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talesofasia guide to the provinces of Cambodia

Cambodia

Kandal

updated January 2006

Kandal is the suburban extension of Phnom Penh municipality as it completely envelops the capital city. It's not a province you make a destination out of, but within the boundaries are a number of excursions to make from the big city.

Aside from surrounding Phnom Penh, Kandal is bordered clockwise from the north by Kompong Cham, Prey Veng, Vietnam, Takeo, Kompong Speu, and Kompong Chhnang.

Choeung Ek (the killing fields)
Kien Svay
The clay temple
Koh Dait
Other activities

Choeung Ek
Fifteen kilometers southwest of Phnom Penh this is the most famous of the dozens of killing fields memorials that are scattered around the country. One large stupa housing thousands of skulls fronts a series of depressions in the earth - the opened mass graves - each sign-posted as to what was removed twenty-odd years ago. Every motodriver knows where it is or you can easily find it on your own, head out Monireth Blvd, go over the small bridge passing through Stung Meanchey district (the noisy dirty industrial neighborhood) and turn left at the fork. Choeung Ek is a few more kilometers down on the left. Usually seen in combination with a trip to the Tuol Sleng Museum. The attraction was recently privatized to a Japanese company.

Kien Svay
Also known as Koki Beach, this a popular Khmer picnic area on the weekends. The gig is you rent by the hour some space in a bamboo hut over the Mekong, purchase some local eats (some rather unusual), and sit around eating. With hundreds of other people it's hardly a peaceful setting and you'll realize this as soon as you arrive when touts for the various picnic areas run after your motorbike, surround it and almost physically drag you to their respective offerings. Bargain hard and agree to your price before renting. Or just skip the whole experience. This is not a talesofasia recommended attraction. Jet ski rental is available. This place can be quite deserted during the week.

The clay temple
About halfway to Kien Svay in the village of Koh Slaket is a temple built entirely of clay and completed in 2000. It was nameless at the time but should be Wat One-thing-or-another by now. It's really weird, trust me. You can read more about it here.

Koh Diat
Also known as Mekong Island and partially within Phnom Penh municipality, this is a fairly touristy place, but nonetheless is a tranquil rural attraction. Agriculture and silk weaving are the offerings and you can see it all up close and personal. Good place to wander around on a moto. It's north of the city, over the Japanese Bridge.

Other activities
Two shooting ranges and a go-cart track are located beyond the Phnom Penh International Airport. Easily found by any motodriver.

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The Rough Guide Cambodia mentions several other temples and pagodas within the province which I'm not familiar with. See the Phnom Penh section of that book for more information.


Provinces Guide

Cambodia

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All text and photographs 1998 - 2006 Gordon Sharpless. Commercial or editorial usage without written permission of the copyright holder is prohibited.