Phnom Penh: 9 Aug 2003


Independence Monument

Built in 1958 to commemorate Cambodia's independence from foreign rule, the Independence Monument is a signatory structure of Phnom Penh.


Looking In & Beyond

The Independence Monument  is also a memorial to Cambodia's war dead, and is sometimes known as the Victory Monument. Wreaths are laid here on national holidays such as Independence Day and Constitution Day.


Youthful Fun

The monument is located on a circular island at the intersection of Norodom and Preah Sihanouk Boulevards. Despite the roads being very busy, the monument is often visited by local. Families, courting couples, and youths alike converge here as their special place. The above is the view eastwards from the monument towards Hun Sen Park.



These ubiquitous small motorcycles and their drivers are one of the main means of cheap and efficient public transport within the city. Curiously, the drivers of motordops almost universally wear a baseball cap.


Khmer Boy

Khmers are most willing to pose for a photograph. This boy voluntarily posed for me at the western end of Hun Sen Park 


Fountain of Life

Another favorite hangout spot for the locals is the fountains at the eastern end of Hun Sen Park. This is a great place for watching people... families, courting couples, youngsters,


Friendship Monument

Built in 1979 to a Vietnamese design is the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument. The monument is a constant reminder of the resentment that most Cambodians have for the Vietnamese.


Peaceful Times

The area around the monument has been the site of frequent political unrest in the past. Demonstrators protesting the results of the July 1998 election took over the park and dubbed it "Democracy Square", while they camped out there for weeks.



Opposition members gave public speeches to the thousands that massed at the park on a daily basis, until the demonstration was crushed. Bulldozers were then quickly moved in and the makeshift structures that the demonstrators erected were razed to the ground, and a major facelift project to the park ensued. 


Wet Kids

In view of previous unrest here, the police has a large checkpoint at the northern end of the park, however the recent elections were rather uneventful and thus the park remains peaceful and most pleasant for leisure activities. The stupa of Wat Botum can be seen beyond.



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