- Irving Wallace
The Royal Palace is a famous landmark in Cambodia and one of the Phnom Penh attractions that should not be missed. The palace was first constructed here in 1866. Since it's long standing location in Angkor, between the aforementioned date and the 15th century when the Angkor empire came to an end, the palace has had various locations based on who was in power or political influence. But its been pretty secure for the last 150 years, except for a period where it was not occupied after the Khmer Rouge were in power. Originally the location here was an old citadel on which the present day temple was constructed, and the temple is located next to the Mekong River.
The layout of the temple is over 3 principal compounds in which there is the Silver Pagoda, the Main Palace and the Central Throne in the central compound. The palace has been continually amended by Khmer and French architects. There are also several pavilions within the grounds which form part of the entire complex where they've historically they've had traditional uses including religious ceremonies and dance halls which are still used today for the same purposes. On a visit to the site you can enter all the buildings except the Khemarin Palace compund as this is where King Norodom Sihamoni, the present King of Cambodia, currently resides. The buildings, due to recent restoration but also visible Khmer architecture exisiting from their original construction, are magnificent and full of colour and religious symbolism, temple-like in appearance, and are well known as being some of the most impressive in all of Southeast Asia.
The Royal Palace costs US6.25 for access to all the buildings in the entire site (except the royal residence of King Norodom Sihamoni).
The Royal Palace is open all day long, and can get quite busy. We'd recommend allowing around an hour and a half to see the palace in its entirety.
The Russian Market or National Museum are located nearby within the center of town. Further afield are other sites of interest such as Ta Mao Zoo or the Killing Fields.
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