A Chinese-funded stadium officially opened on Saturday with a colourful display of arts and traditional dance.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian attended the event that saw the host venue of the Southeast Asian Games 2023 throw open its doors.
Thousands of military, officials and students all holding Chinese and Cambodian flags attended the inauguration of the $160 million Moradok Techo National Stadium.
The 80-hectare site can hold up to 60,000 and boasts 54 exits.
On the football pitch, number 502 was the countdown, representing the remaining number of days until Cambodia hosts the games.
The stadium is located in Russei Keo district, in front of Hun Sen’s Win Win Monument.
In a speech, Hun Sen thanked China for the funding and support.
"Today, we have achieved this great achievement, but I think something even greater that cannot be measured is the depth of spirit that the Chinese leaders, the Chinese people, have given to the Cambodian people,” Hun Sen said.
"Today is a great achievement, but what is even bigger is the encouragement that our friends have given us to strengthen the socio-economic development while strengthening the independence and sovereignty of Cambodia," he added.
The stadium opened to the public on Saturday, with a display of fireworks planned for the evening.
“People can now come and see, don’t wait until the SEA Games,” Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General at National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC). “We will display fireworks with pride,” he told local BTV news at the stadium, adding there will be tour guides available for visitors.
“It’s a pride to all Cambodians and foreigners that the country has its own international standard stadium,” he said. “There is only this beauty in Cambodia.”