Kampong Thom

Kampong Thom

Kampong Thom is the capital of Kampong Thom Province in Cambodia. It's about halfway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and thus most travellers only rush through on their way between these two major attractions. Nevertheless, it is a pleasant and relaxed place and a good starting point for exploring the countryside and the temples of Sambor Prei Kuk.
Things to do and see in Kampong Thom

Sambor Prei Kuk

Cambodia's most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments, Sambor Prei Kuk encompasses more than 100 mainly brick temples huddled through the forest, among them some of the oldest structures in the country. Originally called Isanapura, it served as the capital of Upper Chenla during the reign of the early 7th-century King Isanavarman and continued to serve as an important learning centre during the Angkorian era
The main temple area consists of three complexes, each enclosed by the remains of two concentric walls. Their basic layout – a central tower surrounded by shrines, ponds and gates – may have served as an inspiration for the architects of Angkor five centuries later. Many of the original statues are now in the National Museum in Phnom Penh

Preah Khan: For lost-world ambience, the Preah Khan Temple Enclosure can't be beaten. Covering almost 5 sq km, this temple complex (not to be confused with the temple of the same name at Angkor) is the largest temple enclosure constructed during the Angkorian period – quite a feat when you consider the competition.
Preah Khan’s history is shrouded in mystery, but it was long an important religious site, and some structures here date back to the 9th century. Both Suryavarman II, builder of Angkor Wat, and Jayavarman VII lived here at various times during their lives, suggesting Preah Khan was something of a second city in the Angkorian Empire.
Originally dedicated to Hindu deities, Preah Khan was re-consecrated to Mahayana Buddhist worship during a monumental reconstruction in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

Floating Village

There are several different floating village areas here, and tours around the Tonle Sap usually last for around an hour. As you tour around the villages you will see locals going about their daily lives as well as fishing and preparing their catch to sell in the local market.

Kampong Leaeng Temples

Across the river from the banks of Kampong Chhnang is Kampong Leaeng which is home to some gorgeous temples that pre-date Angkor. The temples are quite different in style to many in other parts of Cambodia, but one of the great delights of this trip is also the approach by river and the chance to venture out into rural Cambodia.

Andong Russei Pottery Village

Chhnang actually means ‘pot’ in Khmer so it is no surprise that there is a pottery village here. Located around 4 kilometres from Kampong Chhnang, this makes an easy day visit and you can walk around the village and see the little houses that all make pottery.

Phnom Neang Kong Rei

Phnom Neang Kong Rei means the Mountain of the Sleeping Lady although to call it a mountain is a bit ambitious as it is actually more of a small hill. Still, despite its small stature it is actually one of the most famous mountains in Cambodia as it is the source of a legend of a heartbroken princess. You will see statues of the poor girl all over the area but the real reason to go here is to take in the amazing views across the countryside. It is located on the other side of the Tonle Sap from Kampong Chhnang but you can just get the passenger ferry across followed by a tuk-tuk for a few dollars.

Kampong Thom Overview

The KampongThom province is in the southeast of Cambodia and sits between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, which makes it easy to reach along national highway No 6. This region was once regarded as a convenient place to lay over on a journey between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but is now an attraction in itself and a great place for tourists to visit to experience the charming market town with the ability to easily explore the most attractive temple sites in the country, the friendly locals, the market fruit vendor's and the statues in riverside park.

Kampong Thom History
Kampong Thom is Cambodia's second largest province by area. Its capital is named Kampong Thom, a picturesque town on the banks of the Stung Saen River.The Sambor temple and Prei Kuk temple are the two main temples in Kompong Thom as well as other less significant Angkorian sites. Kompong Thom was a very powerful capital in Southeast Asia during the Funan period. Later on, during the French rule, the province was home to a large group named the Stieng, but they have long been assimilated into Khmer society.Kampong Pos Thom was the original name of the present called Kampong Thom. Because originally long time ago, at the dock of the Sen River next to a big natural lake, there was a big cave with a pair of big snakes inside. The people living around this area usually saw these big snakes every Buddhist Holiday.

Time after that, the snakes disappeared, and the people of that area called it Kampong Pos Thom. Then, only short words Kampong Thom. During the French colony in Cambodia, the French ruled and divided Cambodian territory into provinces, and named them according to the spoken words of the people Kampong Thom Province.The provincial capital Kampong Thom is another bustling town on the banks of the Stung Sen River. The town itself is strategically located on the National Highway No 6 between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Its more a stopover to have a break from driving long distances or to eat something on the way to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, than a very touristic place. Despite the town itself people come to explore the pre-Angkorian Chenla capital Sambor Prei Kuk, the remote temples of Preah Khan and Prasat Preah Vihear.
Kampong Thom Transportation

Getting in Kampong Thom
There is no airport in Kampong Thom, you can get flight to Phnom Penh(160Km)/ Siem Reap (165km), then take about 2-2.5 hours driver along to National Highway 6 to get there.
Buses/ Minivan are availble abd depart daily hour from Phom Penh/ Siem Reap, cost about $4-8/pax

Getting around

The town is easily explored by foot. There are motorbike-taxis for hire to take you to more distant sights.

The town is not busy with tourists and tuk-tuk drivers can be very persistent - if you tell them where you are staying there is a good chance they will be waiting outside your accommodation when you wake up the next day.

Kampong Thom climate and best time to visit
The pleasant climate in Cambodia makes it a perfect country to visit throughout the year. Cambodia has a tropical climate that is warm and humid with an average temperature of 27°C; this can fall to a minimum temperature of about 16°C. The cool and comfortable time to travel on the Cambodia Package Holiday and explore the sights is December and January when the temperature is usually in the region of 20°C to 28°C. For those that prefer to avoid travelling in the rainy season; this can take place from May to October with a temperature range of 23°C to 30°C. If travelling in the rainy season, make sure to pack the extra supplies such as a light waterproof jacket. Also, the most intense heat is experienced during the month of April which should be avoided by those that prefer the cooler climate.

Kampong Thom Travel Tips
Stone Handicraft is located at Ka Kos Village, Ka Kos Commune, Santhuk District in 16-km distance from Provincial Town of Kampong Thom on National Highway No 6. The craftsmen take the rocks from the food of Santhuk Mountain to make statues and various figures for house decoration. This stone handicraft is served for domestically and internationally target markets. Beside stone handicraft, Kampong Thom has other handicrafts like Krama, Silk shirts, traditional Khmer clothing and handbags. There is also the common markets with all you may need (food, garments, etc.).
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