The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh - Stein Travel
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The Royal Palace

This is the principal attraction of the city and contains the best examples of 20th-century Khmer architecture. The Royal Palace is the official residence of King Norodom Sihanouk. Set among the perfectly maintained gardens is the exquisite Throne Hall, the Elephant Pavilion where the king's elephants were kept, the Royal Treasury and the Chan Chaya Pavilion, made especially for performances of classical Cambodian dance. Although mostly off-limits to the public, the Silver Pagoda can be visited. The highlight of the compound, the Silver Pagoda, takes its name from the floor of the temple, which is completely covered in silver tiles. The internal walls are decorated with frescoes depicting episodes of the Ramayana myth, painted in 1903 by 40 Khmer artists. Also called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha, the magnificent baccarat crystal image of the Emerald Buddha sits in the centre on a gilt pedestal. There are other intricately carved Buddha images on display, notably the life-size solid gold statue that stands in front of the pedestal, decorated with 9,584 diamonds.

Information & Facts

Address

No. 63, Street 348, Sangkat Toul Svay Prey II, Khan Chamkamorn, Phnom Penh

Admission

US$3, with an additional camera charge of US$2

Language

Khmer is the official language. French is also spoken, but English is fast becoming popular with the younger generation.

Money

Riel (KHR) is the official currency and is divided into 100 sen. Foreign currency is difficult to exchange with the exception of US Dollars. Most transactions require cash. US dollars and Thai Baht are accepted, although smaller transactions are usually done in riel. A torn US dollar note renders it useless. Credit cards are only accepted in a limited number of tourist-orientated hotels and restaurants in Phnom Penh and larger towns. There are a few ATMs in Phnom Penh, but they shouldn't be relied upon as a source of money; travellers cheques in US dollars or sterling can be cashed at a limited number of banks and larger hotels, though travellers cheques are not recommended due to limited acceptance.

Opening Times

Daily, from 7.30am to 11am, and 2.30pm to 5pm

Time

GMT +7.

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