Angkor National Museum
This museum is a convenient and useful stop-over en route to the temples of Angkor. It allows visitors to gain some insight into the centuries of history, culture, rich symbolism, and myth associated with the temple area which often remains hidden when viewing the Angkor temples without a guide. The museum's main attractions are its archeological treasures, including the lion and demon heads missing from the temple statues, Khmer artefacts predating the Angkor period, and a facinating collection of ancient Khmer and Sanscrit inscriptions on stone tablets. There is a striking gallery dedicated solely to images of Buddha and a gallery featuring the ancient costume of the Angkor period, including jewellery and headdresses. The museum uses multimedia displays and various artefacts to evoke the golden age of Khmer culture and to give insight into its history. Displays are colourful and vibrant and the information is informative and accessible. The building itself is very new (opened in 2007) and is ultra-modern, lavishly air-conditioned, and enormous, with over 20,000 square metres of floor space and some dramatic fountains. There is also a museum gift shop for souvenirs. Allow at least an hour for a visit. In addition to the entrance fee, and the optional extra cost for taking in a camera, visitors can pay $3 for an educational headset.
Address: No.968, Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Phoum Salakanseng, Khom Svaydangum, Siem Reap
Telephone: (0)63 966 601
Opening times: 1 May to 30 September: Open daily, from 8.30am to 6pm; 1 October to 30 April: Open daily, from 8.30am to 6.30pm
Admission: Admission for non-Cambodians is $12, with an extra $3 for photography