Cambodia, Day 2 @ Phnom Penh – Part 1

Day 5 started with visitation to the Royal Palace after a good morning breakfast in the hotel.

Royal Palace (ព្រះបរមរាជាវាំងនៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា)

The Royal Palace, full name in Khmer language as “Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol (ព្រះបរមរាជវាំងចតុមុខសិរីមង្គល)” is a complex of buildings serving as the royal residence of the King of Cambodia. It have been occupied since it was built in 1860s with a period of absence when the country came under the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

The complex comes in four main compounds, with Silver Pagoda on the south side, Khemarin Palace on the north side, while the Throne Hall occupied the central compound and Inner Court, which is a private sector on the west side. The buildings were built gradually overtime with some rebuilt as late as the 1960s and some of the older buildings date to the back of the 19th century.

The Royal Palace of Cambodia is a fine example of Khmer architecture where there are a slight French touch featuring its distinctive layout of defensive wall, throne hall, stupas, towering spires, mural paintings as well as the Temple of Emerald Buddha. The entire palace covers an area of 174,870 square meters.

The Palace Ground was a truly magnificent sight with beautiful landscaping all around. A great place for anyone who love to take photographs.

King Residence view from the hall of The Royal Palace

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The Throne Hall (ព្រះទីនាំងទេវាវិនិច្ឆ័យមហៃមហាបា្រសាទ)

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“Preah Thineang Dheva Vinnichay Mohai Moha Prasat”, the Khmer name of the Throne Hall represent the meaning of “Sacred Seat of Judgement”.

Formerly used as the venue where King’s confidants, general and royal officials to carry out their duties, the hall today is used as a venue where religious and royal ceremonies as well as meeting place for guests of the King of Cambodia.

The cross-shaped building is crowned with three spires, where the central, 59 metres spire is topped with a while, four-faced head of Brahma. There are three royal thrones of one western style and two traditional and golden busts of Cambodians Kings and Queen starting from the reign of King Ang Doung onwards.

Moonlight Pavilion (ព្រះទីន័ងច័ន្ទឆាយា), another beautiful building within the ground 

Moonlight Pavilion, also known in Khmer as “Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya” is an open-air pavilion that currently served as stage for Khmer classical dance in the past and present. One of the most notable building of the palace which can be seen from the outside being built alongside a section of the palace walls. There is a balcony that is used as a platform where one can view parades marching along Sothearos Boulevard of Phnom Penh.

The Chanchhaya Pavilion dominates the facade of the Palace on Sothearos Blvd. The Pavilion serves as a venue for the Royal Dancers, as a tribune for the King to address the crowds and as a place to hold state and Royal banquets. Most recently, the Pavilion was used for a banquet and a tribune for the new King at the 2004 coronation of King Norodom Sihamoni.

We then head off to the next highlight within the ground, Silver Pagoda.

The Silver Pagoda, located on the South side of the Palace complex features a royal temple called in Khmer, Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot (Khmer: ព្រះវិហារព្រះកែវមរកត) but is commonly referred to as Wat Preah Keo (Khmer: វត្តព្រះកែវ).

The main building houses many Cambodian national treasures such as gold and jewelled Buddha statues being the small crystal Buddha (the Emerald Buddha of Cambodia) the most notable one, un-determine whether it was made of Baccarat Crystal of 19th century or other kind of crystal in 17th century. The is also a almost life size, Maitreya Buddha encrusted with 9,584 diamonds dressed in royal regalia commissioned by King Sisowath. During King Sihanouk’s pre-Khmer Rouge reign, the Silver Pagoda was inlaid with more than 5,000 silver tiles and some of its outer facade was remodelled with Italian marble.

Other structures surrounding the main building are the following:

  • Statue of King Norodom sitting on a white horse
  • Bell Tower
  • Model of Angkor Wat

At the South of the main building stands four structures from west to east the Chedi (stupa) of H.M. King Suramarit and Queen Kossamak, the Dharmasala, the Chedi of Princess Kantha Bupha and The Phnom Mondop (mount mondop) where the statue of Preah Ko is situated.

The wall that surrounds the structures is covered with the painting of the epic story of Reamker but because neglected care, the bottom half of the painting faded throughout the years.

We ended the tour around The Royal Palace. Indeed it was a highly recommended place to visit when one is visiting Phnom Pehn. Ending my post today sharing some of the beautiful flowers that we saw during our visit to The Royal Palace.


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