Wat Phnom

The place behind the name

Photo of Wat Phnom, , Phnom Penh

What we say: 3.5 stars

This small hill, or phnom, at the northern end of Phnom Penh give's Cambodia's capital its name. Legend has it that a Khmer woman Penh was dawdling by the riverbank when she noticed four Buddha images floating by. She grabbed the lot of them and lugged them over to the hill, where a wat was built to house them.

Today the well-shaded hill sits at the centre of a roundabout and has a bit of a fun-fair atmosphere to it, with a giant clock built into the hillside and numerous hawkers ambling around. A long staircase leads to the top of the hill, where you can check out the wat and the view, which isn't as great as you might expect. persistent lot of persistent beggars hang out here. Quite a few hustlers also prowl the area, so keep your wits about you. There are also lots of homeless children as well as gangster monkeys who will have their eyes on your wallet, camera, or any appealing food or drink you leave hanging about.

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Junction of Norodom and France, Phnom Penh
Last updated: 15th October, 2014

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