Sunday, 14 September 2014

Arts and crafts are the big draw on an excursion to Cambodia's National Museum with Voyages to Antiquity

Cambodia highlight: the National Museum in Phnom Penh

  • Our latest guest blog by Zoe Bromley-Fox, Land Programmes Manager of cruise line Voyages to Antiquity. The line’s one ship, Aegean Odyssey, returns to south-east Asia this winter for the first time since the winter of 2012-13. Zoe looks forward to the forthcoming visit by recalling highlights of the journey two years ago.

Calling into the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville, some passengers opted to head off on a full day excursion to explore the capital Phnom Penh, still boasting evidence of the French Colonial times. We visited the city’s main attractions – the National Museum and the Royal Palace with an inside visit to the Silver Pagoda.  The National Museum was the highlight for many passengers with one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art, including sculptural, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects.

The exterior of the museum was as much of a draw as the artefacts inside – inspired by ‘traditional Khmer’ architecture, it is also described as a building enlarged from Cambodian temple prototypes seen on ancient bas-reliefs and reinterpreted through the eyes of George Groslier (1887-1945). A historian, curator and author, he was responsible for the revival of interest in traditional Cambodian arts and crafts and designed this quintessential building.

More details of Aegean Odyssey’s cruises visiting Cambodia in 2015 on Voyages to Antiquity's website. Which is also where you can read Zoe’s blog in full, together with her pick of the top excursions in south-east Asia.