Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh Reviews

WalterC WalterC
317 reviews
Very much worth visiting Nov 30, 2014
The Royal Palace complex has 3 parts in it, which are the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the museum part (not sure what to call it exactly). When entering, you start out with the...

1. Royal Palace

This has been the residence of the kings of Cambodia for most of the time, since the 1860’s. As you walk around the place, there is just a lot of gilded buildings with its amazing architecture. The most notable is Throne Hall, where the coronations and royal weddings take place. Another building of note, is the Hor Samrith Phimean, also known as the Bronze Palace, and houses the royal costumes of different colors. But those are just a few of many nice looking buildings, in the first part of the complex.

2. Silver Pagoda

While there is really nothing silver about this Buddhist shrine, this second part of the complex is equally impressive with its Khmer architecture of the buildings. Plus it has a collection of Buddhist art around the place. There are the frescoes, but those looked faded. And a good collection of Buddha statues inside the Wat Preah Keo. Other things of note include the gray stupas (where the kings were buried) and a model of Angkor Wat.

3. The Museum part

But there is more to see after the Silver Pagoda. There is a traditional house on display, where you go inside one and see the various rooms. Plus a museum on the history and traditions on the royal ceremony. And a photo gallery on the type of houses in one place, and on royalty in another, with things used in ceremonies. Like that chair that is used to carry the king. Not sure what it is called.


Needless to say, all 3 parts of the palace complex are very much worth visiting. If time is limited, I would just check out the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. The museum part did look interesting enough, but unfortunately, I did not have enough time to give it justice, as I rushed through part of it. Still, I was satisfied for seeing at least the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, and half of the museum part.

All 3 parts are included in the admission.
entrance to Royal Palace complex
statue of guard at Royal Palace
Throne Hall - Royal Palace
steps to Throne Hall
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gingerbatik gingerba…
442 reviews
Silver Pagoda Jun 24, 2013
We visited Silver Pagoda which is located on the south side of the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh and within walking distance from our hotel. Formerly, Silver Pagoda was known as Wat Ubosoth Ratanaram. The temple's official name is Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot but is commonly referred to as Wat Preah Keo in Khmer.

The vihara houses many national treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues. Most notable is a small 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha (the "Emerald Buddha" of Cambodia) and a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds, the largest of which weighs 25 carats. It was created in the palace workshops during 1906 and 1907, the gold Buddha weighs in at 90kg and is dressed in royal regalia commissioned by King Sisowath. During KingNorodom Sihanouk's pre-Khmer Rouge reign, the Silver Pagoda was inlaid with more than 5,000 silver tiles and some of its outer facade was remodelled with Italian marble. However only a small area of these tiles are available to be viewed by the public on entering the pagoda.

Unfortunately no photograph allow inside the museum.
Chanchhaya Pavilion The current Pa…
Throne Hall The Throne Hall, the P…
Hor Samran Phirun "The pavilion wh…
Napoleon III Pavilion
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
The Royal Palace Sep 09, 2009
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is well worth a visit. The palace itself is magnificent, with gorgeous architecture and interesting art. There are fascinating friezes (the Ramayana features large), little shrines, and some magnificent buildings and displays.

The highlight for many is the incredible silver pagoda. The floor is tiled in silver, and there are incredibe golden buddhas all around the room. You aren't allowed to take photos (and the sign very helpfully has added a no camera phone sign as well as the no camera and no camcorder signs, just to make sure you have understood). So you will just have to imagine a jewel encrusted buddha three times the size of you for me, and then multiply it by several dozen. There is also a throne room, a costume display, and the pavillion that the traditional dances used to take place at.

The palace also contains a trange iron house that was a gift from Napoleon the Third, whihc serves no visible purpose - it must be hard to think what to buy the king who has everyrhing...

Speaking of which, the king still lives here - there are plenty of signs telling you which parts of the palace are off limits.

My only disappointment with this palace was that we went in a pouring rain storm - I would love to go again whne I was less miserably wet!
Part of the palace
Iron House
Not the best weather for the visit.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
edsander edsander
69 reviews
A poor man's version of Bangkok's Wat Preah Keo, but still recommended Oct 25, 2005
After lunch we visited the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. Our guide, who had a name that translated as 'Moonflower' and was much easier to remember that the Khmer original, told us about all of the ins and out of the place. Again I was amazed how Hinduism and Buddhism were combined in all of the architecture, where every little corner and layer of the roof seemed to have a symbolic meaning. We were allowed to go inside the Throne Hall and the Silver Pagoda (after taking of our shoes and not being allowed to take pictures). The Silver Pagoda, named because of its floor of 5000 silver tiles (most of which were hidden beneath carpets by the way) is officially called Wat Preah Keo (Tempel of the Emerald Buddha) and was clearly inspired by the temple with the same name in Bangkok, with emerald Buddha and all. Again, it could be considered a bit of a poor man's version of the Thai one. Nevertheless, the many statues, among which a most impressive life-sized gold Buddha with 9584 diamonds, were something to feast the eyes on.

One of the reasons why I had been reading the Ramayana myth was because the outer walls of the temple grounds features a surrounding wall depicting the Ramayana story, as in Bangkok's Wat Preah Keo. Since I hadn't been able to make any sense of the mural paintings last year in Thailand I wasn't going to let that happen again. Unfortunately the lower half of the paintings had been eroded by weather and micro-organisms over the year, so there really wasn't that much to see. Seemingly Cambodia is planning to restore the paintings over the coming years. Ah well, it still was a nice read anyway. ;-)
Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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