Penh Culture Guide
is a bustling capital city where more than 10,000 cyclos still share
the streets with cars and motorbikes. A number of roadside
cafes have popped up in recent years
and are thriving. The city is suitably located on the banks
where 3 rivers converge, the Mekong, the Tonle
Sap and the Bassac, the site known to
Cambodians as Chatomuk, or the four faces.
There is quite a lot to see in Phnom Penh, starting with a tour
of the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda
and the Independence Monument. Wat
Phnom and the market areas where antiques, gems, hand woven silks and silver
are the major sections for souvenir shopping.
A wonderful half day and day trips to ancient hilltop temples with
far reaching vistas can be ideal places for a picnic.
Royal Palace which was built in 1866 by King Norodom, is the home to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom
Sihanouk, the King of Cambodia, and Her Majesty the Queen Preah
Reach Akka Mohesey Norodon Monineath Sihanouk. Most of
the palace is situated near the public except during special occasions.
Inside the palace compound are the coronation hall which is the main entrance that houses an open-air theater for the Royal Dance
troupe, and the balcony for Royal appearances which is
a pavilion that is normally used for entertaining and viewing of the King’s
movies while the King’s private residence houses a collection
of Cambodian artwork from artists around the world. The architecturally
odd looking Napoleon III pavilion that was shipped
and reassembled in Cambodia was a gift of the French Empress
Eugenie in the early 20th century. The House of
the White Elephant is
customarily used for special royal
occasions which include Royal births, deaths or weddings.
Legend has it that, after a major flood, a wealthy Khmer woman named
Daun Penh found a tree on the river banks of the Mekong
with 4 statues of Buddha hidden inside. In 1434 she
built a temple named Wat Phnom to house
the sacred relics. Today Wat Phnom remains the
highest man-made hill in Phnom Penh and the main
centre for leisure activity.