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Pak Mun Dam, Harnessing The Strength Of The Gods: 200 Riel (Cambodia, 1998)-Article

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

This Cambodian banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the Second Riel (Twelfth Issue, Series 1995-1999). The Twelfth Issue of the Second Riel was introduced, as a complement to the previous Eleventh Issue. It featured relatively lower denominations, ranging from 100 to 1,000 Riels. With the exception of the final denomination, there is no overlap between the two issues.

Notably the Eleventh Issue were the first banknotes, issued under the reestablished Kingdom of Cambodia. As such they feature a different national symbol, than most pre-1993 banknotes. An image of King Norodom Sihanouk is often featured on large denominations.


The observe right features a detailed illustration of Pak Mun Hydroelectric Dam, on the Mun River. Construction of the dam began in 1990, under the State of Cambodia (People's Republic of Kampuchea). And was complete in 1994, under the reestablished Kingdom of Cambodia. It lays along the Thai-Cambodian border and is a source of various political disputes.

The note's header reads "ធនាគារជាតិនៃកម្ពុជា, translated as the "National Bank of Cambodia". Below this header is the notes serial number, "ក 6228976" (K Ng 6228976). Below is a pair of signatures, representing Bank of Cambodia officials. At the notes footer is a counterfeit warning, similar to those seen in Laotian banknotes.

At the center-right, is the Royal Arms of Cambodia, the symbol of the Cambodian Monarchy. Which originally served as the national symbol from 1953-1970. It was reestablished after the return of the monarchy, in 1994. Prior this various communist and socialist emblems were used.

Below the Royal Arms is the "ពីររយរៀល", representing the note's 200 Riels value. Which is reinforced by Khmer (២០០) and standard numerals (200), at upper-left and right corners. These numerals rest on large guilloché backings. While the lower-right corner features the note's 1998 print date. Notably the the lower-left guilloché is left empty.


The reverse depicts a three-faced column, from Bayon Temple. Which at first were in reverence of the Hindu god Brahma (God of Creation), then Buddha. The faces are known as the "200 faces of Lokesvara" and are located on the temple's upper terrace. Notably red ink of observe serial number can be seen "bleeding" through.

The header reads "ធនាគារជាតិនៃកម្ពុជា, translated as the "National Bank of Cambodia". Just as the observe, left side lists note's (trans.) "Two Hundred Riels" value. While right side features the note's watermark area. Khmer (២០០) and standard numerals (200) are featured at upper-left and right corners. They lay on smaller guilloché backing than the observe.

The note's printer, the "National Bank of Cambodia" is listed at the footer. The watermark features stylized lotus flowers, a Buddhist symbol for purity.


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 145 x 67 mm or 5.71 x 2.74 in, wider than a US Dollar.

  • The preferably method to preserve note are large side-opening sleeves, cut to size.

  • The Second Riel uses the ISO code is KHR and "" as its symbol.

  • The Second Riel was sub-divided into 10 Kak/100 Sen, before rising inflation made these denominations obsolete.

  • Since the 1990s the US Dollar has been used as an accepted currency, in Cambodian retail.

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