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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Temple Watch: Museum worth a look

Temple Watch: Museum worth a look

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Although not a temple, Siem Reap's Angkor National Museum is worthwhile for an overview of Khmer history before a visit to the Angkor temples.

The museum opened in November 2007, drawing immediate criticism for its incomplete state, lack of visitor information, content and pricing

But with time it has improved. Most of the empty spaces have been filled and the labelling of the artefacts is now complete.  With audio visual shows, helpful guides and well-written text descriptions, it has now developed into a museum of which Siem Reap can be proud.

It features Buddhas in abundance and fine examples of Hindu statuary, lintels, lingas and nagas. The themed galleries are well arranged, and selections are a good representation of the best statuary and architectural features of Angkor. There is a surprisingly large amount of material from some of the more remote sites.

The information is set out very clearly and concisely. It will not satisfy the serious academic, but the intended audience of package tourists will find it easy to understand.  The text is in English and Khmer. There are also multi-lingual AV shows which can be selected by the viewer or tour guide.

Entry is US$12 for foreigners and $3 for Khmer.

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