printable version The Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument Independence Monument National Museum of Cambodia Riverfront Royal Palace Wat Botum  

The Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument | Independence Monument |
National Museum of Cambodia | Riverfront | Royal Palace | Wat Botum

The Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument

The monument was built in the late 1970’s after Cambodians together with the Vietnamese armed forces, ousted Pol Pot and his brutal Khmer Rouge power in Cambodia.

Click the picture on the left for bigger photo of The Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument.

Even though this monument was built to commemorate the Cambodia-Vietnam 'recent friendship', Cambodian history records that their relationship had already started many centuries ago, when the then Khmer King Jayjetta II married a Vietnamese princess in the early 1600’s. As a result of this marriage, King Jayjetta II could get support from the Vietnamese to fight against the Siamese Kingdom (now Thailand), who attacked his Khmer Kingdom.

Location : just across Wat Botum or to the south of the Royal Palace, along Sothearos Blvd
How to get there : walking distance from Wat Botum, the Royal Palace, the Riverfront area or the Independence Monument.

Independence Monument

This huge lotus flower shaped brown monument was built by a local architect in the late 1950’s to commemorate Cambodia’s independence from French rule in November 1953. During the night the monument is particularly beautiful because of the lights that cause the monument to glow.

Click the picture on the right for bigger photo of Independence Monument.

Location : junction between Norodom Blvd and Sihanouk Blvd
How to get there : walking distance from Wat Botum, the Royal Palace or the Riverfront area
Remarks : usually tourists take photos from a distance since crossing big roads around the monument does require an extra effort.

National Museum of Cambodia

The museum was designed by a French historian George Groslier, based on traditional Khmer styles. After 3 years of construction, in April 1920 the museum was inaugurated by H.M. King Sisowath, together with François-Marius Baudoin, the French Representative in Cambodia and George Groslier himself.

Today this red-soil-coloured National Museum displays a collection of Khmer artifacts, a few of them aged over 1000 years. There are approximately 1,900 items on display and around 15,000 items in storage. Apart from stone objects, such as a sandstone female statue of Devi believed to be more than 1000 years old, the museum displays bronze objects, ceramics, ancient jewellery, silk and wooden objects.

Since they keep the building structure as it was built many years ago, the museum is not air-conditioned, hence it can be quite hot during the day in summer. (Click here for Cambodian Climate).

Click the picture above for more and bigger photos of the museum.

Location : St. 13, between St. 178 and St. 184
Telephone : +855 23 211753
Fax : +855 23 621522
Website :
Email : [email protected]
Operating hours : daily, 8am-5pm, closed during lunch time
Admission fee : US$ 3 for foreigner, 500 riels for Cambodians. Children and school groups are free
Facilities : toilets, souvenir shop
How to get there : walking distance from the Royal Palace and Riverfront area
Remarks : no photos are allowed inside the museum. Guide tours are available in English, French, Japanese. One hour group tour costs $3.


Although currently there are a few works in progress, this area along a main street named Sisowath Quay is still an interesting spot to visit. The Royal Palace is located on one side of the riverfront, while on the other side there are plenty of restaurants, hotels, cafes, and so on. Phnom Penh’s ferry terminal is also located on this street, where people can take boat rides along the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River, as well as to other cities. More info on boat rides along Mekong River in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The main tourist attraction is the Riverfront, about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) long, from the Royal Palace complex on the southern side to Phnom Penh’s ferry port in the northern part of Sisowath Quay.

Click the picture above for more and bigger photos of the Riverfront.

Location : along Sisowath Quay
How to get there : walking distance from the Royal Palace, Central Market or Wat Phnom
Remarks : many locals advise foreigners to avoid walking alone along this riverfront (the river side areas) after around 10pm, particularly in dark areas.

Royal Palace

First constructed in the 1860’s, this palace is one of the city’s main tourist attractions. It measures 435 meters (475 yards) long by 421 meters (460 yards) wide and it is also the official residence of the current Cambodian King, King Norodom Sihamoni.

It consists of many buildings within a compound. Since it is still the official residence of the current king, a few buildings and certain areas are closed to public. Some of those open to public are described below.

Preah Tineang Tevea Vinichhay (Throne Hall)

It is one of the biggest buildings of the palace, measuring 60 meters long by 30 meters wide. Usually, this is the first building visited during the palace tour. It is also easily recognized by its four-face-reliefs pointing to cardinal points on top of its roof.

This Throne Hall was built in 1917 during the H.M. King Sisowath era. Today it is the place where the royal coronation ceremony is held and where King Norodom Sihamoni welcomes foreign ambassadors or envoys and for other official purposes.

There are a few official gifts from foreign countries, which are kept inside the Hall, such as crystal lamps from France and one big piece of carpet from China.

Taking photos is not allowed inside this Throne Hall.

Ho Preah Khan (Samritvimean)

Located just next to the Throne Hall, towards the south direction, this building was built in 1915. It is used to keep the Cambodian Royal regalia and other items, such as gold shoes and jewellery.

Taking photos is not allowed inside this building.

Pavilion of Napoleon III

This building was donated by Napoleon III in 1876. It was initially used by the French for the inauguration of the Suez canal in 1869. It was then dismantled and sent to Cambodia.

It is located to the south of Ho Preah Khan.

Click the picture above for more and bigger photos of the Royal Palace.

Emerald Pagoda (Silver Pagoda)

The pagoda is often called the Silver Pagoda because of its silver tiles that are more than 20 years old. It is also known as Emerald Pagoda because there is a small emerald Buddha statue kept inside.

There are more than 5,000 silver tiles weighing 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) each (sized 20 cm (7.9 inch) by 20 cm) and more than 9,000 diamonds and Italian marbles decorating the pagoda. The diamonds mostly originated from South Africa, while the silver tiles were locally made.

Taking photos is not allowed inside the Silver Pagoda, which was rebuilt in 1962.

Location : Preah Sothearos Boulevard
Operating hours : daily, 7:30am-5pm, closed during lunch time (re-opens at 2pm)
Admission charges : 25,000 Riel for foreigners (make sure you queue at the right ticket box, since they separate the foreigner and local counters), plus US$ 5 for a one-hour guided tour (if you need one)
Facilities : toilets (acceptable conditions), souvenir shops, photo developing/printing shop
How to get there : located in the Riverfront area, reachable by either walking or other means
Remarks : it is advisable to visit the Royal Palace complex in the early morning to avoid Phnom Penh’s heat during the hot season. It can be crowded during weekends and public holidays since there are numerous local visitors who come to visit their King’s palace. Photo taking is not allowed in certain areas, but check with the nearby Royal Palace staff if you want to make sure. A booklet will be given together with the ticket and just follow the tour directions given on the last page of the booklet, should you opt not to hire a guide.

Wat Botum

Wat Botum is one of the oldest and most important Wats in Phnom Penh. It was founded in the 15th century by H.M. King Ponhea Yat.

There are many small stupas within the Wat Botum complex, which store ashes of rich and important Cambodian people, members of the Royal family, and so forth.

Location : St. 7, just opposite the Friendship Monument or south of the Royal Palace
Operating hours : daily, from around 7am to about 6pm.

...Northern Part of Phnom Penh :Previous page | Next page: other Parts of Phnom Penh...

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