A rough ride through history
Phnom Penh's turbulent past has seen it endure rival ruling interest from the Thais, Vietnamese and French. It peaked as a powerful trading centre in the 16th century, but was then burned to the ground in 1772!
There are several aid-organisation-run restaurants in Phnom Penh, which serve to fund social programs throughout Cambodia, the most well-known of which is Friends. The staff are former street children who are being trained to find work in the hospitality industry. Dine at Friends, and as well as enjoying great food, you’ll be helping to get kids off the streets and provide them with invaluable work experience.
The Champey Academy of Arts is a dance school set up to train orphans and children from poor families in the art of traditional Khmer dancing, providing them with a future career. The centre is located near the National Museum, and can easily be included in a morning or afternoon tour. Any visitor to the training centre will confirm that the children enjoy their new found skill!