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Kompong Thom Tourism And Travel Guide
21° C / 69.8° F
October to May
3 to 4 Days
Kampong Thom is a charming city nestled along the embankments of Stung Sen River. The region once formed a significant part of the Funan kingdom in Southeast Asia. Over the years, the French colonialists and Stieng community came and went, but finally, the Khmer regime added its touch of ethnic culture to the delightful landscapes of Kampong Thom.
Ancient Buddhist folklore proclaims that many years ago, huge snakes arose from the natural lake that lies adjacent to Stung Sen River. Such folk tales add to the mythological and religious significance of the magnificent temples built around Kampong Thom. Let us rifle through this travel guide to learn how Kampong Thom's tourism prospects have grown over time.
How to Reach
Kampong Thom is only reached by road as it does not have an airport or a railway station. The city enjoys excellent connectivity to adjacent towns of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap through minibusses, buses, or shared taxis. Some of the significant bus transport operators that drive in and out of the city include Giant Ibis, GST, and Sorya. Buses coming in from Kampong Cham charge close to 6 USD per seat while shared taxis cost approximately 10 USD.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The temperate climate of Kampong Thom makes it possible for tourists to explore the city's tourist spots all through the year. The dry season though provides tourists with warm and glorious sunshine wherever they visit and makes it easier to enjoy the scenery. Let us see how the different seasons fare on account of tourism.
Dry Season (October to Early May):
Kampong Thom's dry season witnesses a sultry tropical weather with temperatures usually alternating between 23°C and 35°C. The balmy days of the dry season aid tourists with perfect conditions for exploring the city's beautiful landscapes and ancient temple complexes. Visitors can also discover delightful picnic spots around the lake area.
Wet Season (Early May to September):
Kampong Thom's wet season experiences heavy precipitation of rainfall with temperatures hovering between 25°C and 32°C. This season is considered as offseason, however the swelling waters of the Stung Sen River do offer visitors with incredible floating villages and scenic boat ventures to behold. With lesser flocks of tourists around the city, it becomes easier to traverse through Kampong Thom's flourishing grasslands.
Things to Do
Effervescent Cultural Heritage:
Tourists who wish to gain intriguing insights into the Cambodian customs and traditions would love a visit to the vibrant countryside of Kampong Thom. One such cultural heritage site is Phat Sanday, a floating village isolated from the modern world and breeding ancient Cambodian lifestyle. Visitors can visit Baray's Khmer Homestay to discover recreational activities such as ox-cart rides through rice fields, palm fruit tasting, and boat manufacturing.
Glorious Temple Complexes:
Kampong Thom is blessed with an incredible collection of ancient holy shrines across its beautiful lakeside wilderness. Some of these magnificently carved temples include the temple complex of Sambor Prei Kuk, Prasat Kuha Nokor, Wat Kdei Deum, Wat Kampong Thom, Prasat Andet Temple, and Phnom Santuk. While some of these religious sanctums are perfectly nestled atop hillocks, others are aptly placed amidst the dense wilderness.
Remarkable Wildlife Reserve:
Wildlife fanatics and nature lovers would find themselves at home in Kampong Thom with lush grasslands and paddy fields to gaze upon. Tourists can catch a glimpse of exciting wildlife by traversing the landscapes atop a mountain bike or boarding a boat ride through the Stung Sen River. The Beng Per Nature Sanctuary lures in tourists with its reserve of rare animal species such as pileated gibbons, sambar deer, banteng, silver langurs, and barking deer.
What to Eat
Kampong Thom popularly offers food buffs with Western as well as Khmer cuisine. Some of the dishes served around the city include beef bourguignon, gnocchi, Tom Yum soup filled with oyster mushrooms, and tender smoked ribs. Tourists who wish to scarf down a substantial breakfast can lay their hands on food items such as crumpets, fruit shakes, omelets, and pancakes. Restaurants usually serve mouth-watering varieties of pasta and tasty hamburgers for lunchtime feasts. The traditional Lok Lak dish still mesmerizes food fanatics with its tender marinated beef ladled out on top of a layer of sliced cucumber and tomatoes.
Kampong Thom is famous for its collection of intricately carved out stone handicrafts. These remarkable handmade figurines are put up for sale at the Ka Kos village situated approximately 16 km away from the city. Local artisans pick up rocks from the base of Santuk Mountain and prepare magnificent statues that can be used as showpieces. These handicrafts are sold domestically as well as on a global scale. Kampong Thom also offers tourists with other Khmer-specific shopping options such as silk shirts, Krama, and customary handbags. So don't forget to grab some of these souvenirs before you depart.