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With its shimmering golden top, the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument creates a striking icon. This pillar is an instantly recognizable symbol in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
The Communist party constructed the monument in 1979 to commemorate the Cambodian-Vietnamese War, specifically Vietnamese victory over the Khmer Rouge regime then occupying Kampuchea (Cambodia). Note that it now stands as a mark of the friendship between the two neighboring countries. Many Vietnamese and Cambodian flags reinforce the area’s theme.
Examine the massive figures that dominate the monument. Two soldiers stand side by side, along with a civilian woman holding a baby. The extremely lifelike appearance of the people is typical of the “socialist realist” style. Despite its decorative golden top, the rest of the monument is constructed in utilitarian concrete. These traits reflect the aesthetic preferred by the Communist party.
The Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument dominates Wat Botum Park, located in the heart of the city. Join other visitors taking a break in the park away from the bustle of the city. A modern playground nearby is set up to delight young children. Farther north, a large statue of a golden bird greets you.
You’ll find many interesting things to see and do within close proximity of the monument. The magnificent Royal Palace complex is to the north. Appreciate its opulent architecture befitting the home of Cambodia’s king; you can’t miss its swooping golden roofs. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the park’s namesake temple, Wat Botum, or Lotus Blossom Temple. It has been an important temple in Phnom Penh since 1442.
In addition to visiting sites near the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument, people-watching in the vicinity is also interesting. In the late afternoon and evening, local residents descend upon the square with their boom boxes and do folk dance, play soccer and practice light aerobics. For a few riels, you can even take part in an exercise class.
It's worth giving yourself heaps of time at Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument. Here are the top things to do:
For more things to do, have a look at our Phnom Penh things to do page.
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