Within the Royal Palace grounds is Phnom Penh's greatest attraction: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, built 1892 to 1902 and renovated in 1962. The temple is often referred to as the Silver Pagoda because of the 5,329 silver tiles—more than 5 tons of pure silver—that make up the floor in the main vihear (temple hall). At the back of the vihear is the venerated Preah Keo Morokat (Emerald Buddha)—some say it's carved from jade, whereas others
maintain that it's Baccarat crystal. In front of the altar is a 200-pound solid-gold Buddha studded with 2,086 diamonds. Displayed in a glass case are the golden offerings donated by Queen Kossomak Nearyreath (King Sihanouk's mother) in 1969; gifts received by the royal family over the years are stored in other glass cases. The gallery walls surrounding the temple compound, which serves as the royal graveyard, are covered with murals depicting scenes from the Indian epic, the Ramayana. Pride of place is given to a bronze statue of King Norodom on horseback, completed in Paris in 1875 and brought here in 1892. There's a nearby shrine dedicated to the sacred bull Nandi.
Sothearos between Sts. 240 and 184, Phnom Penh, Cambodia