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A small town situated between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Kampong Thom is the base for a hive of attractions that will get you off the beaten track. Often overlooked by tourists, Kampong Thom is a lively market town with excellent shopping for souvenirs and fantastic dining options, from local delicacies to international delights.
Take a walk down Stung Sen Street, lined with charming wooden houses; visit Wat Kompuong, a temple designed with a bright mix of old and modern Buddhist architecture; or visit the French Governor's Residence, where three old mahogany trees hold the incredible site of hundreds of large bats fanning themselves throughout the day.
The Stung Sen River winds it way through the centre of town, leading to the spectacular countryside, peppered with natural and cultural wonders.
Take a journey into the forest to discover the hidden ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled deep within the trees, Sambor Prei Kuk is an ancient complex of temples which was built 400 years before Angkor, between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was the largest temple complex in Southeast Asia at the time, said to have served as the inspiration for the Angkor architects.
Here, you can soak up the serenity of a lesser-visited ancient site, taking in the beauty of the tree vines wrapped tightly around the intricately carved temples. The enchanting atmosphere will make you feel as though you’ve stumbled on a secret.
Closer to town, you’ll find the colourful temples of Phnom Suntuk. Climb the 807 stone steps to be rewarded with a spectacular view over the countryside, cloaked in glimmering rice fields.
For those staying longer in Kampong Thom, take a day trip to Preah Khan of Kompong Svay. Stretching across five square kilometres, Preah Khan is the largest temple complex built during the Angkorian era. Enjoy the tranquility as you roam through tree-entwined temples and spectacular ruins. Thanks to the remote location, you’ll likely have it all to yourself!
Kampong Thom is the perfect place for travellers wanting to explore a lesser-known locale and discover the hidden gems of Cambodia.
The best time to visit Kampong Thom is during the dry season, from November to March. With lower rainfall and pleasantly warm temperatures, this is also the peak season for tourists. December and January are the coolest months, while the hot season runs from March to May. April is the hottest month, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius.
The monsoon season runs from May to October, with sporadic afternoon showers and high humidity. Travel is still enjoyable during these months, as the sun shines most mornings. Travellers visiting in April can witness the festivities held at the ancient temples of Sambor Prei Kuk to celebrate the Khmer New Year.
A trip to Kampong Thom is a unique highlight on our Complete Cambodia Holiday. We feature a one-night stay and a tour of the ancient temples of Sambor Prei Kuk on this luxury tour. However, with so many incredible attractions surrounding the region, you may want to stay longer.
Sambor Village Hotel is a peaceful retreat only a few minutes’ walk from Sambor Village and the only boutique hotel in Kampong Thom. Set on the Stung Sen River, the Cambodian styled bungalows are infused with modern comforts, set amongst lush tropical gardens. With an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and bar, plus free bicycle hire, this is the perfect boutique hotel for a couple’s luxury holiday to Cambodia.