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The National Olympic Stadium. 

The Olympic Stadium is a very important building in Phnom Penh, built as it was by Cambodia’s most famous architect, Vann Molyvann. The stadium is one of the city’s landmarks and holds 70,000 people, it was built in 1963 and was finished remarkably quickly, by 1964. 

The South East Asian Games were to be held in the country in 1963 but due to an unstable political situation they were cancelled, sadly enough, even though the games are to be held in Phnom Penh in 2023, they will not be held here either, a new stadium is being built for the purpose elsewhere in Phnom Penh. It seems a shame that this iconic stadium built by the great Molyvann has only been host to a couple of low level events although it is the home for all of the international football matches in the capital. It was also home to the matches between North Korea and Australia during the 1966 World Cup, matches which North Korea won and then went on to reach the quarter finals incidentally.


The indoor courts above really show off the vision of Molyvann, the abundant natural light outside shining through the many vents and making an impressive light show for any spectators.


The wide corridors above the indoor courts are a pleasure to walk through, especially as they are more often than not totally empty, adding to the atmosphere.


The football pitch and runnng tracks are often used for international matches and is the most reasonable ticket price I have seen at $1.25.


I have read that the olympic size pool and the diving area are unswimmable due to a non-working filtration system but if true that certainly does not seem to stop people. 

So if you have driven past a hundred times or if you are only here for three days, drop by and have a look inside, it will cost you nothing and is worth it, or stop by early evening and join the throngs eating in the food area outside or early in the morning and join in with some vigorous exercise to start the day.

Check it out, it’s worth it.

Lucien Grey.

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