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Cambodia > Pictures and travelogues > Angkor National Museum, Siem Reap

Siem Reap in Cambodia: pictures from the Angkor National Museum, the Preah Ang Chek & Preah Ang Chorm pagoda, and the Independence Garden.

Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap
Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The city of Siem Reap in Cambodia is located only a few kilometers away from the famous archaeological sites of Angkor. Therefore, it serves as a basis from which tourists from around the world visit Angkor.

The city of Siem Reap itself has several attractions including the old market, the Preah Prohm Rath pagoda, and the Angkor National Museum. The latter is a wonderful Museum that opened its doors in 2007. It is a modern archaeological museum which is dedicated to the golden age of the Khmer civilization. It contains 8 galleries and uses audio-visual techniques. It houses various remains including those which are borrowed from the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh and some others which were accumulated first by the French School of the Far East and given then to the Cambodian Ministry of culture.

Pictures are strictly prohibited in the galleries. The Museum is set in Siem Reap on the road to Angkor (the Avenue General de Gaulle), a bit further than the "old stone bridge" and the royal residence. Naming it national museum may seem abusive insofar as this museum is actually the property of a Thai private company. Furthermore, most of the "thousand Buddha statues" shown in the first gallery are Thai-inspired without direct relation to Angkor.

Independence Garden in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Park of Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia: the Independence Garden at night.

Near to the old stone bridge (Spean Thma) and the Royal Residence in Siem Reap, there is a relatively extensive and well-maintained park. It is the Independence Garden. Some well-known hotels are established around this green area. The garden belongs actually to the Raffles Grand Hotel of Angkor. It is open to the public.

Siem Reap (Cambodia): Preah Ang Chek & Preah Ang Chorm pagoda
Preah Ang Chek & Preah Ang Chorm pagoda in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

In the Independence Garden, there is a small pagoda. It is the Preah Ang Chek & Preah Ang Chorm pagoda, named after the two Buddha statues that it houses (Preah Ang Chek is the largest statue and Preah Ang Chorm the smallest). It is a highly respected Buddhist sanctuary.

Almost unknown to tourists, the pagoda is visited by many local people, particularly after the working hours. Some of them touch the palms of the hands of the statues or pour water on them. Outside, monks bless pilgrims. The atmosphere is a strange mixture of devotion and relaxation.

The pagoda is located at a short distance from the National Highway 6 (the airport route) and the royal residence. Close to the pagoda at an intersection of the National Highway 6, Ya-Tep is a small sanctuary which is dedicated to Neak ta, the ancestral guardian spirit of the city.


 

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Siem Reap in Cambodia: pictures from the Angkor National Museum, the Preah Ang Chek & Preah Ang Chorm pagoda, and the Independence Garden. Cambodia travel guide with 200 nice pictures.