Sambor Prei Kuk is now a top Cambodian tourist destination after it made the UNESCO World Heritage Site list last year. Tourist infrastructure remains basic, but foreign visitor numbers are on the rise, especially during the dry season from November to April.
Where To Eat + Drink
The closest town is Kompong Thom, a 45-minute drive away. Look for Prum Bayon, located behind the Arunras Hotel, rumoured to be the best Khmer resto here. Or, pop over to the Old Bridge at the Stung Sen river to find Kompong Thom Restaurant, which offers interesting Cambodian delicacies such as water buffalo and Kampot pepper. (Corner of Kampong Thom Market, Prachea Thepatay St; Right side, southern bank of the Stung Sen river by the Old Bridge)
What To Do
Explore the pre-Angkorian capital city ruins of Chenla Kingdom at Sambor Prei Kuk. Climb 807 steps to the top of Phnom Suntuk hill, and discover statues and shrines along the way. Take a boat ride along the Stung Sen river to learn about life on the tributaries of Tonlé Sap Lake. Most accommodation staff can arrange these activities for you.
Where To Shop
There isn’t much shopping here, but you can head to Kampong Thom Market to get a glimpse of what Cambodians buy on a daily basis. (Prachea Thepatay St)
Where To Stay
Enjoy (in air-conditioned comfort) the Cambodian architecture of Sambor Village, a French-owned boutique hotel overlooking the river. Double and twin rooms go for $83 a night, but you can upgrade to a larger suite for $125.
Getting There + Around
Fly to either airports at Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, and from either city, catch a bus and tell the driver to stop at Kompong Thom. Or, simply ask your accommodation provider to provide a transfer service to Kompong Thom from the airport. Get around Kompong Thom and the sites by tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw), which can be arranged by your accommodation staff. Flights to and from Phnom Penh on Jetstar are a little over 2 hours.
Some text adapted from www.straitstimes.com, www.thepeakmagazine.com.sg
Additional Reporting: Joshua Tan
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