Museums in Siem reapEdit This
There are several Siem Reap museums that are located both in and around the city, each of them being worth a visit while you're staying in Siem Reap. The museums are diverse in both subject and presentation, and while some only require a few hours to see, others will require the better part of a day. Here are 4 Siem Reap museums that you won't want to miss:
Angkor National Museum
Begin by stepping foot into a room filled with 1,000 Buddha images, an impressive sight. The museum showcases Angkor culture from pre-Angkor times through to the last kings of Angkor. There are exhibits dedicated to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, as well as to traditional costumes and the religion of the people. The museum is great for garnering extra knowledge about the temples-as well as the culture that built them-that are such a tourist magnet for Siem Reap. Entrance is USD 12. Photographs are not permitted inside.
Cambodia Land Mine Museum
Begun in the home of former child soldier Aki Ra, this museum is a testament to one of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, the land mine. Aki Ra decommissioned landmines from the late 1990s to the present, and many of them are now on display in the museum. It has been developed into an educational museum, as well as a relief center for victims of land mines. Aki Ra and his family still have a home on the premises. Admission is USD 1.
Cambodian Cultural Village
This incredible village is an outdoor museum that contains replicas of the different styles of houses throughout the ages of Cambodia. There are also daily performances of traditional dance, wedding ceremonies and more, as well as a wax museum and displays of miniatures of famous sights throughout Cambodia. You can also see beautiful stone carvings done by masters in the field. Entrance is USD 9, with an additional charge of USD 5 for a guide.
Angkor Wat in Miniature
While not necessarily a museum in the formal sense, these amazing works by Dy Proeung are certainly worth a mention. Dy Proeung has spent years doing miniature sandstone carvings (all by hand) of the temples of Angkor. Some of the more famous temples that he has reproduced include Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple and Ban-teay Srey. Entrance to the gallery is just USD 1.50. You'll love stepping inside to compare the tiny temples with the massive originals.
Here it is a list of museums or places of local and historic interest. First, many visitors are keen to complement their visit to Angkor Wat's incredible temples with a reflection on the Pol Pot years - truly a sad episode, exacerbated and surrounded by other conflicts including the Vietnam war in which Cambodia was caught in the middle between the USA and the North Vietnamese forces. Aki Ra's Landmine Museum is testimony to the carpeting of landmines across Cambodia by various forces. Wat Thmey is a Buddhist temple which was the scene of the local killing fields. In the middle of the grounds of this monastery is a stupa, or memorial, with glass sides, inside of which are human bones and skulls. It is a startling sight, yet in the background the visitor will hear the laughter of children and the sounds of everyday life.
For modern craftsmanship, a visit to the Silk Farm is interesting. This is tertiary educaitonal facility; teaching skills - but also serves as a place for visitors to learn how the glorious silks of Cambodia are made - from silk work through to weaving.
Can any armament used in conflict be so immoral as the landmine? Soldiers fight soliders - but landmines continue to maim and kill civilians decades after they were laid down. In Cambodia one of the unfortunate legacies of the 1970s was the carpeting of literally millions of landmines - by the USA, by China and by Vietnam - each trying to blanket Cambodia in order to create for themselves regional security. Cambodia still pays the price.
Aki Ras' landmine museum is a memorial to this sad chapter of human history. The museum is free, though donations are more..
Artisans D'Angkor runs a silk farm and manufacturing facility about 20 minutes outside of town. A full tour and thorough explanation of work in English is given for free, with a tour guide for each visitor group, no matter how small. The facility is nice to see. You will need to hire a car or tuk tuk to get there.
Cambodian silk is exquisite, so the pleasant tour here will give you an appreciation of the labour (from the silk worms as well as the skilled people!) that go into every thread. The store here has a fine, reasonably upmarket more..
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