The Silver Pagoda is a place of cultural beauty for those interested in immersing themselves in one. A historical place, the Pagoda is the house of many interesting artifacts that are considered to be the nation's treasures. Standing vigil for two centuries, the Pagoda has been the silent observer of Cambodian history, becoming one of Cambodia's most beloved site. Be it for religious or leisure reason, visitors will find it hard to take their eyes from the incandescent light of the Pagoda.
Exploring The Cambodian History at Silver Pagoda
1. The Golden Buddha
You might think that there is no point in watching a statue. However, what if the statue is entirely made of Gold? Not only that the Golden Buddha is a statue that symbolizes Cambodia's richness, it is also a statue that tells the world of Cambodia's dedication to Buddhism. Just one look can take you back through a time warp.
2. The Mural of Reamker
Murals are abundant with history, and this mural is just like any other murals out there. Buddhist kingdoms use murals to tell of stories of epic proportion, stories that one can never describe through words alone. This specific mural talks about Reamker, which literarily translates to the 'Glory of Rama'. While Ramayana is a Hindunese Epic, the Reamker puts Buddhist values in it, turning the story into an epic tale filled with Hindunese and Buddhist moral values. The story contained within is certainly one that can beat many fantasy novels in the world, so if you are one who enjoys stories and epic, this place should be on your visit list.
3. Norodom Sihanouk Museum
The museum is actually a place for formal meetings, but it also acts as a museum for Norodom Sihanouk, A Cambodian king who once led Cambodia to a country that it is now. In here, you can learn about the former monarch starting from his birth and to his death. Those wishing to know how Cambodia can be the country that they are now visiting should put this place in their visit list.
4. The Silver Pagoda steps
Known as the Emerald Budha, The Silver Pagoda has steps that are entirely made of Italian marble. It is a sight to see for those wanting to know how grand the Silver Pagoda is.
5. Kunthabopha Stupa
Another stupa that houses the ash of a royalty, this one is the resting place for Princess Norodom Kunthaboph. The Princess was the daughter of Sihanouk who died of a dengue fever when she was just 4 years old. This stupa was built in her memories, showcasing Sihanouk's dedication and grief for the loss of his daughter. It is a stupa that will definitely help you learn more of the Cambodian royalty.
6. The House of Tipitaka
Head North from the Preah Keo Morakot and you will find a place that contains the Tipitaka, the collection of books that are filled with the teachings of Buddha. While not many are allowed to enter the place for fear of desecration, the building is still a sight to behold. It will surely quench the thirst of those wanting to have a look of the place that houses one of the most important books in the world.
How to Get Tickets?
To get your Silver Pagoda tickets, you will need to pay a sum of 3 US Dollars per person. For that price, you will be allowed to see the Pagoda and its many surroundings.
How To Get Around?
By your feet. The Pagoda area is not that big, and all of the attractions I have listed below are easily reachable on foot. It will take several minutes of walk, probably around 3-5 minutes. You would not be tired when you reach a place unless you have a health problem.
What Should I Wear?
Generally, the usual casual clothes are allowed in the place. Two things that you need to consider covering are your knees and shoulders. The Pagoda denizens would be fine with you wearing jeans and all, but you must not show the two things mentioned before. Avoid wearing tank tops or all kinds of shorts if you do not want to disrespect the people.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Pagoda would be around 8 AM to 11 AM. After that, the Pagoda would be closed for several hours before it reopens at 2.30 PM until 5 PM. Do visit the Pagoda at these times of the day to avoid unnecessary happenings.
Will I Need a Guide?
Because the Pagoda is not that big, you probably do not need one. However, there is nothing wrong if you want to have one with you.
How To Get There?
Getting to the Pagoda from the Phnom Penh International Aiport is a simple thing. There are many ways to get to the city, but the cheapest one would be using the public buses. The buses are all air-conditioned now, so you do not have to worry about getting sweaty on the way. It will take you several minutes to get to the city from the airport, meaning that it should not take you long to reach the place. When you are in the city, take the bus line 1 and stop at the 37th stop. From there, you only need to walk for a few steps before you are in the Silver Pagoda ground.
While this place is open to tourists, you need to remember that this place is a place of prayer as well. Do not be obnoxious when you are visiting the place and keep your tone low so that you do not disrespect those who see this place as a holy place. Also, be mindful that the Pagoda also charges a fee based on what you are going to do in the place. If you want to take pictures, you need to pay an additional fee of 2 US Dollars. If you want to record some videos, the fee can go up to 5 US Dollars. While you do need to pay to be able to whip out your cameras, you do not need to pay more for it. Just pay for the Silver Pagoda tickets and the additional fees if they are needed and you do not need to pay more.