Royal Palace of Cambodia is located in Phnom Penh, in front of Chaktomuk river.
Since I was young, I was taken to play around in the palace, so I have strong feeling connection with that place.
Even though I am not kid anymore, but the feeling towards the Royal Palace is still the same.
Every time, I visit the Royal Palace, I go to my favorite spots. Some of them I cannot enter, just look from distance, but at least, I can recover happy memory.
Chantchhaya means shadow of the moon. In Khmer, Chant means the moon, Chhaya means light or shadow (many meanings).
I love this place the most.
When king Sihanouk was out of country, the palace was a tourist place. Citizens could visit.
I was taken to play and take photo on the park before the pavilion. Each time, I was on the grass field, I looked at there and wished I could climb there to see.
When I was 4 or 5 years old, while my family was taking photos, I ran to the pavilion, but the guard said no and told me to come back to my parents. He said it was dangerous to go there alone.
After, I don't remember time, I had chance to visit there with my family. Based on my memory, there were painting on the roof and the hall was big. Since then, I never reach it again. When King Sihanouk came back, I have no chance to visit there until today. I can only stand from distance, look and take photo.
At present, the pavilion is under repairing.
Hor Samran Phirun
I have no chance to enter the spot, since I was young until now.
Well, I wish I can visit inside one day.
The spot is on the right side of Throne Hall.
I cannot describe much because I don't know anything about it.
What I like about it is the architecture. Beautiful and peace like the name - Samran means sleep, Phirun, I am not sure; it should be Phirum means good, but it turns to Phirun, rain?! I will ask the royal palace guide to make sure about name of this spot.
Mirrors in Throne Hall
There are two mirrors placed in the Throne Hall.
I am not allowed take photo inside the hall, so I took photo outside of the hall instead.
I heard from a person. She was told by an old lady working in the palace that one mirror is called male mirror and another one is called female mirror. The mirrors are believed to have magic. Man can look at his reflection in male mirror and wish in his mind to be brave and strong. For woman, she can look in female mirror wishing to be pretty, good manner and fortune. However, the teller did not indicate which one is male or female mirror.
But according to old guy in the hall told me that the mirrors were for the ministers, in the past, to take a look at their cloth before going to meet with the king.
Well, whether the telling of mirror is not true, still I am interested in, then I write it down to entertain the readers.
If you stand on Throne Hall and look at your right to little far distance, you will see a big hall and it is called Puchani Pavilion. The place is not allowed to enter.
Puchani Pavilion was served as dancing theater for the Royal, in the past.
When I hear, I imagine the view of Khmer dancers performed beautiful dance before eyes of the King.
If there is performing of Khmer Royal Ballet at that pavilion, it will be great.
Tiny Angkor Behind Silver Pagoda
Visitors like to visit the Silver Pagoda. It seems no one interested in spot behind the temple.
As for me, I like to go behind the pagoda. Why? To refresh feeling, to make myself connect to nature and past memory.
At the spot, there are water, fish, tree, wind, bird singing. Moreover, it is quiet place – because people prefer other spots such as Silver Pagoda, Preah Ko shrine or Preah Keo shrine.
When I sit there, I can recall the memory when I visited palace while I was a kid. It is where I can bring up happy and pure period of mine, to make myself happy, to release stress and sadness for a short moment.
Next to the Tiny Angkor Wat, there is an old well. it was built in 1893. Water in the well was for daily using in the palace.
Now, the well is closed. Only the bell is hanged over to notice it was former water well.
Love of Father towards Daughter
King Sihanouk had a daughter named Kuntha Bopha. She was sick and died when she was a kid.
The king was so sad. He loved her so much, so he built up Kuntha Bopha Hospital to save Cambodian kids from disease free of charge.
I was told that at last minute of life, the king told to put his relic with his beloved daughter. I heard there were two reasons:
- He was king of country, he would obtain the huge and great ceremony when he passed away. But he did not want Cambodia to spend because he realized Cambodia was still weak. For his great love towards country, he asked to not organize big ceremony and no need to build stupa for him, just let him stayed at same stupa with princess Kuntha Bopha.
- His love towards princess Kuntha Bopha was so strong. In my opinion, the kind held guilty in his mind even it was many years. I was told that he was so sad when he perceived news of princess death. He might regret that if he did pay attention more to her, she would be saved on time. When she was alive, he had no enough time to be near her; hence, he wanted to pay her by staying near her in the same stupa.
The stupa is not interesting by the visitors. But for me, I like to sit at the Tiny Angkor and look at the stupa. It is what I can do to show my great respect to my king of what he has done to country, to people and to nation.
Well, all about what I want to talk in this article. There are more things I want to know about the Royal Palace. I will visit there and ask the guide about what I want to know. After, I will tell you.