Wat Nokor

Temple within a temple

Photo of , , Kompong Cham

What we say: 3.5 stars

This 11th century Khmer sanctuary is definitely worth a visit for its temple-within-a-temple layout.

At the centre of the ancient complex a more contemporary and brightly coloured wat has been built, but the two are set within each other like Russian dolls and are so close together that the new temple uses parts of the ancient Khmer sanctuary's laterite walls as its own exterior.

The sanctuary shows signs of being rebuilt in places, but overall it is in very good condition, with a wild variety of apsaras unlike those at Angkor. To the left of this complex are two smaller temple buildings facing each other. One holds a reclining Buddha while the other contains a variety of Buddha statues and at the rear is a white cement statue of a woman who survived the Khmer Rouge period, escaped Cambodia and funded the construction of the temple in thanks for her good fortune.

The original killing field in this area was between Phnom Proh and Phnom Sray, a short moto ride out of town, but after the end of the Khmer Rouge period monks collected the bones and interred them here. Wat Nokor is set a couple of hundred metres to the south of the Wat Nokor traffic circle (the one with a statue of the world and dragons) at the eastern end of town. Look out for the grandstand of the old racecourse as you circumnavigate the roundabout. You could walk here, but a motorbike ride is more comfortable.

More details
Near the Nokor traffic circle
Last updated: 8th September, 2012

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