If you are planning to travel to the North of Cambodia, you are highly recommended to visit Kampong Thom. This province has loads to offer you to make your trip become one of the most memorable Cambodia journeys. Keep reading the guide below to gain a general look at one of the must-visit tourist attractions in the wonderland of Cambodia.
Kampong Thom is located 162 kilometers to the North of Phnom Penh. In terms of geographic location, in addition to being the second largest province in Cambodia, Kampong Thong is striking as one of the five provinces lying around the famous Tonle Sap Lake. More significantly, Kampong Thong gains its own popularity as home to the magnificent cultural and natural heritage that attracts thousands of visits from both domestic and foreign travelers.
Every traveler can stand a good chance to discover Kampong Thom to the fullest from unbelievably beautiful temple complexes to scenic views around the region. The tropical climate of Kampong Thom that features warm and humid condition with three seasons during a year ranging from cool, hot and rainy season that might be wonderful for tourists long for getting a true feel of Cambodia’s weather.
History of Kampong Thom
Kampong Thom has an amazing story about the origin of its own name. Previously, Kampong Thom was generally known as Kampong Pous Thom, which means the port of Great Snakes. The story is truly relevant to snakes since a local legend said that there was a couple of giant snakes living in a cave nearby the dock of Sen River. The snakes would show up to the inhabitants around the river on every traditional Buddhist holiday.
Then, people started to refer to the name of the place where the snakes appeared as Kampong Pous Thom. Until a day the pair of large snakes disappeared, the name Kampong Pous Thom was shortened to Kampong Thom and gradually became familiar with all inhabitants of the province.
With the arrival of French colonialists in Cambodia's territory, the country was separated into provinces. Most of them were named following their most popular local names, and that is the reason why the new name, "Kampong Thom" has remained till today.
What to see in Kampong Thom
Sambo Prey Kuk
Sambo Prey Kuk is situated in Sambo Village, Prasat Sambo district, which is nearly 25 kilometres away from the North of Kampong Thom Provincial Town. This historical site was previously named Isanapura and was an ancient capital of the Chenla Kingdom. During the rule of King Isanavarman I in the 7th century, a wide range of temple structures were built around Sambo Prey Kuk that made the region a religious mecca for people coming here to worship and venerate Shiva Brahmanism.
The temple of Sambo Prey Kuk was constructed of a large number of solid brick and laterite. A remarkable feature about the temple is all lintel, pillars, and door frames are made of sandstone following bas-reliefs. To further explore this cultural site, you can hire a motorbike taxi to take you around the location to indulge in the stunning scenery of small villages with hospitable local inhabitants.
Old ruins inside Sambo Prey Kuk tell you much about the history of Cambodia
Prasat Kuhak Nokor
The next hotspot you should not miss when visiting Kampong Thom is definitely Prasat Kuhak Nokor. This is a sanctuary located in Trodork Poung Village, Pong Ror Commune, Baray District in the complex of Wat Kuhak Nor. This architecture was constructed on a flat ground totally made of laterite and well-decorated by sandstone.
There is a special construction of rampart belonging to the East of Prasat Kuhak Nokor. The rampart has a length of 35 meters and a width of 25 meters. Nearby the rampart is two gateways located in the East and the West. If you are a photography lover, you will get hooked with these ramparts and you can turn them into your perfect backgrounds of impressive pictures.
Find some corners at Prasat Kuhan Nokor to take nice pictures for a great Kampong Thom trip
Prey Pros Resort
If you get a bit tired after spending a long time discovering the historical and cultural sites of Kampong Thom, you must pay Prey Pros Resort a stay that will do nothing but boost your energy again. Located at the Pray Pros Village at the Pray Preal Commune, Kampong Svay District that is just 16 kilometers in the Northwest of Kampong Thom Provincial Town, you may find it easy to travel to this resort of wonders.
The resort is well-known as one of the major tourist attractions of Kampong Thom aiming to bring nature close to travelers through intriguing outside activities. This man-made resort will offer you an array of races and competitions that creates unforgettable moments within your trip such as running race, bicycle race, and many others.
Strikingly, when you came to the resort during the time national festivals take place, you may have a great chance to partake in numerous exciting marine recreational activities from fishing, boating, and swimming.
Wooden paths at Prey Pros Resort will make visitors feel a sense of closeness to nature
How to get there
The route leading to Kampong Thom is generally regarded as one of the most easily accessible routes in Cambodia thanks to the construction of new road networks. That is the basic one linking Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with the National Highway number 6 that makes it more direct than ever. You can take advantage of it with several available means of transport from the bus, taxi, or tuk-tuk as well to reach your final destination at Kampong Thong. The first option for you to consider is the bus. You will need to spend at least 4 USD to get a seat on a bus at the station. This is a reasonable price compared to that of the taxi that will save you a bit more before the true discovery at Kampong Thong starts.
The next option is using a taxi, which is always available in the province. Hopping on a taxi means you can flexibly travel to wherever you want despite the fact that its fare will cost you more. For a better choice, you should consider taking on a shared taxi that is more budget-saving. Remember per seat on a normal 7-seat taxi will cost you 5 USD. Especially, every traveler wanting to have a front seat will pay more than 10 USD per seat.
When you reach Kampong Thom, another issue happens with which vehicles you should use to get around the location. If you are a backpacker or a real challenger dying for a unique travel experience and your tourist spots are not too far away from each other, you may consider exploring the destination on foot as most roads in the province is in good condition. In contrast, it would be suggested for a group to continue to hire a taxi or a tuk-tuk to save more time and energy while discovering Kampong Thom.
In a nutshell, Kampong Thom’s beauty of natural and historical wonders are second to none that may be very hard to resist. For travelers expecting a wonderful holiday with life-time experiences, Kampong Thom seems to never fail to meet their requirements. Come here to together make one of the best Cambodia vacations ever!
Image source: Internet