The Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Independence Monument sits at the center of a huge roundabout on the corner of Sihanouk Boulevard and Norodom Boulevard in Phnom Penh, the Capital of Cambodia.

It was built to resemble a lotus shaped Stupa. Something like what you might find at Angkor Wat but it doesn't compare to what you'll find at other historical sights in Cambodia.

It's just plain ugly.

How Best to See Independence Monument

The best way to see it is from the back of a tuk-tuk. It shouldn't cost more than $2.5USD to get a trip there and once around the monument from most central locations within the city.

A trip at night is always best because the lights beautify this stale-looking pillar of concrete. But the Tuk-Tuk drivers in Phnom Penh always charge more at night and that is when the bag snatchers come out to strike.

I drove past this thing every morning for 6 months and I can say with conviction that skipping a visit to the Monument is no great loss. There are so many better sights to see and ways to spend your time while in Phnom Penh.

Unfortunately, so many of the "Sites" in and around Phnom Penh are related to the mass killings that occured in the afterath of the Vietnam/America war.

Here's a map to help you get there.

View Larger Map

The Monument is a very popular place for locals to gather during National Holidays or any source of celebration. These days tourists gather around the outside of the roadway that encircles the Monument and take photos.

They never cross the road to get to the center. It's just too dangerous with traffic coming in ALL directions.

The Significance of The Monument

When Cambodia's former king Norodom Sihanouk died, the area around the Monument was flooded with so many people that the streets were chocked with human congestion.

You can stand on the side of the road and take photos of the Monument but the road is a very busy one and I don't recommend crossing it at any time of the day.

The park that runs to the East of the Monument is a gathering place for Yoga enthusiasts in the early hours of the morning and then gets occupied by prostitutes in the evening.

Be careful at night for thieves and be careful of crazy drivers during the daytime.

They are all busy roads that lead to and slither around the Monument so it doesn't make for a quiet place to eat a baguette and drink a glass of wine.

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