Phnom Penh and The Killing Fields
The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are two of the most striking buildings in the capital and considered as some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture. They were initially constructed in 1866 by the French, during their colonial rule of Cambodia. The Royal Palace is home to the current King Sihamoni. The neighbouring Silver Pagoda stands out in its own distinctive way. The floor consists of 5,329 solid silver tiles to which the building owes its name. The building houses many gold and jewelled Buddha statues including the highly prized 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha.
Other important buildings that can be found within the compound include Wat Preah Keo Morokat, where Royal ceremonies are still performed. Here you'll also find King Ang Doung's sacred Stupa – the burial site of former King Norodom. Please note that women should cover their shoulders and both men and women should cover their knees.
Afterwards, continue to visit the peaceful stretch of green fields of Cheung Ek. Situated 17km from Phnom Penh town, Cheung Ek was made famous by the movie “The Killing Fields”. Nowadays, a large memorial has been built to commemorate the 17,000 victims who died here under the reign of Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot. The remnants inside the memorial and the mass graves that dot the area remind you of the suffering of the victims. This journey into Cambodia’s past will provide you with a background on the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime. It will also give you an appreciation of the struggle that Cambodian people have faced and their tremendous courage to move on and rebuild their nation.