Phnom Penh is a relatively small city and most of the major sights are fairly central. The most important cultural sights can be visited on foot and are located near the riverfront in the most beautiful part of the city.
Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
With its classic Khmer roofs and ornate gilding, the Royal Palace (Map p79; Samdech Sothearos Blvd; admission US$3, camera/video US$2/5; S 7.30-11am I & 2.30-5pm) dominates the diminutive skyline of Phnom Penh. It is a striking structure near the riverfront, bearing a remarkable likeness to its counterpart in Bangkok. Hidden away behind protective walls and beneath shadows of striking ceremonial buildings, it’s an oasis of calm with lush gardens and leafy havens.
Being the official residence of King Being the official residence of King Sihamoni, parts of the massive compound are closed to the public. Visitors are only allowed to visit the palace’s Silver Pagoda and its surrounding compound. However, photography is not permitted inside the pagoda itself. Visitors need to wear shorts that reach to the knee, and T-shirts or blouses that reach to the elbow; otherwise they will have to rent an appropriate covering. The palace gets very busy on Sundays when countryside Khmers come to pay their respects, but this can be a fun way to experience the place, thronging with locals.
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