Last week, Cambodia celebrated its Independence Day and though the country has been independent from French rule for a long time, French influence is still very evident throughout the city. I can still see some French-style buildings and they are just beautiful. It’s really a pity that a lot of these buildings have been destroyed during the civil war.
They also love French bread and these freshly baked baquettes are available in almost all corners. It’s crisp and really delicious plus its really so cheap!
There are also trees along most streets, most of them the flowering variety. This is really a welcome change from the stark city scape of Manila which we’ve had for a few years.
Phnom Penh also has some newly upgraded wide gardens and parks where you can sit, relax, do some people watching. This is, indeed, a city of contradictions, everywhere you can see developments, skycrapers are being constructed here and there yet people still have the time to have a break, kids fly kites, families sit together in parks. These parks are great additions since the city is getting more and more cramped.
Cambodians have also embraced the French’ love of lights and fountains.During weekend nights and holidays, its just great to take a drive to the parks near the riverside and the palace. There you can see fountains and lights on display. Entertaining, interesting and best of all, free! Here’s a nightime photo of the Independence Monument and its colorful fountains..
There’s also a newly installed fountain on the park near Sotheros St. The lights, fountains and music show is a must watch though it gets a bit crowded. Hope I could take photos of that sometime..