Kampong Cham is a picturesque and historically significant province in Cambodia, located in the eastern part of the country. It’s known for its charming rural landscapes, the mighty Mekong River, and a rich cultural heritage.
It’s a destination for travelers seeking a peaceful atmosphere, cultural immersion, and natural beauty along the banks of the Mekong River.
There are numerous things and activities that visitors can explore in Kampong Cham.
Let’s find out more useful information about Kampong Cham with Hanoi Voyages to have the most perfect trip!
Kampong Cham has a tropical climate. The weather is getting more and more erratic and it’s difficult to predict when the rains will come, but avoid visiting during the peak rainy period.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Kampong Cham, I recommend going between November and March to enjoy the pleasant weather and avoid the rains.
Once a year – the locals gather together and slice up thousands of pieces of bamboo to construct one long bridge over the dry lands where the water runs during the rainy season. The bridge is sturdy enough for locals (and inquisitive tourists) to traverse it on a daily basis.
During the high season, villagers build a smaller bamboo bridge for tourists to walk or ride their bicycles across. It preserves the memory of the old bamboo bridge. Crossing the bridge costs a few dollars, which must be paid to the attendant at the end.
Nokor Bachey temple is a cultural and historical site. It is 2.2 kilometers from Kampong Cham province town along National Road 7. Visitors arriving from Phnom Penh will notice the gate to the pagoda on the right. The temple was dedicated to Brahmanism and was established in the middle of the 11th century under the reigns of Suryavarman II and King Ouphey.
The Nokor Bachey Temple, Kampong Cham can be divided into four distinct buildings that have been named as long buildings. The first long building of Nokor Bachey Temple is 421 meters and 371 meters in dimension made of laterite stones. The second long building is also a beautiful architectural structure, with Te Cho Dam Din statues, two devils each 1.6 meters tall and two ponds each 20 meters long. The most significant one is the third long building, where you will find an eight-hand statue of Preah Norey located near the entrance. Finally, the fourth long building is made of laterite stone and can be accessed from 12 directions. Nokor Bachey Temple in Kampong Cham is a popular tourist destination in Cambodia.
Rent a bicycle on the island and explore at your own pace. Koh Paen has a network of dirt roads that lead through picturesque villages, rice paddies, and orchards. It’s a peaceful and scenic way to experience rural Cambodia.
The island is green and overgrown at the end of the monsoon, and its shady pathways are ideal for an afternoon ride.
Furthermore, Koh Paen is a place to relax and enjoy life at a slower pace. Taking in the natural surroundings, or simply sitting by the river is also a memorable experience there.
The Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros is located at Kro La Commune, which is at a distance of seven kilometers from the provincial town of Kampong Cham. The Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros in Kampong Cham is the name of a mountain peaks that is part of a 500-meter-high mountain range to the left. The northern part of Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros is surrounded by the spectacular mountains of Dang Rek, Ba Ley and Chhuk.
The origins of the twin mountains and their shrines are shrouded in legend. The whole area is a Buddhist pilgrimage site, and if you go on a weekend or around a religious holiday, you’ll find lots of families paying their respects.
Another thing is keeping an eye out for the monkeys that live in the trees above the temples; they can become aggressive if there is food involved.
One of the most iconic sights in Kampong Cham is the French Colonial Watchtower on the banks of the Mekong. On a clear day, a tall auburn-colored building on the opposite bank can be seen across the river.
It was built in the 1900s to guard the river, as Kampong Cham was an important trading port for the French at this time. It looks magical on the riverbank and reminds visitors of a former era.
To get to the French Watchtower, cross the Japanese Bridge by bike, motorcycle, or foot and take a hard left when you reach the opposite bank. The tower is open 24/7 and it’s free to climb the ladders to the top. In there, you can see the views from the top, which include Kampong Cham city and the Kazuna bridge.
Situated atop a remote hillside in Kampong Cham is the ancient temple of Wat Hanchey. After climbing 300 steps, guests are greeted by the sights and sounds of chanting monks. With origins at least as far back as the 8th century, this hilltop temple also offers fantastic views of the Mekong River and the surrounding area.
Visitors may be interested to know that Wat Hanchey is home to many young Cambodians who were previously homeless or orphaned now being looked after by the monks. Young Cambodian monks are frequently seen doing their daily activities such as praying, studying, and playing together.
So how to get to Wat Hanchey? Visitors can reach Wat Hanchey by tuk tuk or motorbike from the nearby town of Kampong Cham, which is about 20 km to the South.
A temple worth visiting outside the city is Wat Maha Leap, as it is one of the only wooden pagodas left in Cambodia. It was originally constructed in 1894 (consecrated in 1906 AD), and built atop a raised platform to protect it from floodwaters which were quite common at that time.
The temple is delineated by sema stones at cardinal and intercardinal points, with unique half-moon steps leading inside. In the temple, there are golden classic paintings on the wooden pillars and ceiling.
Rubber plantations can be found throughout South East Asia, including one in Kampong Cham. Take your bicycle or motorcycle out to the plantation, which is about 20 kilometers outside of town.
The tall rubber tree forest is a breathtaking sight. These grandiose, leafy pillars with incredibly thick trunks are perfectly arranged row after row, leaving little alleys of dirt and light running between them like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.
For 1 USD, you can wander into the actual rubber factory and watch the rubber being processed by loud machines.
Cheung Kok Village, also known as Amica Village, is a farming and artisan community located just minutes from Kampong Cham and two hours by bus from Phnom Penh. This is an eco-tourism village where residents welcome visitors to their homes to learn about their daily lives.
Eco-tourism and crafts have generated income for the village of Cheung Kok in recent years, and the village now organizes tours to every house in the village.
You can start participating in village activities as soon as the sun rises, such as rice planting and silk scarf making. There are panels dotted throughout the village that direct you to the silk maker, palm sugar producer, palm leaf weaver, krama maker, or perhaps someone who can teach you how to cultivate rice.
One of the prominent markets in Kampong Cham is the Kampong Cham Central Market, also known as Phsar Kampong Cham or Kampong Cham Market.
The Kampong Cham market has a gaudy look similar to the Central Market in Phnom Penh, and it has a complete supply of just about anything you might need. In the evening, a night market emerges on the western side. On the perimeter roads, there are numerous photo shops and pharmacies.
Like many traditional markets in Cambodia, Kampong Cham market offers a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. You can find seasonal produce sourced from the surrounding countryside.
Furthermore, there are stalls selling local products such as handmade crafts, textiles, clothing, and traditional Khmer items. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs or unique gifts.
An NGO Restaurant run by Buddhism for Social Development Action (BSDA). They serve large portions of Khmer cuisine (the loc lac is wonderful), fruit smoothies, and a full menu of Western dishes. They also have conference rooms with a great view of the Mekong River. Prices are slightly higher than usual, but profits help to fund their social development work.
HAO AN Restaurant is located in the center of Kampong Cham City. HAO AN is refer to a Chinese name with the meaning of Grand, Heroic, Safe and Peace. They offer food with a variety mixing of Khmer, Chinese and Europe Cuisines on their menu.
A no-frills pub-style eatery occupies a prime corner on the riverfront. This old serves an enticing mix of Khmer curries and Western favorites, such as big burgers and tasty sandwiches. The grilled fish with lime and chips is delectable.
Lazy Mekong Daze is well located with a view to the Kizuna Bridge and the Mighty Mekong River. This place is a popular drinking hole and best known for its thin-crust pizzas.
Kampong Cham offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable hotel, a guesthouse, or a more unique stay, you’ll find choices in the town. Here are some accommodation options to stay in Kampong Cham:
This mid-range hotel offers comfortable rooms and a riverside location. This is Kampong Cham’s most popular hotel. It’s a bit shabby around the edges, but it’s usually clean. AC doubles start from 10 USD.
If you want a hotel with views of the Mekong River, Kampong Cham Riverside Guesthouse is a good option for you. It is a budget-friendly guesthouse with riverfront views.
The hotel offers river views and comfortable accommodations. The price range is 30 to 50 USD per night. Enjoy the hotel’s recreational facilities, including a garden. Reasmey Cheanich Hotel is a great choice from which to explore Kampong Cham or simply relax and unwind.
This is the perfect choice for a stay in Kampong Cham province. Other outstanding amenities at this upscale hotel include 2 bars/lounges, an indoor pool and a steam room.
The Hanchey Bamboo Resort is nestled in a quiet countryside 20 kms from the city of Kampong Cham, overlooking the Mekong River. It is an eco-retreat run by the local NGO Buddhism for Social Development Action (BSDA). It offers palatial rooms and hosts yoga retreats under an incredible bamboo pavilion.
Phnom Penh is the nearest major city to Kampong Cham, and there are frequent bus services between the two cities. Virak Buntham and Sorya are two local bus companies that service this route.
The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. Several bus companies operate this route, and you can purchase tickets at the bus stations or through travel agencies in Phnom Penh.
You can take a taxi, which is the fastest but also the most expensive. It takes around 1-2 hours to get Kampong Cham. A private taxi from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham costs around 40 USD one-way or 50 USD for same-day return.
There are no direct buses from Siem Reap to Kampong Cham, so you’ll need to get to Phnom Penh first, and then change buses.
From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh takes 6 hours by bus which costs 17 USD.
From Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham takes 3 hours by bus which costs 8-10 USD.