, Cambodia, the national capital. It lies at the junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, about 170 miles (270 km) from the Mekong's mouth. Phnom Penh is the nation's chief commercial, transportation, and educational center. The Royal Palace, residence of Cambodia's king, is here.
Phnom Penh was founded in the 14th century and served as the royal capital for nearly a century, beginning in 1434. It was again made the royal capital in the mid-19th century. The French made Phnom Penh their administrative center when they occupied Cambodia in 1863 and the city became the national capital upon independence in 1953. After the Communist conquest of Cambodia in 1975 the city's population and importance diminished because of forced relocation of residents. By the late 1980's Phnom Penh's population had increased significantly and its importance had been restored.
Population: about 900,000.