- Published on Friday, 28 September 2012 17:54
- Written by Steve Vaile
Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace, well preserved through the countries troubles, has been one of the must-do attractions of the city for travelers for quite a while. Called Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk in Khmer I thought I might have trouble locating it, I was wrong. The Royal Palace has occupied its riverside location since its construction in the 1860s. Its construction marked the change of the Cambodian capital to Phnom Penh at that time under French “protection”. Over the following decades, more and more of the royal palace was constructed. The architecture of the royal palace is in traditional Khmer style with some designs inspired by the temples of Angkor. The half of the royal palace that was the traditional residence of the royal family has been re-occupied by them since the re-instatement of the monarchy and remains closed to the public. The remainder of the complex and the Silver Pagoda are both open to walk around, assuming you have the proper attire. It is a significant cultural and religious spot the caretakers ask that you show your respect and dress modestly, which in this case usually involves covering your shoulders and knees. This is where many tourists get annoying with the royal palace, but they will sell a t-shirt to those who are unprepared, and don’t be offended if they think your appropriate attire is inappropriate. If you don’t want to make that purchase you can simply return later after changing, becoming angry over a few dollars isn’t what a vacation is about! The Royal Palace is a great morning trip, first of all because its location leaves you with many places to grab lunch after as well as being close to so many parks and is on the riverside itself. Walking around the Palace only takes a couple hours. I’d suggest grouping it with the national museum to have a day of it. Make sure to bring a camera as well, I found the exteriors of the palace to be more photogenic than the palace I visited in Bangkok a few years ago.