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Cambodia

Phnom Penh : Recommended Day Trips

Get out of town for a day.

July 24, 2004

by Jim CA2

1. Phnom Chissor, Prasat Nieng Kamal, Phnom Tamau Zoo, Tonle Bati
Take National Route 2 south approximately 45K make left (big signs and vendors) and take country road in to Phnom Chissor. Temple on a hill top and one down below. Many stairs. Leaving Phnom Chissor north towards Phnom Penh, the first wat complex on the right contains two ancient prasats (Nieng Kamal). About 7K north of Phnom Chissor (south of Tonle Bati) on the west side of the Rte. 2 there is a road to Phnom Tamau and the zoo. 15K north of Phnom Chissor (30K south of Phnom Penh) on the west side of Rte. 2 (Sokimex gas station) is the turn off to the Ta Prom Temple at Tonle Bati. Ancient ruins, newer wat complex and a lake.

Note: Route 2 can also be reached by traveling past the Killing Fields. Make a left at the first T then continue until you reach a temple which has a bridge. Cross the bridge and continue south and you will exit on Route 2. Take a right to go south.

2. Phnom Baset, Oudong Longvaek
Take National Route 5 north 13K make a left at Preah Piniew Market (busy shop house street). Travel approximately 22K to Phnom Baset. You can drive up this hill for good views to Oudong and Phnom Penh. Along the way there are two new picturesque sites, one with a Bayon Head Gate and another site with a three-tower Angkor style temple.

Oudong the former old capital is a grouping of stupas on a mountain top approximately 40K north of Phnom Penh. It is west of the highway and visible from the road. Longvaek just inside Kampong Chhnang province was an old Angkor stronghold against the Siamese. Travel 46.5K north from Phnom Penh riverfront and make a right turn. Take the country road past an old military base to a wooden archway. Make a right turn at the archway and continue to the temple. This temple, though newer, is constructed on laterite remains of old temples. Leaving the temple make a right and follow the road around to an area of surreal little temples scattered around the trees.


click image for more information

3. Koh Dach (Mekong Island)
Go over the Japanese Friendship Bridge on Route 6 north. Travel approximately 10-15K north of the bridge past the bulk of the restaurants. Ferries across the Mekong River marked by blue signs. Koh Dach has a few ferry landings. The island road will take you on a loop through silk weaving villages and around the island but the loop isn’t connected. You will arrive at one landing and depart on another.

4. Ompe Phnom “Resort”, Kampong Spue and Kampong Spue Province
Take National Route 4 towards Sihanoukville. About 31K from Pochentong Airport you will pass some large schools on the right in Kampong Spue town, this is an indication that a left turn to the Ompe Phnom Resort will be coming up shortly. It is currently marked by a dark sign. This site has a suspension pedestrian bridge to a wat. On the wat grounds are monkeys that can be fed bananas for a small fee. There is a memorial to fallen victims of the Killing fields away from the wat (right turn after you walk across the bridge). Continue to Kampong Spue town and make a left across a small bridge into the market area. If you hug the left side of the market and continue straight you will cross another bridge (Route 125). Continuing on this road will take you between two small mountain ranges through picturesque countryside. As you clear the range on the right there is a wat complex on the hill. Attempting to take the bike up the adjacent road is futile and you are better off taking the stairs. The Wat itself isn’t that spectacular, but the views are great. Staying on the 125 will bring you to National Route 3 (or even further to Route 2) where you make a left and head north to Phnom Penh.

5. Temple at Khuhak Nokor
This is a little farther out but easily doable. Take National Route 6 north over the Japanese Friendship Bridge and continue to Skun. Upon arrival at the traffic circle head towards Kampong Thom and Siem Reap. Twenty three kilometers from the traffic circle in Skun (Not long after entering Kampong Thom Province) make a left turn to the temple which is about 2k from the main road. There is a big blue sign indicating the site but unlike where you are from…once you pass the sign you have passed the turn off. On the return it is possible to ride up to the top of the mountain with the radio towers for some good views and pictures.

6. Ba Phnom
Another site that is a little farther out but easily doable in a day. Take National Route 1 south over the Vietnamese Bridge and head for the Neak Luang Ferry about 1.5 hours from Phnom Penh. After crossing the Mekong continue on Route 1 another 13K where you will make a left turn at a market place. This road will take you to the Ba Phnom Mountain. At the first major T intersection, don’t go straight but rather make a right. The locals will point the way. You will hug ponds to your left and rice fields to the right. You will pass one Wat on your left and then farther down the road an archway with military insignia on your left. At the next archway, make a left. There is a road that leads up to the mountain and stairs at the base. Follow the road to the right to a wat and school. On the right hand side there are some Funan Period ruins. The hike up a newly painted staircase leads you to various painted statues and temples on top of the mountain. Great views of the Mekong basin and the rice fields of lower Prey Veng and Svay Rieng Provinces.


Cambodia

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