Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

Location : Phnom Penh

Set on top of a tree-covered knoll 27m high, Wat Phnom is the only hill in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong and discovered by a woman name, Penh. The main entrance to Wat Phnom is via the grand eastern staircase, which is guarded by lions and naga (snake) balustrades. Today, many people come here to pray for good luck and success in school exams or business affairs. When a petitioner's wish is granted, he or she returns to make the offering (such as a garland of jasmine flowers or bananas, of which the spirits are said to be especially fond) promised when the request was made.

The vihara (temple sanctuary) was rebuilt in 1434, 1806, 1894, and, most recently, in 1926. West of the vihara is an enormous stupa containing the ashes of King Ponhea Vat (reigned 1405 to 1467). In a small pavilion on the south side of the passage between the vihara and the stupa is a statue of the smiling and rather plump Madame Penh.A bit to the north of the vihara and below it is an eclectic shrine dedicated to the genie Preah Chau, who is especially revered by the Vietnamese. On either side ofthe entrance to the chamber in which a statue of Preah Chau sits are guardian spirits bearing iron bats. On the tile table in front of the two guardian spirits are drawings of Confucius, and two Chinese-style figures of the sages Thang Cheng (on the right) and Thang Thay (on the left). To the left of the central altar is an eight-armed statue of Vishnu.

Down the hill from the shrine is a royal stupa sprouting full-size trees from its roof. For now, the roots are holding the bricks together in their net-like grip, but when the trees die the tower will slowly crumble. If you can't make it out to Angkor, this stupa gives a pretty good idea of what the jungle can do (and is doing) to Cambodia's monuments. Curiously, Wat Phnom is the only attraction in Phnom Penh that is in danger of turning into a circus. Beggars, street urchins, women selling drinks and children selling birds in cages (you pay to set the bird free locals claim the birds are trained to return to their cage afterwards) pester everyone who turns up to slog the 27m to the summit. Fortunately, it's all high-spirited stuff, and it's difficult to be annoyed by the vendors, who after all, are only trying to eke out a living. trip on this road you will get the fresh air from the Mekong and Bassac rivers, especially around the garden in front of the Royal Palace. Furthermore, you will have the special chance to relax and chat with your lovely friends at the riverside. And just sit on the benches or walking through the riverbanks you can absorb the fresh air from the river and see the whole view of beautiful river, in order to reduce stress or complicate.

See More attractions in Phnom Penh

Chaktomuk River

Chaktomuk River

The river flows through Phnom Penh capital where located at the flow of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers forming four-branched confluence. Therefore, there was a timw when the capital was ...

Old Market (Phsar Chas)

Old Market (Phsar Chas)

Old Market (Phsar Chas) is a local market that is not at all geared to the tourist. It carries such items as fruits and vegetable, second hand cloths, hardware, motorcycle parts and religious items. ...

Wat Langka

Wat Langka

Wat Langka was initially built as a temple to store Holy Writings. It also served as a meeting place for Cambodian and Sri Lankan monks. Named in honour of these meetings, the word 'Langka' is ...

Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom Phnom Penh is reputedly the oldest of the five pagodas that have been founded during Phnom Penh’s first era as a capital in the early 15th century. Today the Wat is also home to the ...

Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre

Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre

Cambodia’s foremost wildlife sanctuary, Phnom Tamao is a home for animals confiscated from traffickers or saved from poacher’s traps. It occupies a vast site south of the capital and its animals ...

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium

A magnificent construction that lives with a constant threat of destruction, the Olympic Stadium is a metaphor for the short-sighted mindlessness, grubbiness and political manoeuvring that attend a ...

Independence Monument

Independence Monument

The Independence Monument (Vimean Ekareach) in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, was built in 1958 for Cambodia's independence from France in 1953. It stands on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard ...

Cambodia National Museum

Cambodia National Museum

Designed by George Groslier and the Ecole des Arts Cambodgiens the National Museum was built in 1917 in traditional Khmer style and inaugurated in 1920 by King Sisowat. The National Museum houses the ...

Phnom Baset

Phnom Baset

Fast, rocky downhill. You can take some side trails to get to more rock face riding. Many large rocks and downhill. Also has many stairs that you can play around on. Expert riders wil love it and ...

Phnom Penh Tours