Top 10 Video Youtube that have people around the world always want to visit (10 Video ) 04 July 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

 Top 10 Video Youtube that have people around the world always want to visit (10 Video ) 04 July 2015
         1.  GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V = 2,367,631,217

      2.  Baby  ,Justin Bieber  =1,185,091,299

3.Dark Horse,  Katy Perry=1,014,056,143

4.Roar ​, Katy Perry     980,178,704

                                5.Enrique Iglesias ,Bailando, Descemer Bueno & Gente De Zona=941,600,932 


6. Party Rock Anthem,​ LMFAO= 897,464,217

 7.Love the Way You Lie ,​ Eminem &Rihanna=888,669,880

8. Waka Waka This Time for Africa,of ​ Shkira=881,870,373

9. Gentleman   of     Spy =853,154,493

10.On the Floor of ​ Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull =842,915,733


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Phnom Penh City

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia was founded in 1431 by King Ponhea Yat after the sack of Angkor. Phnom Penh is conveniently located at the junction of four rivers: the upper Mekong, lower Mekong, the Tonle Sap and the Bassac. Phnom Penh was also previously known as Krong Chatomuk “City of four faces”. Phnom Penh is the political, economic, industrial, commercial, cultural, tourist and historic center. The colonial city with French influenced architecture still maintains considerable charm.

The capital is subdivided into 8 Khans; Khan Dang Kor, Khan Meanchey, Khan Russey Keo, Khan 7 Makara, Khan Doun Penh, khan Toul Kork, Khan Chamkarmorn & Khan Sen Sok.
Area : 357 km2
Population : 1,325,681(2008)
Population Density : 4,571/km2

Tourist Attractions

Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda

Royal Palace, Phnom PenhFirstly the Royal Palace was erected in the reign of King Onhea Yat (1434), and secondly it was erected in the reign King Norodom (1866). The Royal Palace was formerly called "Preah Barom Reach Veang Chatomuk Mongkul" that meant it was conveniently located at the confluence of four rivers. Nowadays it is only called "Preah Barom Reach Veang".

The Royal Palace is a royal residence now where his majesty, the king of Cambodia, and the royal families live. In a common word, it is like a small town of royal dynasties.

National Museum

national museum phnom  penh by JP SwizzleNational Museum Designed by the French George Groslier and “Ecole des Arts Cambodgients” it was built in 1917 in the reign of King Sisowath in traditional Khmer style. The National Museum houses the world’s important collection of ancient Khmer archeological, religious, and artistic from the 4th to the 13th centuries. There are over 5000 pieces are on display including Angkorian era statues, lingas and other artifacts.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom by Debarka BanikWat Phnom is located on a hill 27 meters high in the center of Phnom Penh. The legend of founding Wat Phnom has it that in 1372 Lady Penh (Yeay Penh) fished a floating koki tree out of the river. Inside the tree were four Buddha statues. She built a hill (Phnom) and a small temple (Wat) which is now known as “Wat Phnom”. The current temple was last rebuilt in 1926 and the large stupa contains the remains of King Ponhea Yat who moved the capital from Angkor to Phnom Penh in 1422.

Toul Sleng Genocidal Museum (S 21)

Toul Sleng PrisonThis was a high school prior to the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-79). The museum of Genocidal Crimes it was used by the Khmer Rouge as a detention and torture center in the late 1970 which chronicle the years under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. The building now serves as a museum, a memorial and a testament to the madness of the Khmer Rouge regime. Much has been left in the state it was in when the Khmer Rouge abandoned it in 7th January 1979. The prison kept extensive records, leaving thousands of photos of their victims, many of which are on display. Paintings of torture at the prison by Vann Nath, a survivor of Toul Sleng, are also exhibited.

Cheung Ek Killing Fields

Cheung Ek Genocide MemoriaThe notorious Killing fields of Cheung Ek is located 15km of Phom Penh. In this place more than 17,000 civilians were killed and buried in mass graves; many of them transported here after detention and torture in Toul Sleng prison.
The memorial at Cheung Ek just outside Phnom Penh was an orchard and a Chinese cemetery prior to 1975. Cheung Ek is now a group of mass graves, killing areas and a memorial stupa containing thousands of skulls and long bones.

Central Market (Phsar Thmei)

Phsar Tmei - Phnom PenhThe unique, art décor building is a Phnom Penh landmark. Prior to 1935 the area was a swamp/lake that received the runoff during the rainy season. Central market is one of the largest and business markets in Phnom Penh which is a big yellow dome. Built in 1937 by French architects many interesting products are available. Central market in Phnom Penh is a good place to purchase everything from fish and vegetable to second-hand clothes, silk scarves, silverware, gems, antiques and other commodities.

Independent Monument

Independence Monument - Phnom PenhThe independence Monument (Vimean Ekareach) was inaugurated on 9th November 1962 to celebrate Cambodia’s independence from French rule (1863-1952). It was designed by the renowned Cambodian architect, Vann Monyvann.

The Independence Monument is today used to commemorate the souls of combatants and heroes who laid down their lives for freedom of country. It is the site of colorful celebrations and services on holidays such as Independence Day and Constitution Day.

Ounalom Monastery

Ounalom Pagoda, Phnom PenhBuilt in 1443 to enshrine a sacred hair of the Buddha, and located north of the National Museum of Arts, this temple is considered the seat of Cambodian Buddhism. When the Khmer Rouge evacuated Phnom Penh in 1975, they vandalized the building and murdered the Abbot along with many of the 500 monks who lived there.
Located on the riverfront which is reputedly the oldest Buddhist foundation in the city, probably predating the abandonment of the capital at Angkor in the 15th century. The founding date is variously cited as 1422 and 1443.

National Olympic Stadium

A front view of the main gatesConstruction on the National Sports Complex started in 1963 and was completed in 1964. Designer Vann Molyvann made use of massive earthworks to create the stadium, digging up 500,000 cubic meters of earth to shape the grounds.

The stadium might have been built to host the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, but the games were cancelled due to political problems in Cambodia. There was also the short-lived GANEFO games, and they were held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 25th~December 6th, 1966 and were named

'First Asian GANEFO'. The stadium did play host to appearances by visiting dignitaries and state occasions, and was the home of Cambodia's national athletics teams.

The stadium played a small part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Unexpectedly, North Korea faced Australia in a qualifier. Because North Korea lacked dipomatic relations with most countries, finding a suitable venue for the match proved difficult, until Head of State Norodom Sihanouk, an ally of Kim Il-sung, said the matches could be held in Phnom Penh. The matches attracted 40,000 fans, with Sihounouk decreeing half would cheer for Australia, while the other half cheered the Koreans. The matches were held on 21 November 1965 and on 24 November 1965 with North Korea winning both (6–1 and 3–1). Because South Korea and all African teams had withdrawn in protests against FIFA, North Korea were thus directly qualified to the final tournament, where they reached the quarter-final.

Among the facilities are Olympic-size pools for swimming and diving and an indoor volley-ball court with a capacity of up to 8,000, now known as the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena.

During the Khmer Rouge era, the stadium was used as the site of executions by the Khmer Rouge of officials in the administration of Lon Nol.

Phnom Penh - Japan Cambodia Friendship bridge across the Mekong River by nadinesanChrouy Changvar Bridge

Known as the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge, it was first constructed in 1966. It was twice mined and destroyed by the Khmer Rouge forces in 1975. It was repaired in 1993 by Japanese funding.

Koh Dach (Silk Island)

Koh Deach weaving villageFor those with an interest in Cambodia silks and silk weaving should go to visit a rural weaving village on Koh Dach. The weaving village is a typical rural Cambodian stilted village, dedicated almost entirely to silk weaving-people operating hand looms under most of the houses, others dying and spinning silk on spinning wheels made of bicycle parts. The boat may stop at Mekong Island (Koh Okhna Tey) and some other weaving houses along the way.

River Boat Cruising

Phnom Penh River Cruise Short river cruises and sunset cruises along the Phnom Penh riverfront are offered an interesting view of the city and watching the daily life of the people living on and around the river. A cruise typically take about 1-2 hours and run up the Tonle Sap river along the central riverfront area providing a picturesque view of the Royal Palace, National Museum, parks and Phnom Penh skyline, and then across the Tonle Sap and up to the Mekong river to view floating fishing villages.

Golf Course

Phnom Penh, Cambodia's laid back capital, has 2 full scale 18-hole golf courses on its western outskirts.

Cambodia Golf & Country ClubCambodia Golf and Country Club: is located 35km west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s charming capital city, and was the second 18 hole golf course to open in the country in 1996. The 7,000+ yard course is in a pleasant rural setting surrounded by palm trees, native fruit trees, evergreen plants and beautiful flowers, with a sprinkling of rocks. With a backdrop of distant mountains it is a delightful location. The course is relatively challenging with a large number of bunkers to keep you alert.

Royal Cambodia Golf ClubRoyal Cambodia Golf Club: lies 10km west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s charming capital city and was the first 18 hole golf club to open in the country. The 7,075 yard course is set in an attractive environment sitting amongst rice paddies and coconut palms. The course is rather flat yet it still provides a challenge with numerous sand and water hazards, including a large lake near the third hole! Being the closet course to Phnom Penh it is popular with local dignitaries, and it is said it is the Prime Minister’s preferred course - perhaps due to the fact he got a hole-in-one here in 2004!


Phnom Penh International AirportPhnom Penh International Airport is the second-largest and second-busiest airport in Cambodia. It is located 7 km (4.3 miles) west of central Phnom Penh. Taxis, pick-ups and minibuses leave Phnom Penh for destinations all over the country, but are fast losing ground to cheaper and more comfortable buses. Phnom Penh also has a rail service.

Penh is one of the very few Asian cities with virtually no traffic jams. The modern layout of Phnom Penh is a French creation. Colonial landmarks can be seen all over the capital, including the National Museum and the beautiful art-deco Central Market.

We wish all of you a pleasant stay in Phnom Penh
READ MORE - Phnom Penh City

cambodian adventure part 1

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

READ MORE - cambodian adventure part 1

A Brief History of Phnom Penh

Monday, January 24, 2011

People have inhabited parts of Southeast Asia since the early Stone Age, and the ancestors of the Khmer people have been in the area for at least 5000 years, perhaps much longer, but there is no firm evidence of settlements in the Phnom Penh area prior to about 2000 years ago. Though probably an active settlement in Cambodia's golden age of Angkor (9th-15th century AD,) Phnom Penh does not enter the historical record until after it became the Khmer capital in the mid 15th century AD. At the time it was known as Chaktomuk - the 'Four Faces' - so called for its location at the four-branched confluence of the Mekong River. The chaktomuk is a riverine crossroads in the heart of Cambodia with the Tonle Sap River running northwest to the old Angkorian capital, the Mekong River north to Laos and branches south to the delta and the South China Sea. Phnom Penh is, before all else, the city at Chaktomuk on the Mekong River.

First recorded a century after it is said to have taken place, the legend of the founding of Phnom Penh tells of a local woman, Old Lady Penh (Duan Penh,) living at the chaktomuk, the future Phnom Penh. It was the late 14th century and the Khmer capital was still at Angkor near Siem Reap 350km to the west. Gathering firewood along the banks of the river, Lady Penh spied a floating koki tree in the river and fished it from the water. Inside the tree she found four Buddha statues and one of Vishnu (the numbers
vary on different tellings.) The discovery was taken as a divine blessing, and to some a sign that the Khmer capital was to be brought to Phnom Penh from Angkor. To house the new found sacred objects, Lady Penh raised a small hill on the west bank of the Tonle Sap River and crowned it with a shrine, now known as Wat Phnom at the north end of central Phnom Penh. 'Phnom' is Khmer for 'hill' and the Lady Penh's hill took on the name of the founder, i.e. Phnom Duan Penh, and the area around it became known after the hill - Phnom Penh.

Cambodia is the land of the Khmer, the dominant ethnic group in the area stretching from the present deep into prehistory. The Angkorian era Khmer Empire centered near Siem Reap dominated the region from the 9th-13th century AD, at its apex the Empire stretched across most of mainland Southeast Asia. But by the 15th century the Empire was in political and territorial decline and under challenge from the rising Tai kingdom of Ayudhaya in today’s Thailand. By the 14th century Ayudhaya was staging regular incursions, culminating with the sack of Angkor in 1431-32. Shortly thereafter the Khmer court of King Pohea Yat left the Angkorian capital and established a new capital at Phnom Penh. With a very brief exception, the capital would never return to Angkor.

The choice to move the capital to Phnom Penh at the confluence of the Mekong was probably not only a strategic response to Ayudhhaya’s aggression but may have also reflected a tectonic economic shift. The 15th century was the beginning of a general rise in international commerce throughout the region and Phnom Penh was an ideal location for a trade center. The move may have reflected the country changing focus from the old Angkorian agrarian economy based in the country’s interior to a trade oriented economy based in a riverine port town.

During the first Royal occupation of Phnom Penh in the mid 15th century, King Pohea Yat set the foundations of city, establishing several wats and laying out the town along moats/rivers which approximate the area and layout of modern central Phnom Penh. Wat Ounalom on the riverfront near the Royal Palace may even slightly pre-date King Pohea Yat, making it the oldest known Buddhist foundation in the city.

Phnom Penh
Trade with China and other Asian kingdoms was well established in the Angkorian-era long before Phnom Penh was the capital. Boats traveling upriver to Angkor would pass Chaktomuk (Phnom Penh) which, due to its favorable location, was probably an active settlement at the time. After the capital moved from Angkor to Phnom Penh in the mid 15th century, the city remained the capital only briefly. Before the century was out, the capital had been relocated to Longvek 46km upriver. Though it moved a few more times in the subsequent centuries (primarily between Longvek and Oudong,) the capital always remained within a few tens of kilometers of the Chaktomuk area.

Maritime trade increased dramatically throughout the region in the late 15th century, with international players from as far as Japan. Though the capital had moved from Phnom Penh, the town remained the center of international commerce for Cambodia. Sixteenth century Spanish and Portuguese records paint a picture of small but cosmopolitan port of trade hosting significant populations of Chinese, Malay, Cham, Japanese and some Europeans, all living in separate camps in and around the Phnom Penh area. Structures of wood and bamboo crowded the west bank of the Tonle Sap river and the great stupa on the hill of Wat Phnom was visible from the river, marking the town to arriving visitors.

Arriving in the early 16th century, the Portuguese and Spanish were the first Europeans to make contact with Cambodia, sending missionaries, establishing trade and eventually becoming deeply involved in the affairs of the Cambodian court. At the center of the drama were two larger-than-life characters, Spaniard Blaz Ruiz, Portuguese Diogo Veloso and their band. Arriving in the 1580s they ingratiated themselves to the Cambodian King, served him as a sort of Praetorian guard, were captured and then escaped the Siamese, retuned and murdered the new Khmer leader, fled to Laos, installed a new Khmer king in Cambodia, and amidst rising tensions, both died in 1599 coming to the aid of their compatriots in a battle between the Malay and Cambodians against the Spanish in Phnom Penh. The battle resulted in a massacre of the Spanish, bringing Spanish influence in Cambodia to an abrupt and permanent end.

In the 17th century, Phnom Penh continued to prosper and the Dutch East India Company became the dominant European trading partner, but this relationship also came to a dire end in Phnom Penh. In a tale less colorful than the Spanish adventure, after a lengthy trade and diplomatic dispute between the Dutch and the King of Cambodia, negotiations came to violence. A Company embassy was killed and captives taken. The Company sent war ships to force the issue with the King at Longvek. Once the ships had passed Phnom Penh on their way up the Tonle Sap, the Cambodians built two bridges across the river behind them, effectively blocking the river. Upon returning downstream the Dutch ships were trapped by the bridges at Phnom Penh and besieged by fire from both banks. They fought their way through in a day long battle but suffered very heavy losses. Like the Spanish, Dutch influence in Cambodia never recovered. Though the first British and French explorers would arrive in the mid 17th century, European interest in Cambodia waned until the French in force returned in the late 19th century.

The 19th Century
Squeezed between Siam and Vietnam, the 18th and 19th centuries were hard on Cambodia. At the beginning of the 19th century the capital returned to Phnom Penh for the first time in 300 years, but again only briefly. In 1813, during a period of Vietnamese influence, King Ang Chan built the palace Banteay Kev in Phnom Penh, but it burned in 1834 when a retreating Siamese army razed the city. The capital subsequently moved back to Oudong 35km away. It was not until the French arrived in the 1860s that it returned to Phnom Penh once again, this time permanently. At the time the area had a population of about 10,000 including a large Chinese sector as well as many other foreigners. It was a multi-ethnic port town of floating villages and wooden and bamboo houses, huts, shops and vendors lining a complex of paths and a single main road paralleling the riverfront. After a brief visit in 1859, traveler Henri Mouhot dubbed Phnom Penh “the great market of Cambodia."

L'Indochine française
France gained colonial control of much of mainland Southeast Asia beginning in the 1860s, first taking portions of Cochin-china (southern Vietnam,) then Cambodia and the remainder of Vietnam and Laos, finally coalescing in 1887 into a federation of protectorates called French Indochina. Cambodia first came into the French sphere in 1863. Seeking assistance fending off Siam and Vietnam, and under pressure from France, Cambodian King Norodom signed a Protectorate agreement with France in August 1863. On French encouragement, the seat of government was officially moved from Oudong to Phnom Penh in 1866. It was only then that the city first began to take on the appearance of modern Phnom Penh.

The first modern stone structure to be built was the Royal Palace, opening in 1870. Soon thereafter the first stone 'Chinese shophouse-style’ buildings were constructed, initially appearing along the riverside near the Palace. The shophouse design is present across Southeast Asia and ubiquitous in Phnom Penh, characterized by rows of a deep, narrow apartment made up of a combined ground-floor businessfront and upstairs residence.

By the 1880s, early colonial buildings clustered near Wat Phnom but most of the rest of the city was a swampy place of wooden and bamboo buildings. In the 1880/90s fires periodically swept through sections of town, capped by the Great Fire of May 1894. After that brick and cement became the standard for new buildings. The 1890s saw an expanding population (50,000) and accelerated development including draining wetlands, constructing canals and bridges, expanding the Grand Rue along the river and the addition of several buildings such as the Post Office and Treasury Building which still exist today. The city stretched from the French Quarter around Wat Phnom south to Sihanouk Blvd, most squeezed within a few hundred meters of the river.

The 20th Century...

France remained in control of Cambodia for most of the first half of the 20th century. Many classic colonial buildings were constructed including the Police Station (next to the Post Office,) the Hotel Le Royal and the large villas around the Royal Palace. By the 1930s the canals had been filled and turned into garden boulevards, which are now parks along Sihanouk Blvd and also Streets 108/106. As the population grew (109,000 in 1939) the city continued to expand, mostly westward into the wetlands, which were drained accordingly.

In 1935 the Boeung Deco lake was filled and the distinctive, domed, art deco 'Central Market' (Phsar Thmey) was built in its place, originally known as the ‘Grand Market’ when it opened in 1937. That same year the cyclo-pousse, the iconic bicycle rickshaw known the ‘cyclo’ was first introduced in the city. This was Phnom Penh at its colonial apex, reputed to be the most beautiful city in French Indochina.

Independence from France came in 1954, issuing in a period of considerable urban and commercial development and the beginning of the distinctive 'New Khmer Architecture,' reflected in existing structures such as the Independence Monument and Chaktomuk Theatre. Factories, roads, markets, power plants and hundreds of shophouse-style apartments were built, giving the city much of its current appearance. This all came to an abrupt end with the Lon Nol coup of 1970 and Cambodia's descent into war between the government and the communist Khmer Rouge (KR.) As the Khmer Rouge took over the countryside in the early 1970s Phnom Penh became swollen with refugees. In 1974 the city was lain siege and eventually cut off, finally falling to the Khmer Rouge on April 17, 1975. Three days after the fall the city was totally evacuated, leading to thousands of deaths. Though some workers and Khmer Rouge remained in Phnom Penh, the city was essentially a ghost town until the Khmer Rouge fled the invading Vietnamese army December 1978-January 1979, leaving behind evidence of their horrors such as the S-21 facility, now known as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. (See page 34.)

When people returned to the city after the Khmer Rouge period, it was a shambles, largely intact but thoroughly looted and neglected. Restarting the city began from scratch. As low level war continued in the western provinces, the 1980s saw Phnom Penh repopulated and revitalization begun. The city was scoured and basic services were re-established. Phnom Penh’s population grew from 100,000 at the end of 1979 to 615,000 by 1990.

In 1991 UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia) began its 2 year administration of the country as part of a UN brokered peace agreement leading to national elections in 1993. After years of isolation, Cambodia was suddenly open for business. International investment started to flow into the country and Cambodia was back the tourist map as the newest adventure destination. The city saw the beginning of a period of economic and urban development that has continued to this day. There was a flurry of new construction in the 1990's including most of the distinctive 'wedding cake villas.' With the final demise of the Khmer Rouge in 1998 and increased stability, development accelerated. The 2000's have seen another boom in Phnom Penh. The city’s population has increased to near 2,000,000, there has been significant infrastructure improvement and recently the first high rise structures have been built, giving considerable change to the skyline and architectural character of the city. Phnom Penh is now a city in the midst of rapid change.

READ MORE - A Brief History of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh: The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh was constructed over a century ago to serve as the residence of the King of Cambodia, his family and foreign dignitaries, as a venue for the performance of court ceremony and ritual and as a symbol of the Kingdom. It serves to this day as the Cambodian home of King Norodom Sihamoni and former King Norodom Sihanouk. The Royal Palace complex and attached 'Silver Pagoda' compound consist of several buildings, structures and gardens all located within 500x800 meter walled grounds overlooking a riverfront park. Marking the approach to the Palace, the high sculpted wall and golden spired Chanchhaya Pavilion stand distinctively against the riverfront skyline. Inside the Palace grounds, street sounds are silenced by the high walls and the various Royal buildings sit like ornate islands rising from the tranquil, manicured tropical gardens. Except for the area of the actual Royal residence, the Khemarin Palace, most of the Palace grounds and Silver Pagoda are open to the public. Enter from the gate on Sothearos Blvd about 100 meters north of Street 240. Guide pamphlets and tour guides are available near the admission booth. Guided tours are recommended. Multi-lingual tour guides available. Admission: $3.00/person, $2.00/camera, $5.00/video camera. Open everyday, 7:30-11:00 / 2:00-5:00. The Palace grounds are closed during official functions.

History of the Royal Palace

The establishment of the Royal Palace at Phnom Penh in 1866 is a comparatively recent event in the history of the Khmer and Cambodia. The seat of Khmer power in the region rested at or near Angkor north of the Great Tonle Sap Lake from 802 AD until the early 15th century. After the Khmer court moved from Angkor in the 15th century, it first settled in Phnom Penh in 1434 (or 1446) and stayed for some decades, but by 1494 had moved on to Basan, and later Lovek and then Oudong. The capital did not return to Phnom Penh until the 19th century and there is no record or remnants of any Royal Palace in Phnom Penh prior to the 19th century. In 1813, King Ang Chan (1796-1834) constructed Banteay Kev (the 'Cristal Citadel') on the site of the current Royal Palace and stayed there very briefly before moving to Oudong. Banteay Kev was burned in 1834 when the retreating Siamese army razed Phnom Penh. It was not until after the implementation of the French Protectorate in Cambodia in 1863 that the capital was moved from Oudong to Phnom Penh, and the current Royal Palace was founded and constructed.

At the time that King Norodom (1860-1904) signed the Treaty of Protection with France in 1863, the capital of Cambodia resided at Oudong, about 45 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh. Earlier in 1863 a temporary wooden Palace was constructed a bit north of the current Palace site in Phnom Penh. The first Royal Palace to be built at the present location was designed by architect Neak Okhna Tepnimith Mak and constructed by the French Protectorate in 1866. That same year, King Norodom moved the Royal court from Oudong to the new Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and the city became the official capital of Cambodia the following year. Over the next decade several buildings and houses were added, many of which have since been demolished and replaced, including an early Chanchhaya Pavilion and Throne Hall (1870). The Royal court was installed permanently at the new Royal Palace in 1871 and the walls surrounding the grounds were raised in 1873. Many of the buildings of the Royal Palace, particularly of this period, were constructed using traditional Khmer architectural and artistic style but also incorporating significant European features and design as well. One of the most unique surviving structures from this period is the Napoleon Pavilion which was a gift from France in 1876.

King Sisowath (1904-1927) made several major contributions to the current Royal Palace, adding the Phochani Hall in 1907 (inaugurated in 1912), and from 1913-1919 demolishing several old buildings, and replacing and expanding the old Chanchhaya Pavilion and the Throne Hall with the current structures. These buildings employ traditional Khmer artistic style and Angkorian inspired design, particularly in the Throne Hall, though some European elements remain. The next major construction came in the 1930s under King Monivong with the addition of the Royal Chapel, Vihear Suor (1930), and the demolition and replacement of the old Royal residence with the Khemarin Palace (1931), which serves as the Royal residence to this day. The only other significant additions since have been the 1956 addition of the Villa Kantha Bopha to accommodate foreign guests and the 1953 construction of the Damnak Chan originally installed to house the High Council of the Throne.

From the time of the coup in 1970 when Cambodia became a republic, through the Khmer Rouge regime (Democratic Kampuchea 1975-1979) and the communist regime of the 80s, until 1993 when the Monarchy was restored, the Royal Palace alternately served as a museum and was closed. During the Khmer Rouge regime, former King Sihanouk and his family resided and were ultimately held as prisoners in the Palace. In the mid-90s, many of the Palace buildings were restored and refurbished, some with international assistance.

Royal Palace buildings

Throne Hall The Throne Hall, the Preah Timeang Tevea Vinicchay, is the primary audience hall of the King, used for coronations and diplomatic and other official meetings. This Throne Hall is the second to be built on this site. The first was constructed of wood in 1869-1870 under King Norodom. That Throne Hall was demolished in 1915. The present building was constructed in 1917 and inaugurated by King Sisowath in 1919. The building is 30x60 meters and topped by a 59-meter spire. As with all buildings and structure at the Palace, the Throne Hall faces east and is best photographed in the morning. When visiting note the thrones (Reach Balaing in front and Preah Tineang Bossobok higher at the back) and the beautiful ceiling frescoes of the Reamker.

Chanchhaya Pavilion The current Pavilion is the second incarnation of the Chanchhaya Pavilion, this one constructed in 1913-14 under King Sisowath to replace the earlier wooden pavilion built under King Norodom. The current pavilion is of the same design as the earlier version. The Chanchhaya Pavilion, also known as the 'Moonlight Pavilion', dominates the facade of the Palace on Sothearos Blvd. The Pavilion serves as a venue for the Royal Dancers, as a tribune for the King to address the crowds and as a place to hold state and Royal banquets. Most recently, the Pavilion was used for a banquet and a tribune for the new King at the 2004 coronation of King Norodom Sihamoni.
Hor Samran Phirun "The pavilion where one sleeps peacefully." Royal rest house and waiting area where the King waits to mount an elephant for Royal processions. Also built to house musical instruments and procession implements. Constructed in 1917. Currently housing a display of gifts from foreign heads of state.
Hor Samrith Phimean Also know as the ‘Bronze Palace.’ Repository for the Royal regalia and attributes. Constructed in 1917. Currently housing a display of royal regalia and costumes on the ground floor.
Napoleon III Pavilion At first glance the Napoleon III Pavilion seems almost out-of-place, sitting like a European-style dollhouse amongst the imposing and distinctly Khmer-style buildings that surround it. The Pavilion was in fact the first permanent structure on the site of the Royal Palace. It was originally built for Empress Eugenie of France, wife of Napoleon III, in 1869 for use in the inauguration of the Suez Canal. It is constructed entirely of iron. In 1876 Emperor Napoleon III made a gift of the building to King Norodom of Cambodia. By fortunate happenstance, the royal emblem "N" emblazed on the doors and other parts of the building to honor the name of 'Napoleon' did not need to be altered when the pavilion was transferred to King Norodom. The Pavilion was refurbished in 1991 with financial assistance from the French government. The Pavilion now serves as a small museum housing Royal memorabilia and a photographic exhibition. Best photographed in the morning. (Damnak Chan pictured in the background.)
Phochani Pavilion An open hall originally constructed as a classical dance theater. The Pavilion is currently used for Royal receptions and meetings. Built in 1912.
Damnak Chan The Damnak Chan currently houses the administrative offices of the Royal Palace. Original constructed in 1953 for the High Council of the Throne, this building has served several purposes over the years including acting as the Ministry of Culture in the 80s and housing the Supreme National Council of Cambodia from 1991-93. Damnak Chan displays a somewhat uncomfortable mix of Khmer and Western architectural styles, the mix being particularly apparent in this building - sporting a distinctly Khmer-style roof and a Western style in the main body of the building. Closed to the public.

Khemarin Palace The Royal residence. Closed to the public.

Villa Kantha Bopha Western-style villa named after King Sihanouk's late daughter Princess Kantha Bopha, built in 1956 as guest house for foreign guests. Closed to the public.

The 'Silver Pagoda’

The 'Silver Pagoda' sits next to the Royal Palace, separated by a walled walkway, but within the same larger walled compound. The Silver Pagoda's proper name is Wat Preah Keo Morokat, which means 'The Temple of the Emerald Buddha,' but has received the common moniker 'Silver Pagoda' after the solid silver floor tiles that adorn the temple building. The pagoda compound as a whole contains several structures and gardens, the primary building being the temple Wat Preah Keo Morokat and other structures including a library, various stupas, shrines, monuments, minor buildings and the galleries of the Reamker.

Wat Preah Keo Morokat is unique in several ways. It is the pagoda where the King meets with monks to listen to their sermons and where some Royal ceremonies are performed. It houses a collection of priceless Buddhist and historical objects including the 'Emerald Buddha.' And, unlike most pagodas, no monks live at the pagoda. The temple building, library and Reamker galleries were first constructed between 1892 and 1902 under King Norodom. The equestrian statue of King Norodom was set in place in 1892. Other structures such as the stupas of King Ang Doung Stupa King Norodom (1908), the Kantha Bopha memorial sanctuary (1960) and others were added later. The temple received major reconstruction in 1962 and further renovations 1985-1987, particularly to the Reamker fresco murals. Many of the temple treasures were looted during by the Khmer Rouge 1975-1979, but fortunately the Khmer Rouge chose to keep much of the collection intact for propaganda purposes.

Silver Pagoda buildings

Wat Preah Keo Morokat Wat Preah Keo Morokat
is also known as the ‘Silver Pagoda’ the ‘Temple
of the Emerald Buddha.’ It is known as the 'Silver
Pagoda' for the 5329 silver tiles that cover the
floor. Each tile was handcrafted and weighs 1.125kg.
The vihear serves less as a functioning temple than
a repository for cultural and religious treasures,
containing over 1650 precious objects.
The primary Buddha, sitting on a gilded
dais above all others in the temple, is the
Emerald Buddha, reported by different
sources to be made of emerald or baccarat
crystal. In front of the Emerald Buddha stands
Buddha Maitreya (Buddha of the Future,)
a 90 kg golden standing Buddha encrusted
with 2086 diamonds including a 25 caret
diamond in the crown and a 20 caret diamond
embedded in the chest. Other objects include
a Buddha relic from Sri Lanka in a small gold
and silver stupa, a collection of gifts from Queen
Kossomak Nearyrith, and contributions and
gifts from other nobles and Royals.

Ramayana Frescoes The interior of the
pagoda compound walls is covered with
murals depicting stories from the Reamker,
i.e. the Khmer version of the classic Indian
epic, the Ramayana. Some sections of the
murals are deteriorated and weather damaged.
The murals were painted in 1903-1904 by a
team of students working under the direction
of artist Vichitre Chea and architect Oknha Tep
Nimit Thneak. In the 30s the galleries served
as ad hoc classrooms for Buddhist monks.
Dhammasala An open hall used for
Buddhist monks to recite texts and also
as a royal reception area. (In photo,
Dhammasala is behind the Kantha Bopha Memorial.)
Keong Preah Bath Shrine containing
Buddha footprints. Fortune tellers.
Library Small library next to the main
vihear that houses sacred Buddhist texts
(Buddha's Tripitaka, i.e. "Three Baskets")
and also contains an image of a sacred
bull named Nandin, and several Buddha
statues. The Nandin statue is metal
(primarily silver) and is said to be of ancient
origin. The statue was found in Kandal
province in 1983. Fortune tellers work inside
the shrine. If you can find somebody to translate
for you, you can have your future told for
a small contribution.
Phnom Mondop Phnom Mondop is a small
artificial hill symbolizing Mount Kailassa,
topped by a shrine containing a large Buddha
footprint. The shrine is adorned with 108
Buddha images symbolizing the 108 past lives
of Buddha. Fortune tellers work inside the shrine.
If you can find somebody to tr
anslate for you, you can have your future told
for a small contribution.
Statue of HM King Norodom Equestrian
statue of the King Norodom (1834-1904).
Completed by French artist Eude in 1875
in Paris and placed on the pagoda grounds
in 1892. The canopy was added by King
Sihanouk in 1953 to honor King Norodom
in light of Cambodia's new independence.
The stupa north of the statue contains the
ashes of King Norodom.
Stupa of HM King Ang Doung Stupa containing
the ashes of the King Ang Doung (1845-1860),
founder of the current dynasty and the great
-great-great grandfather to King Sihamoni.
Constructed in 1908.
Stupa of HM King Norodom Stupa containing
the ashes of the King Norodom (1834-1904).
Constructed in 1908..
Stupa of HM King Suramarit and HM Queen
Stupa of the father and mother of
former King Sihanouk (r: 1955-1960), grandfather
and grandmother to King Sihamoni.
Stupa of Princess Kantha Bopha
The memorial sanctuary of the beloved
daughter of the former King Sihanouk.
Princess Kantha Bopha passed in 1952
at the age of four, succumbing to leukemia.
The stupa was built in 1960.
Model of Angkor Wat
Belfry The bell is used to signal the opening
and closing of the temple and for ceremonies.

READ MORE - Phnom Penh: The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda