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Haw Phra Kaew

This former temple, built in the mid-1500s, once housed the famous Emerald Buddha (before the Siamese reclaimed it). Today, Haw Phra Kaew is home to a small museum—the only portion of the royal palace to survive attack.

As a result, visitors can wander its original interior, filled with gilded halls, handcrafted sculptures, Hindu artwork and traditional Khmer carvings. Its protected veranda houses some of the most ornate Buddhist sculptures in the country, and manicured gardens full of brilliantly colored flowers and well-kept lawns make for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon outside the city center.

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