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See 5000 Reasons why the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh is called the Silver Pagoda

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Welcome to Siem Reap, Southeast Asia’s burgeoning city, coming out of the shadows and making a name for itself. Modern buildings are popping up and is starting to look like you typical bustling Asian cosmopolitan capital. Included in this development are traditional buildings and structures that have given the city its character and flair. One such is the Silver Pagoda in the grounds of the Royal Palace.

Ever wonder where the Silver Pagoda got its name from? It’s got to do with something silver, right? Correct. And silver tiles to be exact. There are over 5000 of them, each weighing approximately one kilogram. But before that, though it was nothing more than a wooden building. It was refurbished to the spectacle that you see today back in 1962.

Some of Cambodia’s treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues are housed here. Cambodia’s own Emerald Buddha Statue calls the Silver Pagoda home. Another notable relic is a near human sized Maitreya Buddha statue, itself finely decorated with over 9500 diamonds, the largest of which weighs 25 carats.

In front of the pagoda is a statue of a man riding a horse. Seems a little out of place, don’t you think?  Interestingly enough, the sculpture used to be of Napoleon Bonaparte, a gift from the man himself to King Norodom. However, the head was later changed to closely match that of the Cambodian King’s.

Learn more about the history of Buddhism and Hinduism from the several murals in the main courtyard. The vicinity also includes a small library containing Buddhist scriptures written on palm leaves. South of the courtyard is a small chapel where a large silver painted Buddha footprint is housed.

And check out the royal history of the place. At various locations throughout the courtyard are several gray stupas where ashes of former kings and queens are held.

Is the Silver Pagoda used for anything else? Of course. Kings past and present use the site as a place to meet and get advice from monks. The King also uses the site for royal processions and ceremonies during some of the country’s secular and royal holidays.

Need a quick one day orientation of the capital? Then Exotissimo’s Phnom Penh Full Day Sightseeing program is the tour for you. Learn about all of the city’s main sites, including a stop here at the Silver Pagoda.

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