What I see when running in Phnom Penh

Not many people realise how beautiful Cambodia’s capital city is. In fact, my weekday running route is pretty incredible when it comes to impressive buildings.

Phnom Penh's Independence Monument

Within one kilometre of my front door, there’s the imposing Independence Monument. Built in 1958, it commemorates Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953.

Right beside it, there’s a long park that runs part of Sihanouk Boulvard. Every morning and evening, hundreds of people turn out to walk and run around this green spot.

The park off Independence Monument - the place to come and walk around in circles

Some play badminton on the park’s paths. Others do karate. A few wear uniforms and do thai chi with swords. Some form a group to kick around a shuttle cock type of Hacky Sack. By 6.30am, most of these people are already finished and have made their ways back home to start their jobs by 7.30am.

The Vietnamese Cambodian Park Monument

Turning north, I’d run through the Vietnam Friendship Park. The Monument at its centre was built in the late 1970s by the communist regime that took power after the Khmer Rouge regime was overthrown.

The Throne Hall, part of the Royal Palace

Less than a hundred metres on from there is the Royal Palace. The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in 1860’s, only moving out during the Khmer Rouge.

Finally I’ll reach the waterfront, or Sisowath Quay. Early in the morning, this is THE place to do line dancing aerobics with many other women. I prefer to jog on, watching the sunrise over the Mekong and Tonle Bassac rivers that meet in Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh's scenic riverfront

Though running options are pretty limited in Phnom Penh, this one route is admittedly a very scenic way to start one’s working day.

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