The Phnom Penh Royal Palace complex is where the good King of Cambodia lives. It is the one single structure symbolizing the spirit and hope of the Cambodian people. The best thing is that it is open to the public and has become one of the city’s main tourist attractions!
The Royal Palace complex is divided into three main compounds -- walls separates the Khemarin Palace, the Throne Hall and the Silver Pagoda.
The seemingly modest Khemarin Palace is called “Prasat Khemarin” by the Cambodians meaning the "Palace of the Khmer King." Here is where H.M. King Sihamoni actually lives. Previous Cambodian kings used to live here as well since it was built in 1866. This part of the complex is off limits to the public.
Next to it is the Throne Hall – where the actual royal throne is located. This is where the good king receives his guests like foreign dignitaries, fellow monarchs and all. This is also where the kings and queens of Cambodia are crowned and other religious and royal functions like a wedding or something like that.
On the North side of the complex is the royal temple of The Silver Pagoda. Cambodians commonly refer to it as Wat Preah Keo. This is where the treasures of the kingdom are housed – the “Emerald Buddha of Cambodia”, the Maitreya Buddha which is encrusted with over 9,500 diamonds! [Can I yell OMG here?] And the floor of the temple is made of over 5,000 (1 ft x 1 ft) pure silver plates!
VISITING HOURS are 7.30am – 11am and 2pm – 5pm everyday. Entrance for tourists is US$3 and an additional charge of $2 if you want to take your camera in. There are prohibited places for photographs. No hats, no shorts, no tank tops, no midriffs, no miniskirts no matter if it is D&G or whatever, just follow the rules and be respectful. The tourist entrance of the complex is at Samdech Sothearos Blvd.
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