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New book: Phnom Penh Sights Beyond the Guidebooks

Updated: Sightseeing for locals: the city’s secrets revealed

King Norodom’s Head: Phnom Penh Sights Beyond the Guidebooks
Author: Boswell, Steven W.;

King Norodom’s Head deals with sights in and about Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city that are rarely – if at all – dealt with in guidebooks and other works about the city. This is not, therefore, a guidebook with walking tours of the town. The reader will find no detailed descriptions of the Royal Palace, the National Museum, or the Khmer Rouge’s infamous S-21 detention-cum-torture centre, though all these places make appearances in the book. Rather, the reader will learn among other things like the whereabouts of the gold of King Ang Duong and of Madame Chum’s infamous opium den, the story behind the mysterious Frenchman buried on Wat Phnom’s hill, and the secret reason behind Jackie Kennedy’s 1967 trip to Cambodia. Each chapter centres on a site that can be visited, someplace or something that can be seen and often touched. The hope is that together these chapters will give the reader an appreciation of a number of the more obscure or little reported places in the city and of the stories and history associated with them. If this book encourages visitors to spend an extra day or so in the city and if it inspires residents to stroll their city’s streets more than they normally would, it will have achieved its purpose.

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