top of page

Ancient Capital, The Ruins Of Prasat Bayon: 1000 Riels (Cambodia, 1992)-Article

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

This Cambodian banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the Second Riel (Tenth Issue, Series 1992-1993). The Tenth Issue of the Second Riel was a mostly unissued series, with only the 200 Riel entering circulation. The unissued notes were in 1,000 and 2,000 Riel values. These were replaced by new designs in the Eleventh Issue.

Notably the Tenth Issue was produced during a transitional period in Cambodia. In which the transitional State of Cambodia (1989–1993) to current reestablished Kingdom of Cambodia (1993-20xx). In particular this would have been during the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (1992-93) phase of the transition.

Banknotes issued after this transition, often feature an image of King Norodom Sihanouk.


The observe features the ruins of Prasat Bayon (Bayon Temple), in Angkor Thom. This temple was the last to be built in Angkor and the only dedicated to Brahma ( The Creator). It's construction was commissioned by King Jayavarman VII (1122-1218), as part of a large public works project. After his death the temple drifted to and from Buddhism and Hinduist, before being consumed by the jungle.

The text is printed entirely in Khmer script, a local evolution of South Indian Pallava script. It's 1,000 Riel value is printed 3 times in Khmer numerals, expressed as “១០០០". Twice along the upper corners and once on the lower-right. The lower-left corner instead features the note's "1992" print date.

Additional Khmer script is printed above and below the temple illustration. The header reads "រដ្ឋកម្ពុជា។", translated as "The State of Cambodia". While the lower reads "មួយពាន់រៀល", for "One Thousand Riels". Toward the far-left is the note's watermark area, at its bottom is one of the note's dual-serial number.

The number reads "កង 9404128", roughly translated as "KaNgo 9404128". Notably the Khmer alphabet does not directly translate to Latin/standard script. To upper right is a second repeating serial number. The second serial center can be seen at the center far-right.

The remainder of features decorative Khmer stonework framing and guilloche patterns.


The reverse features a painting of traditional fisherman casting nets, at Lake Tonle Sap. The art style is inspired by French impressionism, sharing similarities to Monet's “Impression, soleil levant” (Impression, Sunrise). This image is also similar to the pre-Khmer Rogue 50 Riel note, issue from 1956-1974. Its reuse is possibly connected to the reestablishment of the Khmer monarchy.

The reverse features both Khmer and English language text. The header reads "ធនាគារជាតិនៃកម្ពុជា, the subtext below provides a translation the "National Bank of Cambodia". While further below reads reads "មួយពាន់រៀល", for "One Thousand Riels".

To the left is an ornate Khmer design, resting on overlapping guiloche patterns. A multicolor pattern can be seen, between a pair of wing-like decorations. Above and below this strange design are Khmer (២០០) and standard numerals (200).

The lower-right corner list the note's "1000 One Thousand Riels" value. Above it is the note's watermark area. Backlighting the note with bright light will expose a Chinthe watermark. In Southeast Asia, Chinthe statues are often seen guarding the entrances to Buddhist temples.



Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 127 x 67 mm or 5.00 x 2.64, 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.

10 views0 comments
bottom of page