Kompong Thom

Kompong Thom is the capital of Kampong Thom Province in Cambodia. It's situated about half-way between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and thus most travellers will only rush through on their transfer between these two major attractions.

Nevertheless it is a pleasant and relaxed place and a good starting point for exploring the countryside and the temples of Sambor Prei Kuk


Sambor Prei Kuk Temple

Sambo Prey Kuk Temple is a cultural and historical site located in Sambo village, Sambo commune, Prasat Sambo district, about 25 kilometers northeast of Kampong Thom provincial town. The site was once an old capital named Isanapura and a religious center for the worship of Shiva Brahmanism.

Many temples were built in Sambo Preykuk during the reign of King Isanavarman I (AD 616- 635) in the 7th century. The temples of Sambo Preykuk constructed of solid brick, laterite and sandstone and decorated by bas-reliefs. The lintel, pillars and the door frames are all made of sandstone. So far, 140 temples have been discovered in the forest. 

Sambor Prei Kuk, located near Kompong Thom, 150km south-east of Siem Reap, lies off the main road towards Cambodia?s capital Phnom Penh. 

Kompong Thom is a sleepy little town. The only hive of activity was the market place next to the Stung Sen River where we bought some brown palm sugar and Cambodian fragrant rice. The local ?taxi? was actually an open-air wooden cart pulled by an antiquated motorbike. Its owner was an elderly man wearing spectacles with thick lenses. 

The journey to Sambor Prei Kuk was interesting in itself. We saw no other vehicles other than a lone villager cycling into town, his bicycle laden with hand-made straw baskets. Our van kicked up thick red dust as we sped on the laterite road. A woman scrubbing her clothes nearby was oblivious to the dust that swept over her.

Lest you entertain images of grand temple ruins akin to the grandeur of the awesome Angkor Wat, you?d be disappointed. Sambor Prei Kuk is a group of ancient temple ruins scattered within a shady forest. Originally called Isanapura, it pre-dates Angkor Wat and was the capital city during the reign of King Isana Varman 1, the son of King Citrasena.


Prasat Kuhak Nokor

Prasat Kuhak Nokor is located in Trodork Poung Village, Pong Ror Commune, Baray District, Kampong Thom Province and is in the complex of Wat Kuhak Nokor (Buddhist Pagoda). To reach there, passenger can take all kinds of vehicle on National Road 6, then turn west through the gate of Kuhak Nokor pagoda in a distance of 2km. It is 79km from Provincial Town of Kampong Thom. These sanctuaries were built on the flat ground, on a square terrace made of laterite and sandstone facing to the East with the rampart surrounding. This rampart has a 35m-length (East to West) and a 25m-width (North to South). There is surrounding rampart of one meter height and 0.8 meter thick with two gateways: Eastern gateway is 9m height divided into 3 rooms, and western gateway is small and has square shape. 

The structures of the buildings are mixed, made of laterite and the decoration of sandstone. East of the temple, there are 2 ponds-the small one has about one-meter depth,45-meter length and 20-meter width, and the big one has 160-meter length, 88-meter width and more than one-meter depth. 


Wat Kampong Thom or Kampong Thom Pagoda,

Wat Kampong Thom or Kampong Thom Pagoda, also known as Wat Indrisamavora, is located in Kdei village, Preykahu commune, Stung Sen district, about 1 kilometer from the provincial town. This old temple is a holy place that covers 2,053 square meters. Statues related to the Buddha story can be found in the pagoda. The pagoda fences are painted in many different colors and styles. The pagoda offers a cool place for visitors to relax, especially during festivals.