Kompong Cham

Kompong Cham

Great outlying temples

A surprisingly pretty province, with several interesting Angkorian and pre-Angkorian sites, Kompong Cham is commonly viewed as a simple layover en route to the northeast, but also makes for a pleasant, restful diversion if you have a day or two to spare.

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On the west bank of the Mekong, just over 120 kilometres northeast of Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham is the drowsy capital of Kompong Cham province. Once the second-most populous province in Cambodia, it was divided and literally cut down to size by the government at the end of 2013, perhaps for having had the temerity to vote for the leading opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), despite being the home province of Cambodia’s long-standing premier, Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Riverside scenes, Kompong Cham. : Nicky Sullivan.
Riverside scenes, Kompong Cham. Photo: Nicky Sullivan

The east of the Mekong, and the border with Vietnam, are now in the newly formed Tbong Khmum province, together with extensive rubber plantations, many of which were originally set by the French. The five districts that previously fell within the borders of Kompong Cham all voted for Hun Sen’s ruling party, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and the new province can almost certainly now expect to receive preferential treatment in return for the favour.

Kompong Cham province gets its name from its large population of ethnic Cham, Muslims who may have originated in Borneo before fanning out and establishing populations in Cambodia, Vietnam and, to a lesser ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,200 words.)

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