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Wet fun on the downward spiral

The brightly coloured water park has a medieval theme.
The brightly coloured water park has a medieval theme. Athena Zelandonii

Wet fun on the downward spiral

The new Grand Phnom Penh Water Park packs a lot of wet and wild medieval-themed fun into just 8,000 square metres (slightly larger than a football field) of brightly coloured slides and iridescent blue pools.

The water park to the north of Phnom Penh had its soft opening last month inside the semi-developed, 260-hectare gated Grand Phnom Penh International City. (Bathers are shielded from the construction site wasteland surrounding the park by a high white wall.)

A castle-shaped main building contains a café, gym, children’s playroom, changerooms, swimsuit vendors and seating areas.

Pool features include winding inner-tube rides, a bumpy slide, a giant mechanical water bucket, slow-moving moat, climbing forts, slides for the little ones and more.

Already proving popular as the hot season ratchets up the temperature, the place was packed with children and their parents even on a Tuesday afternoon this week.

“It is a fun place to swim,” said Kuong Vath, 16, coming off a trip down the slide. “It’s so hot out now.”

As well as two leisurely looping water-slides, the park also boast a four lane racing style set of slides for the more competitive or those who just have a need for speed.
As well as two leisurely looping water-slides, the park also boast a four lane "racing style" set of slides for the more competitive or those who just have a need for speed. Athena Zelandonii
The primary and pastel turreted entrance of the Grand Phnom Penh Water Park is quite grand indeed.
The primary and pastel turreted entrance of the Grand Phnom Penh Water Park is quite grand indeed. Athena Zelandonii
Looking across the lazy river from the back of the park, which is a manageable maze of smaller pools, slippery slides, rope bridges and buckets ready to drench unsuspecting patrons.
Looking across the lazy river from the back of the park, which is a manageable maze of smaller pools, slippery slides, rope bridges and buckets ready to drench unsuspecting patrons. Athena Zelandonii
The decadence of the park in mid-afternoon full swing, viewed from the top of the highest tower and the starting point for the steep racing slides.
The decadence of the park in mid-afternoon full swing, viewed from the top of the highest tower and the starting point for the steep "racing slides". Athena Zelandonii
The waterfall from one of the periodically drenching dump-buckets just moments before it showers those waiting and squealing eagerly below.
The waterfall from one of the periodically drenching dump-buckets just moments before it showers those waiting and squealing eagerly below. Athena Zelandonii

Howie Shou, the owner of the eponymous Street 51 bar who visited last week with his children, gave the water park the thumbs up.

“The place is very nice. My kids like it very much,” said Shou. However, he said crowding was a problem because the park was so small.

“I plan ​to go again soon, but not on a weekend.”

The water park is open to the general public with tickets $4 for children and $5 for adults from Monday to Friday and $5 and $7 on weekends.

The Grand Phnom International City Penh Water Park is located in the Grand Phnom Penh International City development off the northern end of Hanoi Street. From Khmer New Year on, it will be open from 9am to 6pm. For more information, call 023 997 882 or visit their Facebook page.

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