Just 91km ride from Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang province sets location at the heart of Cambodia, in the area of Tonle Sap Lake. It’s bordered by Kampong Thom to the North, Kampong Cham to the East, Kampong Speu to the South and Pursat to the West.
The provincial capital Kampong Chhnang is an easygoing river port town that welcomes plenty of visitors despite the fact that Kampong Chhnang is considered a big fishery port.
Kampong Chhnang province
The province of Kampong Chhnang is mostly fertilized by alluvial soil reservoirs of fishes and endless rice plantations. In Kampong Chhnang, the forests remain scarcely in the southwest of the country, where the biggest coherent forest area of Souteast Asia begins. The southwest borderline of Kampong Chhnang houses the hillside of the highest Mountain of Cambodia, Phnom Aoral with an altitude of 1813m.
In 2008, the population of Kampong Chhnang provincial town is 42,084 people. Its economy is basically fishery and agriculture including rice plantation, fruit cropping as well as several garment factories. The province’s name Kampong Chhnang is known as “Port of Pottery”, where the traditional villages of fine arts and ceramic pottery are conversed and developed until now. Despite poor living standard, 90% of the residents in Kampong Chhnang use onsite sanitation systems, while 5% practices open defecation and 5% uses offsite systems.
Rice paddies in Kampong Chhnang
Floating villages in Tonle Sap: A must-see highlight of Kampong Chhnang is floating villages in Kandal and Chong Kos. Tonle Sap Lake offers scenic views from small boat where you can behold the restful beauty of floating houses, floating gardens and floating markets. Alternatively, an exploration by bicycle will take you to the highest Cambodia’s mountain of Phnom Aoral and Krang Deymas hill where you can hike to the top to feast your eyes on the laid-back scenes of the countryside and the Tonle Sap.
Floating villages in Kampong Chhnang
Kampong Leaeng Temples: Kampong Leaeng is just across the river from the banks of Kampong Chhnang. There’re several stunning pre-dated Angkor temples, including Prasat Srei and Prasat Bros dating from the Jayarvarman I Era. Besides, Prasart Punnrey temple offers fascinating views of the surrounding countryside once you climb 300 steps to get to the top. You can take a returned boat trip for approximately $25 to cross the river then hire a tuk-tuk to take you around.
One of Kampong Leaeng Temples
Andong Russei pottery village: The village is situated 4km from Kampong Chhnang, where both individual homes and businesses still preserve the tradition of pottery. There’s also a communal area that you can by some souvenirs or see how traditional Khmer pottery is made. It’s better to catch a tuk-tuk to make an easy day visit the Andong Russei pottery village.
Pottery village in Kampong Chhnang
Phnom Neang Kong Rei: It’s also called the Mountain of the Sleeping Lady despite the fact that it’s actually like a small hill. This place is a source of a legend of a heartbroken princess. You’ll be rewarded with many statues of poor girls and an amazing view across the countryside. Phnom Neang Kong Rei is located on the other side of the Tonle Sap, so that you can take a passenger ferry across the river to get there.
Kampong Chhnang’s climate has the typical features of tropical weather in the whole Cambodia. The sun shines almost year-round while the average temperature is around 27°C. The cool season ranges from November to March, while the hot season happens between March and May with its peak temperature of 36°C around April. It’s best to avoid the rainy season from May to October with humidity up to 90%.
Located on the road between Battambang and Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang is easily reached by bus which usually departs from 10 to 12am. Also, it’s easy to get from Phnom Penh by car via national road no 5, passing by the former capital of Udong. For visitors on speedboats from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang is a usual stopover on demand. Speedboats are way faster and more scenic than bus despite the same price. To get around the province, you can rent motorbike or bicycle for hours to tour around the town.