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Phnom Penh: Asia's next cosmopolitan star?
Posted Date: 2013-09-17

 Unlike the A-list star of Cambodia's tourism show -- Siem Reap -- Phnom Penh doesn't have an ancient UNESC0-listed temple complex filled with beautiful archeological wonders to seduce global tourists.

Most visitors hit the riverside capital as a quick stopover on the way to or from Angkor Wat -- the real reason they flew across the globe to visit Cambodia.

It's to be expected, really.

More: Cambodia's amazing Phare Circus

Not many bucket lists are topped with visits to the ghosts of genocidal dictatorships. Among Phnom Penh's most popular tourist attractions are a former killing field that exhibits skeletal remains from its Khmer Rouge era and a haunting memorial at the site where thousands of executions took place under their rule.

But a cosmopolitan buzz that's lately been humming through the cracks of this city of 2 million-plus (and growing) is helping Phnom Penh drown its rep as just a sobering war history stop on the Angkor trail.

Boutiques run by French-Cambodians trained at some of the top Paris design schools dot city streets.

New pubs where well-dressed locals enjoy cocktails seemingly open every week, venues holding no likeness to the decaying hostess bars that once dominated the nightlife scene.

Source : Travel.CNN.Com
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