As you travel north towards the Chroy Chung Va (Japanese) Bridge, the city becomes less attractive, albeit interesting for its history. The bridge, spanning the Tonle Sap, was blown up in 1973 either by (depending on who you believe) Lon Nol forces attempting to hold off the Khmer Rouge from entering the city, or by the advancing Khmer Rouge forces. Known from then on as spean bak, “broken bridge”, it is now often referred to as chuowa chuoul hauwy, “not broken anymore”. To others it is the “Japanese Bridge”, as it was rebuilt with funds from Japan in 1993.

The traffic island at the northern end of Monivong Boulevard, just before the bridge, contains the curious Tied Gun Monument. In 1999, the government, concerned about the proliferation of firearms, seized all the guns it could lay its hands on and, amid great political fanfare, had them crushed. The remains were melted down and a sculpture of a revolver with a knot tied in its barrel was cast. However, cynics say that only the broken guns were smashed and that the good ones were handed out to the police and military.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cambodia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

This beguiling country in Southeast Asia has captured the hearts and imaginations of travellers from all over the world. Travel photographer Fiona Campbell is …

11 Jan 2016 • Fiona Campbell insert_drive_file Article
How to see Angkor Wat without the crowds

How to see Angkor Wat without the crowds

The sky is lightening. Squint and you can just about make out a change in the colour of it, a shift from inky-black to blue-black. As the sun rises further it c…

03 Jun 2015 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month