I’ve been lucky. Always wanted to go see Cambodia and visit Angkor Wat, so when HK’s Dragon Air had a weekend getaway to Cambodia for 1300HK$ I immediately booked the flight. Thing is with those weekend getaways is that you’re always unprepared as you don’t have any time to really go through the guidebooks, get advice from friends, and read related sites and blogs. You just go. But, somehow, everything about this short getaway seemed to work out alright, despite repeating obstacles and lacking info about basic things.
The flight went from Hong Kong to Phnom Penh, where one of the tourist highlights is the Royal Palace. It stands in stark contrast to the generally low standard of living you can see around Phnom Penh, though I must say I was preparing myself for a lot worse (which I later got to see on the bus ride to Siem Reap).
Canby Publications, the leading source of information on anything in Cambodia, writes about the Phnom Penh Royal Palace:
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh was constructed over a century ago to serve as the residence of the King of Cambodia, his family and foreign dignitaries, as a venue for the performance of court ceremony and ritual and as a symbol of the Kingdom. It serves to this day as the Cambodian home of King Norodom Sihamoni and former King Norodom Sihanouk. The Royal Palace complex and attached ‘Silver Pagoda’ compound consist of several buildings, structures and gardens all located within 500×800 meter walled grounds overlooking a riverfront park. Marking the approach to the Palace, the high sculpted wall and golden spired Chanchhaya Pavilion stand distinctively against the riverfront skyline. Inside the Palace grounds, street sounds are silenced by the high walls and the various Royal buildings sit like ornate islands rising from the tranquil, manicured tropical gardens. Except for the area of the actual Royal residence, the Khemarin Palace, most of the Palace grounds and Silver Pagoda are open to the public. Enter from the gate on Sothearos Blvd about 100 meters north of Street 240. Guide pamphlets and tour guides are available near the admission booth. Guided tours are recommended. Multi-lingual tour guides available.
Following are my photos from the visit…
(Silver Pagoda complex)
(The Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya ("Moonlight Pavilion"))
Maps (my photoshot and one from the Canbypublication handbook) :
Ticket prices …
… have now been raised to 6US$ (25000 in local currency), and the opening hours adjusted to start at 8:00. Note that it’s closed on public Cambodian holidays (happened to me on the first day).
More info in these links :