genocide Museum too… always great to have a dose of history when you’re traveling!

    Yes, Trip Advisor saved my life when I was studying abroad this past semester! Your hotel looks like an absolute dream. And haha, your spa experience reminds me of that one video Conan O’Brien did with Steven Yeun… they went to a Korean spa here in LA and their massages looked quite interesting I would have to say hehe.

    • Hi Kelsey,

      First, that you for your thoughtful comment :) and yes! You need to plan a trip to Asia. It is so affordable here, so basically you can do almost everything you want barring time constraints.

      Cambodia is just so beautiful. The Genocide Museum was very much a downer, but so important to see from a historical standpoint and to pay respects to all those who lost there lives. It is hard to imagine such atrocities occurred in the middle of town. But it was heart warming to see the Cambodian people focus so much on cultivating the arts that they lost during the Khmer Rouge.

      Where did you study abroad?

  4. Love your photos and your detailed city guide! My friends are Cambodian and she talks about how she wants to go to Cambodia soon! Definitely going to send this link to her if she ever needs some sort of guide since it will be her first time there! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Katherine!

      How fun that your friend wants to go to Cambodia! There is so much more to the country than just Angkor Wat!

    • Hi Chelsea…haha it looks like I am having a conversation with myself!

      Anyways, yes, Cambodia is so beautiful. I think you would love it if you choose to go :)

  5. I always wanted to go to Cambodia. That is such a pretty bed and bedroom. So happy to see you co-host with Laura as you are one of my favorites. =)

  6. I’ve never really thought of visiting Cambodia, though your photos have certainly put the thought in my head! I really love your photography, it’s consistently crisp and fresh :)

    ps. I will be sure to check out Laura’s blog too!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  7. Looks like such an amazing hotel! I’m glad you got a massage but know how you feel when they get weird. In Asia they sometimes do things a little differently. In Indonesia you always get a very intense butt massage haha
    Melanie @

  8. Holy cow! What an amazing hotel room! I love all your tips and places to see. It’s best to get that from a person who has been there from a guide book. Sounds like a fantastic place to visit. I laughed out loud reading your comments about the local price, tourist price, and extra tourist price! Thanks for co-hosting!

  9. It looks like a dream. I haven’t spent time in a nice hotel in ages. We went away without kids last year but we had the dog and didn’t get a nice room.
    Now I have the travel bug AND the nice hotel bug. Ah, spa service..

  10. I’ve been as well and it is really such a lovely city! I remember I got out to one of the islands one day and saw them making silk, it was quite the experience! I love your photos and that hotel looks so gorgeous!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

  11. What a beautiful room, I just love that little desk/working desk. This seems like a VERY relaxing place. Thank you for sharing with “Bloggers Who have Inspired Me” link up last week. I look forward to more of what you have to post/link tomorrow.
    Rachel xo

    Garay Treasures

  12. WOW! I am so impressed with your traveling! I don’t think I would have the balls to go all the way to Cambodia! Kudos! Love your photos & thanks for linking up!

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