Sunday, January 22, 2012

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

With blue skies and pleasant sunshine, the morning started in a positive way by visiting the Royal Palace grounds in Phnom Penh. One of the dominating buildings in the well-maintained grounds was the Throne Hall. On top of the colonnaded concrete structure (replaced the wooden one built in 1866) was a tall golden spire with four faces, reminiscent of those at Bayon in the Angkor Thom complex. Another building, the Silver Pagoda, so-named for the 5,000 silver tiles each weighing 1 kg lining the floor, is equally popular. Carpeting covers most of the floor surface, so only a small number of these are visible. Two main Buddhas are found inside - the Emerald Buddha made out of Baccarat Crystal, and a life-size one made out of gold and decorated with over 9,500 diamonds. Within the palace grounds, I also enjoyed the extensive mural scenes depicting the Ramayana and the well-manicured bushes, some in the shapes of whimsical animals. 

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