National Museum of Cambodia

Located at the city center, just hundreds of meters north of the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh is the country’s largest cultural, historical, and archeological museum. This place is a very popular attraction in Phnom Penh and listed as one of the best highlights when visiting the city. 
Built between 1917 and 1924, the museum bears prominent features of traditional Khmer architectural style with herringbone roofs flanked by Naga snake sculptures. The light brown color of the buildings also makes it attractive as what housed inside.

National Museum of Cambodia

The Museum is home to a great display of cultural artifacts found on the land from prehistoric times and huge collections of Khmer art throughout the long history of the Kingdom. There are vast arrays of stone sculptures, terracotta, ceramic, bronze, and wood carving masterpieces, some date back thousands of years ago. Items displayed in this museum were excavated, collected, and gathered from different parts of the country. Among some 14,000 items on display, some most prominent ones there including the fragment of reclining Vishnu statue that was discovered from the ancient temple of West Mebon near Angkor, the 6th century Vishnu statute with eight arms found at the Phnom Da, a Funan site in Takeo province, the statue of King Jayavarman VII originally from Angkor Thom, the sandstone sculpture of Garuda and wrestling monkeys discovered in Koker temple dating back in the 10th century, a thousand years old statue of Trimurti, and so on.

National Museum of Cambodia - Phnom Penh

All the items in this museum illustrate a long journey of the Khmer culture from prehistoric time to the Funan and Chenla periods in the 4th and 8th centuries, the Angkorian period from 9th to 14th century, the medieval time to the contemporary era.
Sharing the same fate with other cultural and historical sites throughout the country, during the rule of Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, the museum was evacuated, abandoned, and partly devastated. The disrepair and deserted building became the lair for legions of bats and rats, the garden was left overgrown and collections were disarray, damaged, and stolen. After Khmer Rouge was kicked off, the new government quickly tidied things up and reopened the museum to the public, however, many of the Museum's professional employees could not survive the genocidal Khmer Rouge rule.

National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh

Nowadays, along with the nearby Royal University of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Cambodia works to preserve and promote Cambodian cultural heritages and traditions. Apart from that, the Museum also functions as a religious site for Cambodian people.
Please note that photography is not permitted inside except around the museum’s exterior and courtyard, however, postcards, books and DVDs, replica sculptures, and souvenirs are available at the museum’s store.
The Museum opens from 8.00 am until 5.00 pm every day and the entrance ticket can be bought at the booth standing at the corner of Streets 13 and 178. If you visit there on your own, a guided tour can be arranged at the entrance.