elcome! Come to visit our national museum …!” said a group of tour guides toward visitors who are stepping into the national museum of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Their task is to accompany the visitors—local and international—and inform about the ancient stuffs and some cultural tools which are placed in the museum. Many visiting national and international tourists in the museum make them busy with tasks.
The national museum in Phnom Penh always has two or three groups national and international tourists come to visit every day. It is the best and the biggest national museum in Cambodia. It consists of over 5000 objects on display including Angkor era statues, lingas and other artifacts. Furthermore, it owns many legendary books relevant to history of Cambodia in the past and now.
Meas Chantha, 35 years, tour guide at museum said, “Most international tourists are European, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese and most national tourists are students because we want them to know more about the history of Cambodia.”
About the ticket, normal visitor has to pay US$3 per person but for students it’s free. Meas Chantha added, “Every month, there are two or three groups of students from different schools in Phnom Penh city come to visit here.”
Even though it has a lot of tourists who are come from many countries around the world, in the national museum, tour guides can provide service in five languages—French, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Mrs. Chan Sovantha, 50 years, is a tour guide in both French and English since 1997 described that “this museum start to built with traditional Khmer’s architecture and rust-red color in 1917 by Museum Architect George Groslier and dedicated to King Sisowath in 1920. In that time Cambodia was under French colony”.
Nowadays, it requires more tour guides since the museum has only 12 tour guides. She continued, “The reason that it needs more tour guides is because some tour guides are old and need to retire, for example, me. I am nearly retired too.”
Cambodia’s museum is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm every day. It located next to the royal palace in Sangkat Chey Chomnao, Khan 7Makara, Phnom Penh (at the corner of street 178 & 13).
When the tourists come to visit the national museum, they never skip visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda (called Wat Preah Keo Morokat as it is unique amongst pagodas), located in the Royal Place. It has many long histories related to Cambodian kings and also statues, photographs, and drawing of the kings. Specially, it shows about Khmer traditional clothes in the previous time.
Tep Kanitha, a student at Royal University of Phnom Penh, said, “I have visited Royal Palace many times. It is a nice and good designed place which Khmer tradition is shown on the wall of the Royal. I also like to visit the Independence Monument when I am free.”
When the tourists come to visit in Cambodia, they don’t forget take photos. The most important thing is they need to take is the background of the Independence Monument (called Vimean Ekareach) in Cambodia. They also need to sit and see of the view there, especially, it is near the Royal Palace and National Museum.
The Independence Monument is a very valuable symbol for Cambodian people because it represented the day that Khmer people got their independence from France on 09 November 1953. Every year, Cambodia always celebrates the national ceremony on 09 November to remind the independent day of Cambodia. In that day, most people spend their time at home or anywhere as their holiday.
This Independence Monument was design by renowned Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann. It is patterned on a lotus flower bud, adorned with Naga heads and obviously remind to the style design of the towers of Angkor Wat which is the Cambodia kingdom of the wonder.