Prey Veng is a quite sleepy, but heavily populated province that is situated on the east bank of the mighty Mekong River. In relation to local tourist sights, there isn't a wide range of things to see here. But it is a great layover destination for those on the Indochina tour package who are planning to visit Kampong Cham or cross over into Vietnam.
Even though this Cambodian province is quite quiet, it does have one of the busiest highways in the country running straight through it. This is National Highway No 1 which creates the link between Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
The actual town has several other colonial structures which are evidence of its past days as an important and lively centre. Additionally, this town has its own share of temples. Sites to explore include the Chong Srok temple which is within a relatively short distance, as well as the Viel Brang, the Ba Ray An Det resort, and Ba Phnom resort.
There is a vast lake located on the western edge of town, which dries up from March until August and the farmers cultivate the crops on the more fertile ground.
Similar to other provinces like Svay Rieng, this region isn't overly noted on the tourist maps, which makes it a quaint province that is popular with the backpackers on the Cambodia Adventure Tours.
The climate in Prey Veng is pleasant year-round with a temperature range that can vary from an average of 27°C, to a low 16°C. The best time to travel is throughout the cool season that lasts from November to March (24° to 32°C), while the most intense heat is noticed during the month of April, which is best avoided by those that prefer cooler temperatures to explore the local sights.
Throughout the rainy season (May to October) there is a risk of the roads becoming waterlogged and impassable, so if planning a road tour on the Cambodia Package Tours it is worth keeping this in mind.
The province of Prey Veng is in the region of 4883 km² in size. It is situated in the southern region of the country and is bordered to the South by Vietnam, to the east with Svay Rieng, to the west with Kandal and to the north with Kampong Cham. Most of the local landscape is wet plain areas that include agricultural plantations and rice fields. Plus, this region also includes two large rivers in this country, the mighty Mekong River and Tonle Bassac. Also, Prey Veng has a total population in the region of 945,000.
How to get there
Prey Veng is relatively easy to travel to. It is approx. 90 km from Phnom Penh and 78 km from Kampong Cham. The road conditions leading to this province are of a relatively good standard, which makes it easier to enter. A regular minibus service goes to this town from Phnom Penh on a daily basis. The cost of this journey is about 6000 Riel. The best pickup point for the minibus is in the south-west corner near the central market. Most of the buses are heading to the Svay Rieng Province or Vietnam, but will stop at Prey Veng en route.
An alternative travel option on the Cambodia travel packages is the share taxi which can take about two hours to complete and cost 8000 to 10,000 Riel, while a motorbike ride to the town can also be an enjoyable experience.
Where to stay
There are several hotels and guesthouses in the local area that are relatively cheap and give a comfortable place to stay for the night or longer.
The Mittapheap Hotel is close to the central crossroads and a very popular and clean hotel to stay. Rooms are kept clean and has air con in place with the price of about $5-$10 per night.
A stay at the Angkor Thom Hotel gives access to a nice sized hotel that has 27 rooms that includes air con and attached bathroom. The price to stay here per night is $5-$10.
The Rung Dare Hotel is close to the northeast corner of town and offers plenty of clean and comfortable rooms with a price range of $6-$12 per night.
A pleasant day at the Sekong Hotel makes it possible to relax close to the San River. Many of the rooms include old wooden furniture and Western baths that cost $10 per night or with air con $20 per night. Morning breakfast includes fresh French bread and espresso coffee.
A stay at the Chan Kiry Guesthouse offers a great setting with the guest house that sits on a piece of land that juts out into a large lake throughout the rainy season. Most of the rooms are well fitted out with air-con, bathroom and satellite TV. The cost to stay in this guest house is relatively cheap at $6 to $12 dollars per night.
Low-cost accommodation for the budget traveller tour the best Cambodia vacation spots is certain to include the Amatak Guest House. Most of the rooms are very basic with a bed, floor fan and mosquito net. There are no attached bathrooms to the bedroom, so it is necessary to use the shared bathroom. But, this place is kept clean and costs in the region of $5 per night.
A slight upgrade to the previous place is the Preap Sor Guesthouse, which again has the simple and clean rooms, but includes a western style bath. The cost is $10 per night, which also includes the use of a fan. Although, it is possible to upgrade to a room with air-con costing $15 per night.
One of the latest establishments is the Hotel Sok-Sabat which has plenty of nice rooms and includes a great morning Chinese breakfast. The cost per night is $10 to $20 - depends on the size and amenities of the room.
Eat and drink
Even though this is a quite quiet town there are still several places to visit to eat and drink in the local area. This includes a combination of sit down restaurants and local food stands that make it possible to get a more authentic feel of life in town.
A visit to the Arunreas Restaurant makes it possible to enjoy a varied menu of Khmer and Western dishes. Plus the menu is available in English. This is a pleasant spot that is great for an evening meal.
The No Name Restaurant is easily found and close to the Arunreas. There is a varied menu that is mostly related to Khmer dishes, but there is no English-based menu and the staff are very friendly, but don't speak much English.
The Mittapheap Restaurant is a family owned and provides a fast and friendly service. This is a great place to visit for the more varied food choices with a choice of Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer dishes.
A night out at the Kolap Stung Treng Restaurant gives a perfect opportunity to try a great choice of Chinese and Khmer dishes while also having the option to use an English based menu.
For the tourists that love to experience the traditional Khmer food stands there are plenty in the local area, and closely located in the market and the parkway. Plus, a great benefit of the outside food stalls is that the cost is dirt cheap
Prey Veng is similar to most other cities in Cambodia in that it has a local market with a varied range of goods to buy. The main market in this town is close to the Prey Veng centre, which can become very busy during the daytime and offers a varied selection of items such as meats, vegetables, fruits, fish, and other consumer products. Plus, many of the items are sourced from nearby Vietnam. There are also plenty of food and drink shops in the local area surrounding the marketplace.
For the tourist that prefers to eat the Western foods to satisfy their cravings, there are several mini marts in the local area. They also stock a varied range of beer brands that are available in Cambodia.
Things to see and do
One of the earliest cultural and religious sites in Cambodia is Ba Phnom which dates back to the fifth century. This region has in the past been a place of pilgrimage for the empires of Angkor and Chenla, as well as having spiritual significance well into the 19th century. Today, many of the sites are in a ruined state and there is little left to see of the original structures. Many of the temples that have been destroyed over time have been rebuilt using the original blocks. Over the years there are more modern wats that have appeared and easily found at the base of the hill, while a set of concrete stairs lead to several pagodas on the summit. For the tourist that has a great interest in the Cambodian history, this is certain to be a great site to explore.
The trip to Ba Phnom on the Cambodia Package Holiday is easily reached by visiting the nearby Neak Luong region and hiring the services of a moto to the Temples, which can cost in the region of $4 for the round trip.
Ba Ray An Det Resort
The Ba ray Village is a relatively short distance (about 3 km) from the town of Prey Veng. It is a very popular destination for the tourists and continues to get more and more visitors each year. The region is surrounded by large trees and was once a place that was believed to have magical and powerful spirits and a place for praying and swearing an oath.
Chong Srok Temple
A visit to the Chong Srok Temple is possible by making your way to the Chong srok village in the Kandal district which is nearly 38 km from Prey Veng. This is a very historical place to explore with plenty of temples constructed in Sandstone and bricks, and date back to the seventh century. The Chong Srok Temple was built on high ground and surrounded bykoki trees and Palm trees. To fully appreciate the temples in the local area, it can benefit to hire the services of an English speaking guide to fully explore the local region. The Chong Srok temple is rated as a fine religious site to explore in the province.
Kompong Sneh Damp
One of the most well visited Prey Veng tourist attractions is the Kompong Sneh Damp, which is within a travel distance of about 15 km from the main town. This is a great break from the city lights and a rich natural reserve that includes plenty of amazing wildlife. It has beautiful scenery with its lush greenery to give a very amazing experience. The wildlife park can make a full day's activity, so it helps to pack enough food and drink to last the entire journey.
Prey Veng Homestay
For the travellers that really want to get immersed in the local way of life, it is possible to experience a homestay adventure. This eco-friendly accommodation has plenty of amenities available such as a mosquito net, comfortable mattress, and fan-cooled rooms.
While staying at the homestay it is possible to explore the local land rich in nature with the option to see a wide range of animal species, include the rare white-winged duck. Most of the rooms include hot and cold running water. This place is relatively easy to travel to from the local provincial town or further afield, such as Siem Reap. A vehicle journey takes about 4 hours to complete. Plus, this a great place to visit to start a Cambodia tour package of the region.