Phnom Penh Cambodia : Recommended Trips Around

Recommended trips around Phnom Penh Cambodia, some of the best things to do and see.

 

Oudong

Before Phnom Penh was permanently settled as the capital of Cambodia, Oudong performed the role from the early part of 17th century until 1866. Temples, stupas and other constructions are all dotted around three hills in Oudong, which provide some great views of the countryside.

These hills were also an important battleground between the Khmer Rouge and Vietcong in 1979. The stupas are the final resting places of a number of Cambodian Kings such as King Ang Duong (1845-1859) and King Monivong (1927-1941).

The largest hill is called Phnom Preach Reach Throap (Hill of the Royal Fortune) and is named so as it is claimed that a King hid national treasure there during a war with the Thais in the 16th century.

Oudong also houses a concrete replica of Angkor Wat called Prasat Nokor Vimean Sour.

How to get there:

40km north of Phnom Penh, share taxi ($5 per person), buses leave every 30 minutes to Oudong from Ho Wah Genting station (2500 reil). You can also hire a motorbike as road is pretty decent.

Phnom Chisor

At the top Phnom Chisor, there is an 11th century temple ruin. Its construction began under the reign of King Suryavarman-I but considering that some parts of the temple are made of sandstone and others with clay-brick and laterite, there has clearly been various era’s of building. The hill itself is a large one and it is a fairly arduous climb. However, the site of the ruined temple and the wonderful view of the countryside do make the climb worthwhile. Best combined with a trip to the Tonle Bati.

How to get there:

Share taxi ($8 per person) or take a bus from the Ho Wah Genting station (3,000 riel), then get off at Neang Khmau and take a moto to hill base.

Tonle Bati

33km south of Phnom Penh are two temples (Ta Prohm & Yeay Peau) built by Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century and situated on the bank of a natural lake called Tonle Bati. There’s also a monastery near the temples and villages surround the area.

How to get there:

Share taxi ($8 per person) or take a bus heading to Takeo from the Ho Wah Genting station (3,000 riel), then get off at Tonle Bati and take a moto to the temples

Angkor Borei

The town of Angkor Borei near Takeo has ruined remains of the pre-Angkorian Funan and Water Chenla Kingdoms as well as the nearby 11th century Angkorian temple of Phnom Da. Remember, that the ruins are only accessible via speedboat from Takeo in the wet season (around $15). It is possible to get to Angkor Borei in the dry season via a pick-up from Takeo. There is also a museum in Angkor Borei chronicling the Chenla, Funan and Angkor eras (admission $1). A short boat trip to Phnom Da from Angkor Borei is required.

How to get there:

75km from Phnom Penh, there are daily buses from Phnom Penh to Takeo (4,500 riel)

Kompong Louang (Silver Craft Village)

Kompong Louang is famous for its handcrafted products made of pure silver. Virtually the entire population of this village consists of craftsmen, and the silver items from it are distributed to both local and foreign markets.

How to get there:

South of Oudong, between National Road No. 5 and the Tonle Sap River

Killing Fields Of Choeung Ek

Once the Khmer Rouge had finished detaining and torturing its 17,000 victims at S-21 (Tuol Sleng Museum) in Phnom Penh (see What To See section), they were then taken to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek between 1975 to December 1978. Most were bludgeoned to death in order to conserve bullets and thrown into pits. Children were often whacked to death against trees. 129 communal graves (of which 43 have been left untouched) were discovered in 1980. 8,985 bound and blindfolded bodies were exhumed within the former orchard, and bits of bone and clothes are still clearly visible around the pits. A Memorial Stupa, containing 8,000 skulls arrange by sex and age, was built in 1998. It’s probably best to visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek after seeing S-21. However, visiting just one of these genocidal sites is often more than enough for many.

How to get there:

15km southwest of the city, take a moto ($3 return), $2 entry

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