Capital of Cambodia since 1867, located at the junction of the Mekong and Tônlé Sab rivers, in the southern part of the country.
The city is a major port, with an outlet to the South China Sea through the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
The city was badly damaged and its population greatly reduced during warfare led to social upheaval in the mid-1970s. Almost all Phnom Penh's more than 1 million inhabitants were forced to live in the countryside as agricultural workers. The city was resettled during the 1980s. Population (1991 estimate) 900,000.
The city traditionally had been a commercial center for the Mekong Valley with facilities for transportation by air, rail, river, and highway.
Principal manufactures have included textiles, processed food, and beverages.
Known as a picturesque Asian city with an enduring French colonial flavor, Phnom Penh has been home to a number of cultural and educational institutions, most of which were closed in 1975, and some reopened during the 1980s.
- the University of Phnom Penh (1960)
- the Buddhist University (1954)
- the University of Fine Arts (1965)
- the University of Agricultural Sciences (1965).
Points of interest include palaces of former rulers of Cambodia and Buddhist temples.
The first permanent settlement here was probably established in the late 14th century by the Khmers, and in 1434 it displaced Angkor Thom as the Khmer capital.
Major Cities near Phnom Penh: