Egil’s Travel Log

Travelling Asia, one country at a time

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PhotoStory 0005: Royal Garden in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A little view in the Royal Garden in front of the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh
Photo taken 2006-10-23, (oct 23rd) at the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

On my second morning in Phonom Penh and Cambodia, the group I had joined for my first week in Cambodia had plans to visit the Royal Palace. And after visiting the S-21, the Killing Fields and the Market already on the day before, - I thought I might as well join them. Not my top choice for sightseeing in general, - but still a nice way to get into the feeling of beeing a tourist :-)

The King of Cambodia still lives in the Royal Palace, - or actually in Khemarin Palace whitch is situated a little bit away from the rest of the buildings. We paid 3 usd to get in, and we mostly had to follow a 'more or less' english speaking guide around the royal aria. The guide was apointed to us then we came, and was included in the entrance fee.

Then there was an additional fee of 2 usd for each photocamera, and 5 usd for each videocamera! - And with knowlege of that many of the places inside where "No Photo Inside" we decided to just buy one "camera fee", and I ended up walking around with 3 cameras, switching among them so all 3 owners would get some nice photoes of their choices :-) and I promiced to send my photoes to the others after finally comming back to my city Stavanger (Norway) the next year.
(hmmm Thinking of this is giving me a bit of bad conscience now, - maybe it's time to mail Tore in "Bike for Peace" to get the adresses of group members - so I can send them all the photoes I promiced ;-) )

It was really a hot morning and day in Phnom Penh, and it was always good to get under roof from the burning sun everytime we went in a new building. First impressive one was the Throne Hall, where we only was allowed to entrance a couple of meters, - as they was preparing a big ceremony for the next day, - and in this, as the other buildings there was "No Photo Inside" signs everywhere. The Throne Hall was a nice open building mostly in gold, yellow and white colours. In the middle of the hall we could see servants starting to build up a pile of nicely wrapped presants. We were told that the presants was the Kings gifts to the guests on the next days ceremony.

We also were admitted to a building presenting the Kings, and his familys uniforms and old royal items, and then the famous Silver Pagoda. The Silver Pagoda itself was not so impressive, but the floor was covered by many tousands pure silver tiles, and the inner part of the pagoda was containing a marvelous collection of valuable buddhas, all in different positions, sizes and materials. For me - some of the buddhas made of exclusive bright green Jade was an amazing sight!

Outside the Silver Pagoda was the Royal Garden, and its placement inside the high walls and the various Royal buildings, the many small manicured tropical gardens were standing out like ornate islands rising from the concrete tiles that make the ground around the Silver Pagoda. It was nice and quiet to walk around there, - looking at this strange and still beautiful mix of manmade dead concrete ground, and rich tropical and fertile vegetation within its stright limitation.

Absoulutely a nice place to relax and meditate, - and I can easy see myself getting more peace of mind here, then out in the traffic of Phnom Penh... ;-)





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egil viking . . . www.meihack.org
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