Royal Place & the Silver Pagoda

by Rain March. 30, 2008 1479 views

Today I visited the Royal Palace (and the Silver Pagoda) and the National Museum.

The Palace was indeed grandeur. And the fact that it is still in use was most appealing (closed during official functions).

The National Museum has an anthropological collection, illustrating the different styles of the Khmer civilization. In the courtyard, it was relaxing to sit by the lotus pond and watch the red dragonflies dipping on the water.

While wondering through the city, I stumbled across this quiet room lined with wooden-shelves of books, and kids sitting on big cushions on the ground, playing puzzles or skimming through picture books.

It was called >, an NGO funded by a French lady, who seeked to provide a reading room for all. The place has got a multi-lingual collection for children's book. Because most of the visiting children reads only Khmer language, there are volunteers of local students who helps to translate some story books (and pasting onto the book, hence providing both original and translated languages).

I had loved this place so much, and was glad to bring some books here and to spend a little time here playing with the kids.

It had been the best way to spend my birthday!

The Royal Palace, open for tourist visit most of the time, but does close up during official functions (middle is a portrait picture of the King)

side entrance gates

relief decoration for a window

multi-headed serpent railing that is quite common

elaborated decoration on the exterior (cameras are not allowed in the major complex, which serves as an “assembly hall”, where the King greets the officials)

a french colonial-styled building given as a present to the King

gate to a doorway

a Stupa in the “Silver Pagoda” building

another stupa on the Pagoda grounds

“pagoda” means “wat”, which also means “temple,” there are many even in the city of Phnom Penh, you get to see the local worshippers visiting and bringing flowers

stone relief

a Shiva Linga

A Hinduism symbol of abstract creation. The deity, Shiva is commonly portrayed by a statue (most often by a linga).

Commonly seen in Cambodia, especially at Angkor, since the region consist of both of Hindu and Buddhist temples

Khmer script at the entrance to the National Museum

Cambodian flag in the background

an atmospheric court yard inside of the museum

jasmine flower to offer to the statues at the museum (mostly required “donation”)

the little “doll-houses” I see everywhere, very commonly in front of people's houses

I haven't found out the ritual associated with it, but I assume they are for daily praying

this one inside of the Silver Pagoda, more expensively decorated

they are of different kind of architecture, sometimes empty, sometimes has a miniture statue sitting inside

close-up of the miniture, about palm-size

Buddha statues commonly seen in Cambodia

the “bodhisattva” (buddha) has different kind of hand guestures, this one has a symbol in his palm

a monkey guardian, one of my favorite stone statues

“Jack Fruit”, probably a cousin to the notarious Durian, but fortunately, jack fruits do not smell as bad

a musisian playing

on the top of my favorites!!

I still have to find out more about this elephant statue (who holds his nose in his hand), I think he looks both comedic and respectful (a weird combination, I know)

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