Museum serves as a memory bank of every nation.
It gives us a sense of history, a chance to go back and study what has been and why we, as a people, behave in a society we current live in. It also shows how one country is able to save and preserve that “sense of history”. I am sure no elaboration is needed. All of us know the importance of a national museum. And so are the Khmers.
Right after Wat Phnom, Oki and I had our lunch at Sarady restaurant, just adjacent the temple. We had no time to look for other restaurant to eat because I was already about to die of hunger. I had a huge glass of shake (I think it was lychee or soursop) and a plate of spicy chicken stir fry with rice (which I have been ordering and eating since I set foot in Cambodia).
Spicy chicken stir fry with swamp cabbage (kangkong) and a huge glass of shake courtesy of Sarady's. I love their chicken stir fry! One plate is good for two servings that I wasn't able to finish it.
Facade of Cambodia's National Museum. I was getting the shot from the other street on our way to the UNESCO office, which is almost adjacent to the Royal Palace.
After lunch, our rickshaw driver headed for the National Museum, a few walks away from the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda and the Sisowath Quay (riverfront). The structure known as the “red museum” is distinguishable from afar due to its reddish terracotta-roofed structure of traditional Cambodian design.
Cambodia’s National Museum was designed by George Groslier and the Ecole des Arts Cambodgiens. It was built in 1917 in traditional Khmer style (with French influence, of course) and was inaugurated in 1920 by King Sisowat himself. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer archeological, religious, and artistic artifacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Inside the museum are over 5000 pieces of important artifacts and is the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth.
Front gate of the museum.
I am loving the sunstreaks here! :-D
Making the lion guard larger than life and the museum taller than usual.
Unfortunately, as we were about to pay our $2 entrance, we were informed that photography is forbidden inside the museum. We got there along with the other "eager" tourists who carried along with them their bulky DSLRs and got frustrated at the information booth. We weren't suprised at all. We knew there was a catch.
Well, actually it’s not really forbidden, because you could pay extra $3 for the photo op, which I went against. One, I hate paying and paying extra for that matter. Two, if they ask me to pay extra $3 and the proceed will go the maintenance of the museum, well and good but other than that, I wouldn’t pay. Or they could just ask $5 for the entrance fee. I am (quite) sure that every tourist who goes inside has a camera with them. Well, at least 80% chance that I am right and the rest 20% of the populace was just there for the viewing pleasure.
Ahh, I just love the designs and architecture of the Khmer. Fascinating to look out, lovely in my eyes.
Even the landscape is astonishing.
The place is well maintained. And because I stayed a bit long taking photos of the building outside, I had the chance to see and meet the gardener of the museum.
Anyway, I told the lady at the front that I won’t be taking photos but I need to bring my camera with me (cuz there is no way that I will leave it at the front desk). Good thing they allowed me, otherwise, I will not go inside.
I just enjoyed the long and winding tour inside the museum. One thing about not using your camera while touring is that, I get to enjoy looking at every artifact and piece of art with great enthusiam without minding the time or without being pressured if I have gotten enough photos. It also helped that we've visited the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap before we headed to the museum because I get to appreciate the displays a lot more (and the stories behind them).