Kampong Thom is a province located in central Cambodia, known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. It is known for its laid-back atmosphere and its connection to Cambodia’s rich history, making it a great destination for those interested in culture, history, and natural beauty.
A trip around Kampong Thom will take you to ancient temples, containing unique images of Khmer culture. You can explore Sambo Prei Kuh Temple, Andet Temple, Wat Kuhak Nokor Temple, Prasat Preah Tee Temple, Su Tu Temple, and Prasat Kok Rokar Temple. Each temple has a distinct architectural style, enchanting visitors with the sophistication and enchantment in every detail. This place is an ideal destination for those who want to explore the beauty and uniqueness of ancient Khmer civilization.
The best time to travel to Kampong Thom in terms of weather is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. During this period, you can expect pleasant and comfortable weather with lower humidity and minimal rainfall.
Dry Season (November to April):
Rainy Season (May to October):
This archaeological site is one of the most significant in Cambodia, featuring a collection of ancient temples and ruins dating back to the 7th century. The intricate carvings and forested surroundings make it a peaceful and historically significant place to explore. The Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex covers an area of about 30 square kilometers with 54 temple clusters, octagonal towers, yoni stone ponds, and many extremely valuable sculptures dating back more than 1,000 years. Sambor Prei Kuk was built only with burnt bricks combined with sandstone bonded by a type of tree resin mixed with Thot Not sugar.
Only a half hour drive from Kompong Thom you will find this pagoda on top of the hill. This hilltop temple offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians, and you can climb the stairs to the temple for a unique cultural experience. At the same time, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and marvel at the magnificent statue, in any case, it is one of the holiest places in Cambodia. A visit to Phnom Santuk is made even more interesting by the nearby Silk Farm, where nearly 20 local women work; you can also learn about the secrets of silk processing.
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. Let’s explore the provincial capital, Kampong Thom City. While it’s not as bustling as some of Cambodia’s larger cities, you can visit local markets, try Cambodian cuisine at local restaurants, and take in the relaxed pace of life.
The Stueng Saen River starts in the highlands of the Preah Vihear region and runs through Kampong Thom to become a major tributary to the famed Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap. A trip either along the river by boat or by motorbike is a wonderful experience, taking you to the real Cambodia far away from the tourist crowds. During the wetter months, the river is at its fullest and the surrounding countryside is green and full of lush vegetation. It’s a peaceful spot to enjoy nature and perhaps spot some local wildlife. It’s not uncommon to pass by riverside villages where you may see locals bathing in the river, washing their clothes, or even bathing their buffalos. As always, the locals are friendly and polite. Unfortunately, during the dryer months water levels in the river can drop dramatically making it less attractive. However, this is part of the seasonal Cambodian experience.
Visit this Buddhist temple in the city center to gain insight into Cambodian religious practices and architecture. It’s a serene place for contemplation and photography. It is also known as Wat Indry Samvorak or Entri Sam Voreak Pagoda, it houses a collection of remains from ancient sites. On the monastery grounds, a special area has been created to present some of the ancient remains, some of which may come from the 9th-century Kdei Chas site. It includes beautiful pedestals, while other remains include later-era decorated door column fragments, while further remains from even later eras again include ornate sema stones and wooden Buddha statues.
This river is known for its scenic beauty and is a great place for a relaxing boat trip or a swim. It’s a popular spot for locals to cool off during the hot months. Prey Pros, Kampong Thom is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking to enjoy the natural surroundings and cultural insights. Located in Prey Preal Commune, Kampong Svay District, the resort offers a massive area for visitors to enjoy various races, games, and national festivals. This place also provides recreational activities like fishing, swimming, and boating. Visitors can also enjoy a luxurious resting cottage. The resort provides excellent facilities and amenities, including great food and drinks, and a river-inspired topography. The enchanting surroundings and atmosphere make Prey Pros an ideal destination for tired travelers to refresh and enjoy the beauty of Kampong Thom.
While not located directly in Kampong Thom, Tonlé Sap Lake is not too far away. You can arrange a day trip to this vast freshwater lake, which is home to floating villages and diverse wildlife. Cambodia’s Tonle Sap lake is home to small floating villages, where locals spend most of their lives floating on the water. The Mekong River, which flows to the lake during the rainy season, creates a natural phenomenon that constantly changes water levels. The villages consist of movable houses and permanent structures, with stilted villages being built to keep households dry during wet seasons and ladders for low levels. The locals, considered “forgotten people” or people without a homeland, are divided into several communities, forming around a hundred small villages floating on the Tonle Sap.
Prince Manor Villa, located in Kien Svay, offers 20 air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen televisions, private balconies, and wireless internet access. It’s a 5-minute drive from Mekong and Prince Manor Funpark, 11.7 mi from Riverside, and 15.2 mi from Royal Palace. You can enjoy recreational amenities like an outdoor pool, room service, and a daily buffet breakfast.
LBN Asian Hotel is a 4-star hotel in Kampong Cham, close to Kampong Cham Riverside Park. The hotel offers a spa with massages, body treatments, facials, and recreational amenities like an indoor pool, steam room, and bicycle rentals. Private bathrooms feature deep soaking bathtubs and complimentary toiletries. Conveniences include phones, safes, and desks. The hotel also features a business center, dry cleaning/laundry services, and complimentary self-parking. The hotel is a 4-star hotel conveniently located near Mekong and Old French Lighthouse.
Le Relais de Chhlong is a hotel in Chhlong, offering recreation, free WiFi, and a restaurant. It is located 20 mi from Pagoda Pach Char and 21.5 mi from Tranong Chhnang Dam. The hotel also provides room service, dry cleaning, laundry facilities, and free self parking. The rooms are air-conditioned, feature flat-screen televisions, and have private balconies. Complimentary wireless internet and satellite programming are available. With all the above amenities, the hotel can definitely make everyone satisfied, even the most demanding customers.
This airy eatery is popular with expats and visitors and is run by the NGO Buddhism for Social Development Action (BSDA). They serve generous amounts of Khmer cuisine (the loc lac is delicious), fruit smoothies, and a full menu of Western foods. Prices are little higher than usual, but revenues help to fund their social development initiatives.
A no-frills pub-style restaurant with outdoor seating directly on the waterfront. Burgers and pasta are among the items on the mostly Western menu. The grilled fish with lime and chips is delectable.
Prices are lower here because it is away from the waterfront. The portions are generous (I generally have the simple chicken and rice with a garden salad). Especially, they have the greatest barista coffee in town.
By Air: There is no airport in Kampong Thom itself, but you can fly to Siem Reap International Airport (REP) or Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH), which are the nearest major airports. From either of these airports, you can continue your journey to Kampong Thom by road.
By Bus: You can take a long-distance bus from various cities in Cambodia to Kampong Thom. Buses are a cost-effective way to travel, but they may take longer than a taxi or private car. Several bus companies operate routes to Kampong Thom from cities like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Battambang.
By Taxi or Private Car: Hiring a taxi or renting a private car is a more comfortable and faster option, especially if you’re traveling with a group or have a lot of luggage. You can arrange for a taxi or car rental in major cities like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, or Battambang.
By Motorcycle: If you’re an experienced motorcyclist and prefer the adventure of riding, you can rent a motorcycle in Cambodia and travel to Kampong Thom. However, be aware of local traffic rules and road conditions, and always wear safety gear.
By Boat: Depending on the season and water levels, you may find boat services operating on some of the rivers in Cambodia. While not a common mode of transportation to Kampong Thom, it’s worth checking if any river transport options are available if you’re traveling from nearby areas.