Angkor National Museum

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Angkor National Museum

Looming large on the road to Angkor is the Angkor National Museum, a state-of-the-art showpiece on the Khmer civilisation and the majesty of Angkor. Displays are themed by era, religion and royalty as visitors move through the impressive galleries.

Angkor National Museum
Angkor National Museum

After a short presentation, visitors enter the Zen-like ‘Gallery of a Thousand Buddhas’, which has a fine collection of images. Other collections include the pre-Angkorian periods of Funan and Chenla, the great Khmer kings, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the inscriptions.

Angkor National Museum
Angkor National Museum

Presentations include touch-screen video, epic commentary and the chance to experience a panoramic sunrise at Angkor Wat, but for all the technology there seems less sculpture on display than in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. However, it remains a very useful experience for first-time visitors to put the story of Angkor and the Khmer empire in context before exploring the temples. The US$12 admission fee is a little high, given that US$20 buys admission to all the temples at Angkor. Visitors also have to pay a US$2 camera fee, but can’t snap everywhere, and an audio tour is available for US$3. Attached to the museum is a ‘Cultural Mall’, lined with shops, galleries and cafes, but this hasn’t really taken off and sees few visitors.

 

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