How a tour of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh reveals a heritage hotbed beneath the new Chinese money

Phnom Penh might seem like one huge building site fuelled by Chinese money but heritage tours uncover its abundant historical and traditional architecture. Highlights include the art deco governor’s house, the stucco-clad Chinese House, and a Taoist temple, the only one of its kind to survive the Khmer Rouge.

The screech of electric saws and pounding of jackhammers are never far away in Phnom Penh.

As you explore the Cambodian capital’s tree-lined streets, you might, for a moment, imagine yourself in southern China, given the number of building sites emblazoned with Chinese characters.

At every turn, it seems, something is being torn down or is in the process of going up.

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