Thursday, October 18, 2012

Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and National Museum in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and National Museum are located side by side along Samdech Sothearos Boulevard. These three places are the attractions that we should not miss in Phnom Penh. Our suggestion, visit all these three places in a single tour. As we stayed in Landscape Hotel, we took just 10 minutes to reach the royal palace by foot.

The entrance fee for Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda is around USD6 with extra USD2 for a camera. However, we brought our camera in with no charge, although we had shown it to the counter. The opening hours are from  7:30 - 11 am, and 2 - 5 pm. Be aware that the palace guards need a lunch break of 3 hours, and the throne room, Silver Pagoda, and the Golden Buddha is closed to visitors during the long lunch break. Being trapped by heavy down pour, we took around 2 hours to walk through the palace and the pagoda.

The Royal Palace is the residence of the King of Cambodia and his royal family. The palace was built in 1866 and stands until now. It was formerly located at the intersection of four rivers- Tonle Sap, Tonle Bassac, Upper Mekong, and Lower Mekong. Although many reconstructions have taken place and the wooden structures had been replaced by concrete, the palace still exhibits strong influence of Khmer architecture, with predominating yellow and white colour, in which the yellow represents Buddhism and the white represent Brahmanism- a combination of Buddhism and Hinduism. In present Cambodia, the Royal Palace is still considered as a symbol of unity by Cambodian.

The Supreme Court of Cambodia is located opposite to the royal palace. This is the place where the trial of Khmer Rouge regime's leaders is held.

The throne hall is the prominent building in the palace compound. It was built with strong Khmer architecture. This is the place for the coronation ceremony. The hall is guarded by lions and cobra statues.
Preah Tineang Chanchhaya is a hall without wall. The purpose, moonlight can shine inside the hall. Built in 1913, this hall serves as a place for dance performance, banquet for national and international delegates, and the place where the king delivers his speech during national day of Cambodia. It is located nearby the throne hall.

Behind the throne hall stands the forbidden city of Cambodia. This is where the king and his family reside. Door is tightly shut and it is closed to visitors.

The Silver Pagoda or Wat Preah Kep Morokot (The Pagoda of the emerald Buddha) is located within the same compound with Royal Palace. It was built in 1902 and renovated at 1962, with traditional Khmer architecture. It is used for royal ceremonies. The galleries surrounding the pagoda are painted with Khmer and Hindu epic stories. Many of these painting on the galleries were very old and restoration work was still ongoing during our visit.

Silver Pagoda is not majestic or special in architectural artwork. It is famous just because of the silver tiles on it's floor. This photo was taken from the gallery during heavy rain.

The another side of the pagoda. The square temple housing the golden Buddha is located right to the pagoda.

King's statue in front of the pagoda.

National Museum of Cambodia was built in 1920 with traditional Khmer architecture. It is located at Street 13, but the entrance at Street 178. We paid USD3 per person for the entrance fee. The opening hours are from 8 am - 5 pm. Last admission is 4:30 pm. Please note that we are not allowed to take photo inside the museum. The original statue of the "Leper King" (actually Yama, the Hindu god of death) from the Terrace of the Leper King in Angkor Archaeological Park is placed at the center of the courtyard. The square in front of the Museum is the site for the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony, which prays for the coming harvest. 

National Museum of Cambodia is really easy to spot with it's maroon coloured building.
The roof of the national museum is quite identical to the royal palace and Silver Pagoda.

A beautiful garden is located right in the middle of the museum.

The biggest surprise of all- the original Leper King statue from the Terrace of the Leper King, Angkor Thom.

The museum is not big, which the collection predominated by Angkorian statues and artworks. As we had being to Angkor Archaeological Park before, the collections couldn't impress us much. We spent around 45 minutes in the museum before we had our lunch at Daughter of Cambodia, one of the two restaurants that we would like to introduce to all of you next. Click here and follow us now.

[A Trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
[Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Cheoung Ek Killing Field]
[Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and National Museum] [Food in Phnom Penh
[Shopping and Accommodation in Phnom Penh] [All Our Destinations]

You might like to read about our sharing on our Siem Reap trip too.

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