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Happy Independence Day Cambodia

Phnom Penh, capital city of Cambodia, in the evening, looking across the Mekong River to the city's Riverfront area.

Phnom Penh, capital city of Cambodia, in the evening, looking across the Mekong River to the city’s Riverfront area.

ONE NIGHT IN PHNOM PENH | Darrin Henry

It will be Cambodian Independence Day tomorrow, 9 November, when the Khmer people will celebrate 62 years since they broke away from 90 years of French rule.

There will be customary festivals across Cambodia with colourful parades and firework displays.

The Independence Monument

We were in the country for the Khmer New Year in 2015 and having then experienced the wonderful social atmosphere of Phnom Penh at night, we can imagine how amazing the Cambodian Independence Day celebrations are going to be.

Group of young friends in the park by the Riverfront, out for the night along with hundreds of other people.

Group of young friends in the park by the Riverfront, out for the night along with hundreds of other people.

North along the Riverside, the area dubbed ‘Pub Street,’ lined with western styled restaurants, bars and hotels.

North along the Riverside, the area dubbed ‘Pub Street,’ lined with western styled restaurants, bars and hotels.

The large billboard of the King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihamoni, on the Riverfront in Phnom Penh. King Sihamoni ascended the throne on 14 October 2004.

The large billboard of the King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihamoni, on the Riverfront in Phnom Penh. King Sihamoni ascended the throne on 14 October 2004.

Independence Monument, or Victory Monument, where Cambodia's Independence Day parades usually begin from. Independence Monument is located at the junction of the Preah Norodom and Preah Sihanouk Boulevards and at the end of Neak Banh Teuk Park.

Independence Monument, or Victory Monument, where Cambodia’s Independence Day parades usually begin from. Independence Monument is located at the junction of the Preah Norodom and Preah Sihanouk Boulevards and at the end of Neak Banh Teuk Park.

Phnom Penh, the capital, will be the main focus of celebrations with a parade beginning from the lotus shaped, Independence Monument (also known as Victory Monument). The procession will make its way pass the Royal Palace and on to the large park at the Riverfront. King Norodom Sihamoni is likely to be involved with celebrations.

The Cambodian flag is flown with extra pride on 11 November, Independence Day.

The Cambodian flag is flown with extra pride on 9 November, Independence Day.

We Love Cambodia

Cambodia is stunning, what we saw during our two weeks there, with beautiful people who remind us of our own Saints. As sad as it was to visit the Killing Fields and learn about that tragic era from the late 70s, we were completely amazed by the intense culture of this corner of Southeast Asia. The heat, the traffic, the food, the people, the temples, the tuk tuks… all amazing and all 100% full on, all the time!

A Cambodian family joining the hundreds of people who gather in the park on the Riverfront in Phnom Penh, just relaxing and enjoying social time together.

A Cambodian family joining the hundreds of people who gather in the park on the Riverfront in Phnom Penh, just relaxing and enjoying social time together.

Late night on the Riverfront in Phnom Penh.

Late night on the Riverfront in Phnom Penh.

A tuk tuk taxi with a late night fare travelling through the middle of Phnom Penh.

A tuk tuk taxi with a late night fare travelling through the middle of Phnom Penh.

King Norodom Sihanouk’s statue in Neak Banh Teuk Park at night, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Victory Monument can be seen in the background. Cambodian Independence Day celebrations will be focused around this park.

King Norodom Sihanouk’s statue in Neak Banh Teuk Park at night, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Victory Monument can be seen in the background. Cambodian Independence Day celebrations will be focused around this park.

Some quick facts about Cambodia:

Official Language: Khmer

Government: multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Current monarch: King Norodom Sihamoni

Prominent Religion: Theravada Buddhist

Prominent Ethnic groups: Khmer, Chinese, Vietnamese

Population: Approx 15.5 million

Capital City: Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh at Night

To mark Cambodian Independence Day, with this post we are sharing some of our night photos as it brings back wonderful memories of that warm night on the Riverside, surrounded by friendly people, all peacefully enjoying just being out.

Happy Independence Day, Cambodia!

Tuk tuks lined up outside the bars and restaurants along the Riverfront in Phnom Penh, hoping to pick up a fare after their meal.

Tuk tuks lined up outside the bars and restaurants along the Riverfront in Phnom Penh, hoping to pick up a fare after their meal.

King Norodom Sihanouk’s statue in Neak Banh Teuk Park at night, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Victory Monument can be seen in the background. Cambodian Independence Day celebrations will be focused around this park.

Sunrise over the Mekong River in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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