War Hotels

A haven from the civil war, Cambodia’s Hotel Le Phnom

From colonial luxury to killing fields, Le Phnom was a haven for journalists reporting on the Cambodian civil war.

Behind the elegant colonial facade of Hotel Le Phnom lies some of the grimmest stories of Cambodia’s brutal civil war.

When the Vietnam War spilled over into neighbouring Cambodia in the 1960s, journalists, cameramen and correspondents from around the world flocked to the Cambodian capital to cover the story.

They based themselves in Le Royal hotel, later renamed Le Phnom, which became “a home away from home”, a communications centre and a media headquarters during the long and bloody war.

Some of those reporters and media recall their experiences and relate the story of the war, through one of its enduring characters, this Cambodian war hotel.