Nom Pen also written as Phnom Penh, and known among sixteenth-century Spaniards as Chordemuco, is the most populous city and capital of Cambodia, since the French colonization. In addition, it is the economic, industrial, political, cultural and diplomatic center of the country. In the metropolitan area live about 2.2 million inhabitants. It is the seat of government and an important commercial center in Southeast Asia due to its strategic location in the delta and the confluence of the Mekong, Sap and Bassac rivers, which make it a river port with access to the South China Sea. As a tourist center, the city preserves the Asian cultural environment and its controversial history.
It was known as the "Pearl of Asia", and was considered one of the most beautiful French cities of Indochina in the 1920s. The city, together Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, is a significant tourist destination of the country, both locally and globally. It was founded in 1434, and is famous for its beautiful and historic architecture and tourist attractions. There are still a good number of French colonial buildings scattered along the grand boulevards.