Sisowath Quay and the Riverside, Phnom Penh
The Sisowath Quay is one of the only open spaces in the whole of the capital and the long and narrow park stretches along the banks of the Mekong River. Traders set up temporary stalls aimed at tourists and well off residents of Phnom Penh. The buildings which face the Sisowath Quay and the Mekong River are some of Phnom Penh's finest examples of French colonial buildings. The area of Sisowath Quay is the most popular district with tourists who are visiting Phnom Penh.
Sisowath Quay Tourist Guide
Sisowath Quay and the Riverside stretch for 3km from Street 104 to the north down to Street 178 which is located close to the main entrance of the Royal Palace. This area is pleasant to walk along at dusk as the wide River brings a slight cooling breeze and Phnom Penh's residents who have finished work, come out to stroll. The riverfront includes a pedestrian only footpath which is separated from the main road by a narrow grassy strip and palm trees. Sisowath Quay is possibly the nicest place in Phnom Penh to walk as there are a no cracks in the pavement and the area is kept clean and free of rubbish.
Most of the popular guesthouses and hotels are located in the grand buildings along this street. Below the hotels and offices are numerous bars and many of the capitals finest restaurants. Key streets heading away from the Mekong River lead to shopping areas. It is right to assume that during a stay in Phnom Penh most visitors will spend the majority of the time within this pleasant area.
The art-deco Phsar Thmei central market
The area of Sisowath Quay and Riverside appears completely at odds to the rest of the crumbling and inadequate infrastructure of Phnom Penh. The significance difference is that the entire area was funded by a Japanese aid scheme to improve the flood defences of the city and as a byproduct the riverfront was beautified. The increased flood defences were required as Sisowath Quay lies on the banks of the River Mekong just after confluence with the multidirectional Tonlé Sap River.