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.
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.
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:
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 $3
This museum is housed in a red brick Khmer style building which was built by the French in 1917. Inside there is a collection of Khmer sculptures from the 4th to the 14th century.
The museum has a pretty courtyard with ponds and trees. I read somewhere that the roof of the museum is home to a colony of bats which swarm out at dusk.
Open everyday, 8:00am-5:00pm
Address: Samdech Sothearos Boulevard
The National Museum (Sala Rachana) is a nice place to visit, there more than 10 000 of objects telling Cambodian story from the 4th -13th centuries and it's the largest museum of history in Cambodia. The size of the museum us handy, you don't need to wander around hours and again hours, but you get a nice touch to Cambodian just taking a round (the museum like a square circle :) There is a small bar serving beverages and beer, at least when I was there it was really hot!
The Museum was build between 1917 and 1920 and has very nice Cambodian design and it's like a square with inner yard which is like a small garden. The museum was inaugurated during Khmer New Year on 13 April 1920 in the presence of H.M King Sisowath (statue in my Wat Phnom review),
The National Museum of Phnom Penh has the responsibility to preserve and exhibit Cambodian treasures to the public. The collections can be divided into four main categories: stone, metal, wood and ceramics. The National Museum of Cambodia works also to enhance knowledge of and preserve Cambodian cultural traditions and to provide a source of pride and identity to the Cambodian people. The Museum also serves a religious function; its collection of important Buddhist and Hindu sculpture addresses community religious needs as a place of worship. UNESCO is supporting the museum.
Entrance fee is 5$ 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
8:00-5:00, open everyday
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
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.