A visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia in the Indochina Peninsula of South East Asia is incomplete without a visit to the Royal Palace, the glittering symbol of the country’s monarchy. The Royal Palace, located in the capital city of Phnom Penh, continues to serve as the King’s royal residence. Built overlooking the Mekong River subsequent to the relocation of the capital of the country from Oudong to Phnom Penh by King Norodom, the Palace is constructed above Banteay Kev, an ancient citadel known as the Crystal Citadel which was burned down in 1834. Subsequent to its construction, it has served its purpose as the royal residence for the King for over a century.
Known in Khmer language as ‘Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk, the initial structure was developed and renovated through the years to include Throne Halls and Pavilions. The architecture that was predominantly displayed during this era was of Khmer and Thai traditions while several European influences could be seen as well. In the early 20th century, several contributions were made structurally including the Phochani Hall and the expansion of Chanchhya Pavilion and Throne Hall as well as the Royal Chapel. In addition, the old palace was demolished and replaced by the Khemarin Palace which is the Royal Residence that can be viewed presently.
In essence, the Royal Palace is a complex of buildings which was divided into three integral components. The Present Residence of Khemarin Palace is found on the south while on the north, one can observe the Silver Pagoda.
The Silver Pagoda, known in Khmer as Wat Preah Keo, is the official temple or Wat of the King of Cambodia. It derives its name from the five thousand silver tiles that were laid down on the floor of the Wat on the order of King Norodom Sihanouk. The temple is home to a number of valuable Buddha statutes composed of gold and jewels while the highlight of these statues is undoubtedly the Emerald Buddha of Cambodia, a baccarat crystal statue. Another noteworthy statue is the Maitreya Buddha composed of nearly ten thousand diamonds.
When searching for a hotel Phnom Penh will provide you with a number of viable options. A Phnom Penh hotel that merits recommendation, especially if you seek one located within close proximity to the Royal Palace, is the Raffles Hotel Le Royal. The hotel’s central location at the heart of the city provides its guests with convenient access to a number of landmarks, attractions and shopping centres with ease.