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New Museum in Siem Reap and more

  • efkphd

    Joined Travelfish
    29th January, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Just returned from Siem Reap. Check out the new museum, it's truly terrific. Entrance fee is $12, but worth it. Might be a useful stop before visiting Ankgor Wat. Siem Reap is a surprise, lots to do in town with a vigorous tourist scene near the market; streets and alleys closed off to traffic and filled with open air restaurants. We stayed at the mid-range City River hotel in a quiet location within 10 min. walk to the market. Small restaurants next door were excellent and inexpensive. Best time to visit the ruins is early morning when it is still cool and free from hordes of tourists. Warning: Cabin on the hi-speed boat from Siem Reap to Phonm Penh was claustrophobic (the windows were yellow). We spent the entire six hours balancing ourselves on the roof (low railing, no chairs, lots of sun & wind.) The trip across Tonle Sap lake is boring, but then the scenery gets very interesting.

    #1 Posted: 29/1/2008 - 06:03

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  • spy

    Joined Travelfish
    11th January, 2007
    Posts: 14
    Total reviews: 8

    hey thanks for the tip about the museum. Will certainly be checking it out in a few weeks!

    #2 Posted: 30/1/2008 - 04:51

  • raypond

    Joined Travelfish
    30th June, 2007
    Posts: 4

    I was at the new museum in Siem Reap last week and although I don't entirely disagree with efkphd I'm not as enthusiastic about it as him/her.

    It's a beaut building but like so many modern museums it's got lots of wide open spaces and very few (relatively) exhibits. The information on each exhibit is often less than enlightening and many are very badly lit.

    I know it is new and I suspect the curators are short of money but they are desperately short of exhibits to support the sculptures and pieces of buildings that constitute 95% of the displays. For instance: the gallery titled "Ancient Costume" does not contain a single piece of fabric or even a sketch of what Khmer clothing may have looked like. Just more statues.

    I don't want to be too harsh as it is early days. I suspect that in a few year's time it may be a great museum but at the moment the best thing in it is the excellent scale model of Angkor Wat. You can see pretty much everything else at the real Angkor Wat.

    Ray

    #3 Posted: 1/2/2008 - 09:38

  • steveatkins

    Joined Travelfish
    15th June, 2007
    Posts: 33

    Why spend you time in a museum when you have the real thing just down the road. The museum is a touchy subject with Cambodians as it is owned by a Thai company, lots of past friction over the Thai's stealing the Khmer culture and presenting it as their own,,,

    #4 Posted: 9/2/2008 - 19:11

  • efkphd

    Joined Travelfish
    29th January, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Re posting #4: I never intended the museum to be a substitute for the real thing. But it does give an over view, the room of 1000 Buddhas is amazing, it's a place to go during the heat of the day and it isn't, at least not yet, crawling with photo-mad tourists who don't mind blocking the way while they take pictures of each other. I was unaware that the museum was owned by a Thai company which may explain why the staff at our hotel was very lackluster about it. On the other hand, Cambodia seems to welcome and need foreign aid projects and overseas investors.

    #5 Posted: 10/2/2008 - 00:07

  • spy

    Joined Travelfish
    11th January, 2007
    Posts: 14
    Total reviews: 8

    I was recently in Siem Reap and I must back track on my earlier enthusiasm. Looking at the place should have warned me- basically the place has crappy pastiche towers mimicking the Angkor temples. There are some decent artifacts but the oveall interpretation is poor.

    Finally, it all seems very sterile and as another poster says, seems very commercial and controversial in terms of local economic development, the social context of Siem Reap and the Khmer history. 12 dollars too!

    So best avoid would be my advice. Go to the temples and hire a local guide.

    #6 Posted: 4/3/2008 - 22:05

  • kristinholdo

    Joined Travelfish
    30th November, 2007
    Posts: 11

    I think the museum itself its worth visting, however t is quite pricy.. it also looks like its not ready yet. It does however display a lot of information, and you will be able to stroll around in your own paste absorbing all the information.if you have a 3 dy pass in angkor, this might be a good thing to do on your second day - as you have seen the temples and know what it is all about - and you are able to relate to all the information, and styles and names.. and when you go back to the temples on the 3 rd day you might have a better understanding and apreciate it more...

    the room of the 1000 buddas is quite beautiful... the sounvernir shop is extremely expencive.

    baed on our hotels guests experiences, some really love it and I have had some who went back for a second day to buy things. I have also had people saying its average, and some said they felt it was a rp of. I tink it really depends on your interest..

    #7 Posted: 9/3/2008 - 15:33

  • Mamabelle

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2008
    Posts: 7

    We chose not to visit the museum on principle. We were given the impression that none of the money is used locally ....that it is taken out of the country.
    You would be better off visiting the landmine museum (though didn't get there this time)....the Handicapped Rehabilitation Centre in town (which we did get to).....go to the free cello concert at the children's hospital...there is plenty to do in Siem Reap that benefits the community.

    #8 Posted: 7/6/2008 - 11:45

  • dixonstreet

    Joined Travelfish
    7th June, 2008
    Posts: 10

    yes its not completed,its boring,its out of place and its expensive for what you get,i noticed about 5 westerns there and about 20 khmers they get in for about 2usd,

    #9 Posted: 7/6/2008 - 14:15

  • steiny

    Joined Travelfish
    26th September, 2006
    Posts: 11
    Total reviews: 4

    Agree with dixonstreet. I work in museums and this is not one! The museum in Phnom Penh has loads of fabulous examples of carvings from the temples. Give your tourist dollars elsewhere to benefit the local economy.

    #10 Posted: 29/6/2008 - 05:18

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