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Last updated : Oct 2007
 
Phnom Penh Sightseeing
Phnom Penh Sightseeing Guide -TravelPuppy.com
Independence Monument

At the intersection of Norodom and Sihanouk

The Vimean Ekareach or Independence Monument was inaugurated in the year 1958 to celebrate Cambodia’s independence from foreign rule. Now it also serves as a tribute and monument to Cambodia’s war dead. Every night the monument is lit by red, blue and white floodlights, the colors of the Cambodian flag. It is the main site of celebrations and services on holidays such as Constitution Day and Independence Day. Though trespassing onto the monument is illegal, the best views are from across the street.

The National Museum

(Street 178 & Street 13 next to the Royal Palace Entrance fee is US $3.00; Open daily from 8.00 am - 5.00 pm.

The unique rust-red National Museum next to the Royal Palace displays more than 5,000 objects including statues from the Angkorian era, lingas and other artifacts. Though the main emphasis is on Angkorian artifacts, there is also an interesting collection of pieces from other periods. A visit to the museum after rather than before a trip to the temples of Angkor helps lend context to the Angkorian artifacts. The museum was dedicated by King Sisowath in the year 1920.

Tour guides are always available as well as souvenirs and books; however, photography is limited. Some guides mention the museum bats that inhabited the rafters that are unseen in the day but occasionally flew off in droves at sunset. In March of 2002 the bats left for good after renovations to the ceiling were completed.

Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek

The genocide museum was opened after 1979 at Tuol Sleng, a former school and central torture centre of the Khmer Rouge. Choeung Ek, a mass graves site known also as the killing fields is located 15 kilometres outside Phnom Penh. It serves as a memorial to those killed under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Wat Ounalom

Facing the Tonle Sap river near the Royal Palace, this pagoda is the main headquarters for 1 of Cambodia's Buddhist patriarchs.

Wat Phnom

At the top of the artificial hill built in the 15th century stands a stupa said to contain the ashes of the king of the same period. There is also a small Buddhist pagoda on the site. Wat Phnom is 1 of the cities landmarks and a popular gathering place for worship.

The Royal Palace and ‘Silver Pagoda’

Sothearos between Streets 240 & 184 Entrance fee $3.00 per person, $2.00 for camera use, $5.00 for video cam use. Open everyday from 7.30 - 11.00 am and 2.30 - 5.00 pm.

The Palace and Silver Pagoda are both within the same walled grounds on Sothearos just off the riverside. The most prominent features from the street are the high yellow wall and spired Chan Chaya Pavilion. The Royal Palace was completed in 1866 under the French protectorate and King Norodom. Many of the buildings in the complex were built over the following decades.

The Silver Pagoda or Wat Preah Keo Morokat is the capital’s most visited pagoda since it has an array of priceless historical objects. It is named for the over 5,000 silver tiles that cover the floor. The vihear serves as a repository for the country's cultural treasures such as the ‘Emerald Buddha’, numerous Buddha statues, and a Royal Litter among other objects. Adorning the walls of the pagoda are rarely seen turn of the century paintings of the Ramayana epic. In the small temple next to the vihear fortune tellers ply their trade.
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