Cambodia: Phnom Penh – Around the City

Phnom Pehn is the capital of Cambodia and a city of 1.5 million people. Unlike many other Asian capitals however, it didn’t feel particularly congested in the center. Mostly built by French in 1920s, Phnom Pehn has wide boulevards, a lot of parks and squares, and plenty of open space, including the Mekong waterfront which runs pretty much the entire length of the city. Gleaming temples are everywhere, mostly from the second half of the 20th century (1950-70s), when Prince Sihanouk decided to make Phnom Pehn a showpiece of South East Asia. Independence Monument stands in the heart of the city near the presidential palace, also nearby is the Monument to Vietnamese troops that liberated Cambodia of Khmer Rouge in the 1970s (a classic Soviet-style brutalist architecture). Contrasting with temples and monuments are many ultra-modern glass skyscrapers, mostly built by Chinese as Cambodia is quickly turning into a Chinese backyard.