The Cambodian capital city sits at the point where the Tonle Sap merges with the Mekong River. The river's a mile across at the point where the two waterways meet. In the rainy season, the Mekong feeds the Tonle Sap until the mighty lake is full. Then the roles are reversed and the Tonle Sap empties back into the Mekong.
By the riverfront, in Phnom Penh, there's a long narrow park lined with flags of the world. It's a place with little shade during the day when the scorching sun sees off all but the crazy, and those from cooler climes unfamiliar with the tropical sun. It's only when the sun disappears that the area comes to life. Tourists and residents alike make their way to the waterfront to enjoy the cooling breeze that drifts over the water.
Many residents come here to exercise in groups lead by an instructor. They dance in unison to tinny K-pop that blasts from portable speakers. Others play football or kick shuttlecocks to one another, trying to keep the homemade assemblies of feathers and bottle tops in the air as long as possible using only their feet. Most people only stroll along the waterfront getting their daily exercise.
The sun sets, not over the water but behind the city. A golden light bounces off the shimmering river, later turning purple and blue before nightfall. Once the sun has set, you can cross the road and find a bar or cafe to drink 50 cent beers while you watch the evening crowd disperse, and shadier nocturnal residents take their place.
In the rainy season, you'll often see lightning storms flashing and rumbling on the horizon. If you're lucky, these storms will empty their clouds into the Mekong Delta before reaching the city. If not, water will come from the sky like a high-powered jet wash trapping you where you are and providing the perfect excuse to buy another beer.