National museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – An attraction to discover

In the middle of a bustling city plenty of tuktuks, motorbikes and cars, it is nice to find a place where you can walk and relax without fear of being run over. That place is the National Museum of Cambodia which possesses one of the world largest collections of Khmer sculptures, a millennium’s worth and more of masterful Khmer art, dating from the 4th to 14th century.

 The museum courtyard
The museum courtyard

Located in the city centre to the north of Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia is housed in a graceful terracotta structure of traditional design inspired by Khmer temple architecture. It was constructed by the French over the period of seven years from 1917 to 1924. The entire compound covers an enormous area comprising four pavilions which face an inviting courtyard garden. In order not to skip a large area of the museum, you should start left and continue in a clockwise and chronological direction. Travel to Cambodia

 A stupa inside the compound
A stupa inside the compound
 Reclining Vishnu statue
Reclining Vishnu statue

Your first impression when you are visiting the National Museum of Cambodia must be its ancient red due to the terracotta roofs and walls of every pavilions. The first significant sculpture is a large fragment of a fairly immense bronze reclining Vishnu statue. The four pavilions facing an inviting courtyard garden are all complicatedly designed and nicely complement each other, leaving you a feeling that every feature of the museum is so essential. Each of them tells different stories about sculpture. One of those is the journey from the human form of Indian sculpture to the more divine form of Khmer sculpture between 5th and 8th century, which is categorized as the pre-Angkor collection. Visit National Museum Cambodia with Indochina tours Cambodia

Khmer antiques
Khmer antiques

The National Museum of Cambodia is home to approximately 12,320 items from prehistoric times to period before, during and after the Khmer Empire. With such a length period of time, the collections in the interior of the museum are surprisingly plentiful and diverse, including sculpture, ceramics, statues and ethnographic objects. Besides acting as a national exhibition of Khmer culture to promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of Cambodia’s heritage via presentation, conservation and acquisition of Cambodian cultural materials, the museum also aims to educate and inspire its visitors.

Details from the main entry door
Details from the main entry door

You can visit the National Museum of Cambodia all year round. Opening hours are 5.00 a.m. till 8.00 p.m. with last admission tickets sold at 4.30 p.m. Ticket price is 5 USD for foreigners plus 3 USD per hour for a guided tour in English, French or Japanese if asked.

The Indochina Voyages team.

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