Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
The Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda are two separate complexes. But, they are visited as one.
The Royal Palace is a complex of buildings which used as the royal resident of the king of Cambodia. The palace was built in 1866 by His Majeaty Preah Bat Norodom – great grandfather of current King.
The Royal Palace sits between streets 184 and 240. The main entrance is situated on Samdech Sothearos Boulevard via the Pavilion of Dancers.
The Silver Pagoda is located on the South side of the Royal Palace complex. It is where the King worshiped, prayed and held Buddhist ceremonies.
In main building, there are 1,650 art objects housed in this temple. Most of them are Buddha figures and national treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues.
The Royal Palace is daily open from 08.00 am till 11.00 am and from 02.00 pm till 05.00 pm. You have to be suitable clothes, long shorts are ok but certainly no sleeveless tops.
The National Museum
The National Museum of Cambodia is located on Street 13 in central Phnom Penh. It is next to the Royal Palace. The visitor’s entrance to the compound and the admissions ticket booth are at the corner of Streets 13 and 178.
You could visit the museum from 8.00am until 5.00pm daily. The ticket price is $5 for foreigner ages from 10 to 17 years old, $10 foreigner ages from 18 years old up. It is 500 riels for Cambodians, the children and school groups are free.
Toul Sleng Genocide Museum
In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot’s security force then it was turned into a prison – Security Prison 21 (S-21). It soon became the biggest center of detention and torture in that time.
Over 17,000 people were taken to the extermination in there. The detainees who died during torture were buried in mass graves in the prison grounds. Nowadays, the prison S-21 has been turned into the Tuol Sleng Museum, which serves as a testament to the crimes of the Khmer Rough.
You could visit S-21 daily from 7:00Am to 11:30AM and from 2:00PM to 5.30PM with US$2 entrance fee.
The museum’s entrance is on the western side of 113 St just north of 350 St.
Choeng Ek Killing Fields
Killing Fields “Choeng Ek” is located 15 kilometers south-west of Phnom Penh and made famous by the film of the same name “Killing Field”.
Between 1975 and 1978, there were 17,000 men, women, children and infants detained and tortured at S-21 prison. They were transported to the extermination to death to avoid wasting bullet.
In 1980, they found 8985 people, many of whom were bound and blindfolded from mass graves. It is estimated that 43 of the 129 communal graves here have been left untouched. This place is a chilling reminder of the brutalities of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. In the center of the area is a 17 story glass stupa which houses 8000 skulls exhumed from mass graves.
Wat Phnom “Temple on the hill”
This pagoda complex is on top 27m high hill and covered by a lot of tree. According to legend, the first pagoda was built in 1373 to house four Buddha statues of Buddha.
The main entrance to the pagoda is via the eastern staircase which is guarded by lions and naga (snake) balustrades.
Nowadays, many Cambodian and tourist come here to pray for health, good luck and success in school exams or business affairs. When the wish is granted, they returns to make the offering promised.