South of the Royal Palace complex, flanking Sothearos Boulevard, the peaceful Wat Botum Park gets its name from the adjacent temple. Within the park is a golden stupa commemorating the sixteen people killed outside the old National Assembly (corner of Street 240 and Sothearos Blvd) building on March 30, 1997, when grenades were thrown into a rally led by the Sam Rainsy party. Further south, the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument – massive sandstone figures of a Khmer woman holding a baby, flanked by two armed Vietnamese liberation soldiers – commemorates the Vietnamese liberation of Phnom Penh from the Khmer Rouge in January 1979.

The park is a lovely place to stroll just before sunset, when a handful of trainers set up boom boxes and Cambodians pay 1000 riel to join them in a rigorously choreographed, unofficial aerobics class. You will see others taking a gentler, but equally serious, approach to exercise by walking determined laps around the park.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cambodia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Should Sihanoukville be your next beach escape?

Should Sihanoukville be your next beach escape?

Sihanoukville, in southwest Cambodia, is an oft-misunderstood town. Seen as sleepy by day and seedy by night, this coastal bolthole has earned itself an undeser…

02 May 2017 • Meera Dattani insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
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
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