Fodor's Expert Review National Museum
Within this splendid, Khmer-style rust-red landmark, next to the Royal Palace, lie many archaeological treasures. This is one of Cambodia's two main museums, and houses impressive relics that have survived war, genocide, and widespread plundering. Exhibits chronicle the various stages of Khmer cultural development, from the pre-Angkor periods of Fu Nan and Zhen La (5th–8th century) to the Indravarman period (9th century), the classical Angkor period (10th–13th century), and post-Angkor period. Among the more than 5,000 artifacts and works of art are 19th-century dance costumes, royal barges, and palanquins. A palm-shaded central courtyard with lotus ponds houses the museum's showpiece: a sandstone statue of the Hindu god Yama, the Leper King, housed in a pavilion. Guides, who are usually waiting just inside the entrance, can add a lot to a visit here.