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Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda

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The Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda sit side by side on Sothearos Boulevard and between them form one of the most popular attractions for first time visitors to Phnom Penh.





Anyone with an interest in Cambodia history should pop by to meander through the palace grounds—or at least those bits open to the public—surrounded by their high and intriguing butter yellow walls. The Silver Pagoda likewise is well worth a look, and while those familiar with Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok will see the commonalities between the two, the Phnom Penh version is by far the lesser of the two.

Pick your time wisely. Photo taken in or around Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh, Cambodia by Stuart McDonald.

Pick your time wisely. Photo: Stuart McDonald

As is often the case with palaces, some of the gates have very specific purposes. The eastern Victory Gate leads directly to the entrance of the throne hall and is used only by royalty and VIPs. This is the gate through which former king Norodom Sihanouk’s body was taken for a six-kilometre procession to the crematorium through the capital’s streets in February 2013, following the customary three months during which his embalmed body lay in state in the Royal Palace. Three days later, mourners gathered around the northern or funeral gate, which is only opened after the death of a monarch. The west or executing gate was used to escort condemned prisoners exiting the palace to be killed. The southern gate is reserved for use by commoners and it is through this gate the public reaches the Silver Pagoda.

As far as palaces go, the Royal Palace is a relatively new affair, dating back only to the mid 19th century. Previously the capital was in Oudong but in 1865 the royal family moved their residence to the new digs in Phnom Penh and the following year the city was inaugurated as the country’s capital. A little more than 100 years later, the same palace became a prison as it was here that the king and his family were held as prisoners by the ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda
Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh
Open 08:00-11:00, 14:00-17:00
Admission: $10

Location map for Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda

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