The city of Kompong Chhnang is split between the sleepy centre and the lively dockside on the Tonlé Sap River. The central region of the city is a quite peaceful and dates back to the colonial era, while a visit to the more dockside area makes it possible to experience the floating villages and enjoy serene boat rides.
A visit to Kampong Chhnang on the Cambodia Package Holiday makes it possible to get off the more traditional tourist trail and see the real countryside. Kampong Chhnang doesn’t really have any peculiar attractions to explore. The bars and nightlife are limited to several karaoke parlours. This is a great place to relax and escape the noise of other nearby cities. For the travellers that wants to experience the most lively and vibrant city, Phnom Penh isn’t too far away.
There is the towering sugar palms, a lush landscape of rice fields, gorgeous countryside and its distinctive pottery scene that is crafted underneath the stilted homes, but not really much else. It is still a worthwhile place to stop at on the Cambodia travel packages when touring the country.
The travel distance between Kampong Chhnang to Phnom Penh is in the region of 90 km. There are several fine places to stay in town, including the Garden Guesthouse with its central location, clean rooms, quite affordable prices and nice tropical garden.
Any visit to Kampong Chhnang can start with exploring the actual city. Go for a stroll along the rivers, feed the monkeys in the park, or go shopping at the local market. Plus, there are always the boat trips on the Tonle Sap River. A ferry ride to the far shore makes it possible to experience a great trekking destination with Neang Kong Rei Mountain to climb and Kampong Leang wetlands to trek through.
Even a day spent touring the countryside is a fun time. Climb a few hills, gaze at the sugar palm trees, and explore the rice fields. Elsewhere, it is possible to learn about some of Cambodia’s tragic and dark past, as well as to visit an abandoned Khmer Rouge military airport. There may even be a remote jungle waterfall to see on your travels.
The climate in Cambodia is pleasant year-round with plenty of sun and an average temperature in the region of 27°C, while in the cooler months the temperature can fall to about 16°C. The best time to experience the Cambodia tour packages is throughout the cool season that runs from November to March and has an average temperature of 18°C to 28°C. The hottest month of the year is April, which is best avoided by those travellers that prefer to avoid the intense heat when touring the local attractions. Also, the rainy season runs from May to October which can have a negative impact on many of the roads, and it also benefits to pack extra gear like a light raincoat for extra comfort when travelling.
The Kampong Chhnang province is located in central Cambodia and bordered by Pursat to the west, Kampong Speu to the south, Kampong Cham to the east, and Kampong Thom to the north. It is a relatively short distance (91 km) from the capital city of Phnom Penh. Most parts of the province are very fertile and wet with plenty of rice plantations.
How to get there
A bus journey to Kampong Chhnang is possible via Battambang (3.5 hour journey time and 20,000 Riel), Pursat (2 hour journey time and 12,000 Riel), or Phnom Penh (2 hour journey time and 12,000 Riel). There are several bus companies in the local area such as Rith Mony, while it is also possible to flag down the bus on national highway No 5 near the Acleda Bank corner.
An alternative travel option is by boat. Many of the trips to Siem Reap can be broken up and include stopping at Kompong Chhnang. But check with the boat operator in Phnom Penh to find out the stopping points en route.
Once in town, it is easy to get around on foot, rent a bicycle or moto, or hire the service of a tuk-tuk driver.
Where to stay
There are several small guesthouses and hotels in town that are available to tourists and within a short distance of the main town.
A stay at the Garden Guest House on the Cambodia Adventure Tours gives access to affordable and cosy accommodation that includes amenities like Wi-Fi access, a wardrobe, private terrace, sofa seating area and mosquito net. The spacious rooms are easily kept cool, thanks to the fan or air-con. This guesthouse also makes it possible to rent out a bicycle for travellers wishing to explore the local area. Plus, it is well located for travelling to other sites with Phnom Da 28 km from the guesthouse; Phnom Neang Kang Rey is a 20 minute ride on a bike or a five-minute ride on a tuk-tuk to Kampong Chhnang City bus station.
The Sovann Phum Hotel and Restaurant is a popular place to stay in Kampong Chhnang. Each of the rooms in this hotel has a private bathroom with air-con and TV. This is another place that offers bicycle hire to explore the local area, as a well as car hire. The closest airport to the local area is approx. 80 km away at the Phnom Penh International Airport.
The Asia Hotel gives perfect views of the local Kampong Chhnang city with each room quite spacious with air-con, a TV and attached bathroom.
Eat and drink
There are several options for eating and drinking in Kampong Chhnang that range from the upmarket to the cheap and affordable food stalls.
The Soksan Restaurant is located close to the Kompong Chhnang taxi park and includes an English based menu and specializes in most foods that are fried and soups, as well as the more exotic dishes such as porcupine fish with omelette.
For convenient snacks on the go, a visit to the Phnom Mea Bakery can offer tasty pizzas, pastries, sandwiches and freshly baked baguettes. This is a perfect opportunity to buy the food for a packed lunch or picnic for a planned tour of the local sights.
A visit to the sprawling market area makes it possible to stop at Psar Krom where you get to experience the local food stalls and buy a filling and cheap meal.
Other areas to experience the authentic food at the food stalls includes Psar Leu at the central market, which is also great for learning more about the life of the locals.
There are two main markets in town that are easily located in the centre (Phsar Leu) or further Northeast (Phsar Chhnang). Both of these markets are very busy with a variety of shops that trade in plenty of consumer products.
The central market is the preferred destination to shop in this city. It opens early in the morning and stays open until late in the evening. Locals set up stalls offering virtually everything you need, including goods for everyday use such as clothes and toiletries to fresh food (fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, etc.), as well as souvenirs and gifts.
Things to see and do
Kampong Chhnang is an established destination for the Khmer tourist, but the foot traffic from the foreign tourist is still relatively low. But for those travellers on the Indochina tour packages that are looking for something a little different from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, this area is well worth a visit.
The Park Located In Front of the Provincial Hall
This park located in front of the Provincial Hall starts to get quite lively later in the day when the sun starts to set. It's great to visit to simply hang out, enjoy the street food, or to exercise. Plus, to the south side of the park, there is a group of monkeys living on site, so be cautious when walking near this area with foodstuff.
Phnom Ta Pi
Phnom Ta Pi is one of the most popular attractions in the entire Kampong Chhnang province. It is a very important historical site and is easily reached from the town centre by taxi or motorbike with the journey taking about 30 minutes or less. On arriving at Phnom Ta Pi you will get to see plenty of unique architecture and beautiful engravings.
Phnom Neang Kang Rey
A trip to Phnom Neang Kang Rey is about 14 km from the main town and takes about 60 minutes to reach by car or bus. This is a stunning natural wildlife preserve that is found in the Trabek Village. Any traveller visiting this wildlife reserve gets to explore the lush jungle that is rich in wildlife, wild flowers and stunning trees. This is a great destination for those that want a relaxing trek in the wilderness.
There are plenty of floating villages within a short distance of the town - most of these villages are easily found by heading northeast from town and travelling about 2 km. The floating villages include the Chong Kos, which is home to the local Khmer people and the Phoum Kandal with the ethnic Vietnamese inhabitants.
The floating villages can include almost everything you would expect in a normal village, including a petrol station, a mosque, vegetable stalls, machine shops and houses. In order to reach the villages you can visit the river port and hire a small motorless boat. Although, for those that aren't overly bothered about getting into the center of the villages, it is possible to take a ride on one of the large motorized tourist boats that make it possible to see the village life from a distance.
Ondong Rossey & Phnom Santuk
A visit to the quiet village of Ondong Rossey makes it possible to see pottery production first-hand that is made from red clay and popular throughout Cambodia. This village is about 7 km from Kampong Chhnang and is reached following a very scenic route that includes a lot of stunning countryside.
The clay used in the production of the pottery is sourced from a local quarry and the pottery is created using traditional methods.
A further attraction nearby is the small mountain of Phnom Santuk where it is possible to enjoy a relaxing trek to the top and admire the local countryside that also includes the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake.
Phnom Roap Bat
The natural and cultural site at Phnom Roap Bat is approx. 12 km from the provincial town of Kampong Chnnang. This is a great Cambodia adventure tour for those that love the fresh air and beautiful mountains. The mountaintop has a pagoda that is popular with local Cambodians in times of festivals.
Phnom San Touch
A visit to the natural site of Phnom San Touch makes it possible to admire the stunning views of the local Great Lake Tonle Sap, beautiful scenery and a large stone that relates to Khmer legend. Also on reaching the hilltop there is a rather pleasant Chinese temple that is a great place to relax for the tourists.
Phnom Ta Reach
A visit to the historical and natural site of Phnom Ta Reach makes it possible to explore some of the landscape that related to the Pol Pot's time (1977-1997). This site is easily reached by travelling to Phnom Touch village which is about 10 km from the town of Kampong Chnnang. This region relied on forced labour to carve mountain rocks. Nearby, there are plenty of small concrete constructed apartments. This area is usually popular on the Cambodia Package Tours with the tourists during the times of festivals.
Wat Phnom Robath
There are several hill temples and temples that can be seen along Highway No 5 en route to Kampong Chhnang. One of the most popular choices includes Wat Phnom Robath. A visit to this hilltop temple makes it possible to explore the highest in the region and gives a perfect panoramic view of the local area, including the Cardamom Mountains. There are plenty of paths around the temple that makes it possible to fully explore the area and get perfect views in all directions.