National Museum, Phnom Penh

4 out of 5 stars 53 Reviews

Between the 178. and the 184., in the 13th road

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  • National Museum
    by akkipaa
  • National Museum
    by akkipaa
  • National Museum
    by akkipaa
  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo

    History and religion

    by Toshioohsako Written Feb 15, 2015

    The museum is a beautiful typically Cambodia style architecture. It has nice gardens. Its location is almost next to the Royal Palace. It has a sharp decline of the rooms which is usually the case of snow
    countries. It has many Buddha statues and and historical sculptures. Before visiting the Royal Palace, please come here because its a relatively small site and you still have enough energy to go to the Palace which requires much more energy and time.

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    THE FINEST CAMBODIAN ARCHITECTURE(NATIONAL MUSEUM)

    by davidjo Written Dec 4, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A visit to Phnom Penh would not be complete without a visit to the National Museum, even if it is just to gaze at the renovated building. Inside the museum you will see the best collection of Khmer art, and there are a total of over 14,000 artifacts from prehistoric times to after the Khmer empire.

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  • CEP1863's Profile Photo

    The Return of the Prasat Chen Sculptures

    by CEP1863 Updated Oct 24, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pride of place in Cambodia's National Museum go to five of the nine states that were looted from Prasat Chen in the Koh Ker temple complex in Siem Reap during the 1970's. Housed in a small room on their own, the damage is all too plain to see and it left me with a curious mixture of joy because they were finally back on Cambodian soil but immense sadness as to the extent of the damage. Hindu mythology is depicted in the statues as the warrior Duryodhana is struck down by his cousin Bhima at the end of a famous duel watched by seven attendants.

    Two of the kneeling attendants were voluntarily returned by MOMA in 2013. The statue of Bhima was voluntarily returned by the Norton Simon Museum in 2014 and another of the Prasat Chen statues, the Balarama was quietly acquired by Chrities and handed back to Cambodia. Only after a protracted legal battle which saw the U.S. Government file a lawsuit on Cambodia's behalf did Sotheby's finally agree to return the statue of the warrior Duryodhana.

    Whilst it is brilliant to see five of the nine states back on Cambodian soil and it is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of the team of archeologists who secured their return, it is still heartbreaking to see the empty plinths. Hopefully, I will return before too long and see all nine reunited once more.

    For a detailed account of the return of these artefacts go to:

    http://www.bu.edu/bostonia/summer14/cambodia/

    The Prasat Chen Sculptures
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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by balhannah Updated Jul 19, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum is an eye-catching structure, and is the country's leading historical and archaeological museum. The Museum buildings are inspired by Khmer temple architecture, were constructed between 1917 and 1924, and are an attractive Rust Red colour.

    Inside is one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art, including sculpture, ceramics, and lots more. The Museum’s collection includes over 14,000 items, from prehistoric times to periods before, during, and after the Khmer Empire.
    There is also a collection of important Buddhist and Hindu sculpture. Pieces date back to the 6th century.
    As photo's aren't allowed, I stopped at the Museum shop and bought some postcards and a nice souvenirs.
    Cloakroom facilities are available at the main entrance where large items and bags are to be left.
    Toilet's are located downstairs near the main entrance.
    I found this museum to be very good and interesting, and should be on your places to visit list.

    PHOTOGRAPHY IS ONLY ALLOWED IN THE COURT AREA.

    OPEN...8.00am until 5.00pm daily. Last admission tickets are sold at 4.30pm.

    ADMISSION FEE IN 2013....
    $5 for foreign visitors, 500 riels for Cambodians. Children and school groups are free
    Guided tours can be arranged for individuals or groups at the museum entrance. Tours are available in Khmer, English, French and Japanese. A one hour group tour costs $3

    entrance inside Inside
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  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    The National Museum

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jul 5, 2013

    This museum is housed in a red brick Khmer style building which was built by the French in 1917. Inside there is a collection of Khmer sculptures from the 4th to the 14th century.

    The museum has a pretty courtyard with ponds and trees. I read somewhere that the roof of the museum is home to a colony of bats which swarm out at dusk.

    Admission: $3.00/person.
    Open everyday, 8:00am-5:00pm

    Address: Samdech Sothearos Boulevard

    Hubbie in the museum. Me in the museum courtyard.
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  • akkipaa's Profile Photo

    National Museum - Khmer history

    by akkipaa Written Mar 23, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The National Museum (Sala Rachana) is a nice place to visit, there more than 10 000 of objects telling Cambodian story from the 4th -13th centuries and it's the largest museum of history in Cambodia. The size of the museum us handy, you don't need to wander around hours and again hours, but you get a nice touch to Cambodian just taking a round (the museum like a square circle :) There is a small bar serving beverages and beer, at least when I was there it was really hot!

    The Museum was build between 1917 and 1920 and has very nice Cambodian design and it's like a square with inner yard which is like a small garden. The museum was inaugurated during Khmer New Year on 13 April 1920 in the presence of H.M King Sisowath (statue in my Wat Phnom review),

    The National Museum of Phnom Penh has the responsibility to preserve and exhibit Cambodian treasures to the public. The collections can be divided into four main categories: stone, metal, wood and ceramics. The National Museum of Cambodia works also to enhance knowledge of and preserve Cambodian cultural traditions and to provide a source of pride and identity to the Cambodian people. The Museum also serves a religious function; its collection of important Buddhist and Hindu sculpture addresses community religious needs as a place of worship. UNESCO is supporting the museum.

    Entrance fee is 5$ and opening hours:
    from 8.00AM until 5.00PM daily (last admission tickets are sold at 4.30PM).

    Btw, museum publish in their web pages visitor statistics, quite slowly updated, but 1999 there were almost 50 000 and 2006 more than 100 000 visitors, so currently we speak about 150 000. Quite few, but wait, Cambodia is climbing in peoples wish lists.

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    The Nation Museum of Cambodia

    by stevemt Updated Mar 9, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is adjacent to the Royal Palace, entrance on No 178 St,

    Well worth a visit, especially if you have seen Angkor Wat, as many of the origionals found there, are here.

    Entrance fee is $5 us

    NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED.

    You can take photo's in the inner garden for a photo free of $1us. (I saw that notice after I had taken the photo's, Oh Well.

    The inner garden The inner garden Replica outside Replica outside
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  • cal6060's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Cambodia

    by cal6060 Updated Sep 7, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    National Museum of Cambodia is located between street 187 and 184, north of the Royal Palace. This Khmer style architecture building was constructed between 1917 to 1924. It was officially opened to the public on April 13, 1920. It was designed by George Groslier, a historian, curator, and an author who was passionate of the Cambodian's art and crafts. All the architectural ornamentation was completed by Cambodia craftsmen. The Angkorian architecture design on the doors and windows were craved by students of the Ecole des Arts.

    This museum is a little unusual in term of displaying their items. It is a square high ceiling building without any air-conditioning. It is almost like a wide open-space corridor with big windows. In the central of the building is the courtyard garden. The terrace of the Leper King is situated in the center of the courtyard. It is one of the beautiful courtyards that I admire. Looking up the roof is another way to appreciate the art of Cambodia architecture.

    You will expect to see ceramics, bronzes, textile and painting from the Pre-Angkor Period, Angkor Period, and Post-Angkor Period.

    Opening Hours: 8:00 - 17:00

    Admission: US$3 ( + US$1 for camera/video fee).

    Also read, The Art & Design of the Museum

    National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
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    National Museum of Cambodia (Art & Design)

    by cal6060 Updated Jun 25, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The National Museum of Cambodia's building comes with beautiful art designs including the naga heads and tails surrounded the building, the stone elephants and statues displays in front of the museum, monkey statues sitting on the outside courtyard, and the Khmer arts on its doors.

    Don't miss the art detail of the museum.

    Khmer Art Door, National Museum of Cambodia Saga Head, National Museum of Cambodia Stone Elephant, National Museum of Cambodia Khmer Art Door, National Museum of Cambodia Monkey statues at Courtyard, National Museum
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  • ancient_traveler's Profile Photo

    NATIONAL MUSEUM

    by ancient_traveler Updated Mar 24, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum houses one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art, including sculptural, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects. The Museum’s collection includes over 14,000 items, from prehistoric times to periods before, during, and after the Khmer Empire, which at its height stretched from Thailand, across present-day Cambodia, to southern Vietnam. The Museum buildings, inspired by Khmer temple architecture, were constructed between 1917 and 1924, the museum was officially inaugurated in 1920, and renovated in 1968.

    admission: $3.00

    8:00-5:00, open everyday

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  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by Cathy&Gary Updated Mar 19, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This museum is fantastic, there are over 5,000 objects on display here from the 4th -13th centuries. (There are also additions of more recent Cambodian art).

    The only object in the museum which may be photographed is the statue of Yama, Lord of the Dead which is in the courtyard.

    This statue comes from Angkor Thom’s Terrace of the Leper King, though I did get some nice photos in the courtyard and a few of inside by zooming in.

    The museum is in a terra-cotta-roofed structure of traditional Cambodian design, which was built between 1917 and 1920.

    You can easily spend a few hours here, well worth the visit.

    Entry Fee: $3

    National Museum National Museum National Museum National Museum National Museum
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  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    The National Museum

    by easterntrekker Written Feb 17, 2011

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Originally we planned to skip the museum as our time in P.P was short. It proved to be a worthwhile visit however.
    Built in 1920 it is arranged all on one floor , and has one of the largest collections of Khmer Art in the world. I especially liked the wrestling gorillas .
    It's amazing it survived the devastation caused by the years of the Khmer Rouge rule in the 1970's. Although it was abandoned during this time and many of the staff were killed ,it was reopened in 1979. Today it is a source of pride for the Cambodian people.

    No pictures are allowed inside but the grounds and building itself is spectacular and worth plenty of photos.

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by Willettsworld Written May 2, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The National Museum of Cambodia is the country's leading historical and archaeological museum. It houses one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art, including sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects. The Museum’s collection includes over 14,000 items, from prehistoric times to periods before, during, and after the Khmer Empire, which at its height stretched from Thailand, across present-day Cambodia, to southern Vietnam.

    The Museum buildings, inspired by Khmer temple architecture, were constructed between 1917 and 1924; the museum was officially inaugurated in 1920. In the centre of the courtyard sits the original Leper King statue (actually Yama, the Hindu god of death) from the Terrace of the Leper King at Angkor Thom (a copy sits in its original place).

    Open: 8am-5pm every day. Admission: $3.

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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Much changed, I think.

    by planxty Updated Feb 23, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Memory may decieve me here, it often does, but my general impression of the National Museum is that it has been much improved in the nine years since I last visited.

    In a country blessed with so much wonderful history, as well as some truly awful, it stands to reason that the National Museum should be good, and this place really does deserve the soubriquet "treasure trove". There are displays ranging from the prehistoric to the 20th century, although nothing of the very modern history of the country so ably explained in the Genocide Museum (see eperate tip).

    Naturally, the majority of the exhibits are form the Angkorian period when Khmer power was at it's height. What I find particularly fascinating is the move from Hinduism to Buddhism, particularly the changeover period which provides such a rich amalgam of imagery. There are truly some breathtaking images here. Whilst there is no prescribed path round the building, I would suggest the visitor goes clockwise from the front door, this appears to make more sense chronologically with a few exceptions.

    The buildng itself is quite magnificent, set around a delightful quadrangle (pictured) and built in the 1920,s. Towards the end of the exhibits is a nice photgraphic display of the history of the museum itself and just in from the fornt door on the left wall is a plaque commemorating the opening, obviously still under the auspices of the French colonists.

    Photography is only allowed in the central garden but the opportunities for any artist are legion - bring your sketchbook. My particular favourite exhibit was in the third or fourth case from the entrance on the left, a simply gorgeous statue of a hand which I have been trying, without notable success, to sketch from memory ever since.

    Towards the end of the tour, and chronologically out of sequence is an exhibit I know for a fact not to have been there last time I visited. It is a display showing the excavation of a prehistoric site in the Angkor complex indicating that there was settlement here long before the might of the Angkorian empire. The French / Khmer excavation with Thai scientific help was only possible a few years ago due to abnormal drought conditions which dried up a generally wet area. I love the idea of the continuum of human existence on the Angkor site, so often repeated all over the world. The science is fascinating, and the bones recovered from the site offer up a huge amount of scientific evidence, as far as to suggest the presence of malaria in the area then and the fact that basic dentistry was practiced. It is remarkable, and the reconstruction of one of the grave sites which you walk over by means of a bridge, is very well done.

    The museum really is a must see, and now to the practicalities. It is open every day and admission is $3US for foreigners. Should you wish to employ a guide, English and French speaking are available but there really is no need.

    Highly recomended.

    National Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Truly a National Monument.

    by planxty Written Feb 21, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the National Monument in Phnom Penh performs much the same function as the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris or it's smaller copy in the capital of neighbouring Lao or Big Ben in London, it defines the capital to a great extent whilst being effectively useless. Well, I suppose at least Big Ben tells you the time. Perhaps I am being a little harsh insofar as if it engenders national pride and a sense of identity or whatever, it performs some role.

    To the facts. The National Monument was built in 1958, obviously in a Khmer style and represents a lotus flower shaped stupa reminiscent of the Angkor complex which is the country's greatest treasure and was designed by a Khmer artist, Vann Molyvann. It was constructed after independence from France.

    Due to the many tragic events in the country's history, the monument now also serves as a sort of Cenotaph and is frequently used for ceremonies, particularly on Independence Day.

    When I visited, it was surrounded by railings warning me to keep out so I had to content myself with a couple of photos from the corner of the roundabout that encircles it. You will be hard pushed to spend any time in the city and not pass it at some point.

    National Monument, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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