Tomorrow, much of Phnom Penh will come to a standstill with the Cremation Procession of the former Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk.
With immense crowds expected in Phnom Penh over the next few days, it’s been confirmed that the Royal Palace will be closed for the whole week of national mourning from 1-7 February. This was announced yesterday. Tomorrow (Saturday) the King Father’s coffin will be removed from the Royal Palace, along Sisowath Quay and paraded around Wat Phnom, south down Norodom Boulevard, around Independence Monument and then along Sothearos Boulevard, coming to rest at the purpose-built crematorium very close to the National Museum & Royal Palace, with the cremation itself taking place on Monday 4 February. Large video screens dotted around the city will beam events live including the cremation. Wat Phnom will be closed on 1 February. The National Museum is confirmed closed on 1 and 4 February but access outside those days will be restricted because of road closures and the large crowds expected in the city, so visiting the Museum may be difficult during this period of time. The same goes for restaurants in the vicinity. The Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC on the riverfront) have told us they will close their doors on 1 and 4 Feb. Friends the Restaurant and Romdeng will close between 2-4 Feb. Access to hotels in the area around the riverside will be possible only on foot. Other closures include the Cambodian Living Arts shows at the National Museum in Phnom Penh as well as Sovanna Phum. Meanwhile, the Khmer Rouge-linked sites at S-21/Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek will remain open.