On our last day we visited the Royal Palace, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Bangkok’s royal palace, and the National Museum. The architecture is very similar to that of Thailand – Cambodia and Thailand were part of the same country in days gone by so that is perhaps not surprising. However, the Cambodian architecture lacks the fineness of detail to be found in Thailand.
In the grounds there were several canonball trees, so called because that’s exactly what their fruit look like (and probably weigh like too). These trees are often to be found in the grounds of palaces and temples.
This canonball tree has a shrine at its base. You can see two of the fruit, on the level with the statue’s ears.
Who said that metal grilles need be boring?
This is the Chan Chaya pavilion which used to be used for performances of classical Cambodian dance; it is sometimes used to commemorate festivals or anniversaries.
You could only visit certain parts of the palace and photos were forbidden in the most interesting areas – the throne room and the silver pagoda, so named for the 5000 solid silver tiles on its floor, each one weighing 1kg. The room also houses a couple of thousand Buddha figures in different sizes and there are thousands of diamonds encrusted on the various figures. The life size gold Buddha figure alone is decorated with 9584 diamonds.
The exterior of the building housing the throne room
throne room tower
the building in the left foreground is the silver pagoda
In the courtyard is a curious iron building given to one of the kings by Napoleon III of France. It is currently being renovated.
One of the other buildings in the compound is a library housing sacred scripts written on palm leaves.
The topiary has been clipped into giant sized teapots and animal figures.
The epic of the Ramayana (known as the Reamker in Cambodian) is depicted on a mural enclosing the pagoda compound; it was created around 1900.
the red things are parasols minus the covering fabric
these gilt metal parasols are used in processions
This beautifully carved wooden panel was near the exit to the complex. Note the little rabbit in the foreground where the sunlight strikes
We then visited the National Museum, an attractive building in its own right, next door to the palace which houses a fine collection of stonework and statuary.
The exhibits are housed in a building which opens on to an internal courtyard filled with gardens and ponds.
Many of the stone carvings have been brought here for safe keeping from other archaeological sites in Cambodia.
there is also a large collection of stone linga
This is a beautiful wooden barge.
Beautifully coloured and good quality silk scarves on sale here were priced between 12-14USD