Kompong Thom Museum

Kompong Thom Museum

Quality not quantity

More on Kompong Thom

The tiny Kompong Thom Museum was opened in 2010 but is already gathering dust, and if it sees an average of one visitor a day we’d be surprised—we were the first visitor in days when we last swung through in early 2019.

Travelfish says:

Exhibit-wise they’ve gone for quality not quantity—there are some superb exhibits, particularly a collection of Sambor Prei Kuk and other early period lintels. There is a large map on the central wall you face as you enter which marks the staggering number of sites within the province, and as you walk around you’ll see other explanatory boards helping you understand what you are seeing.

Strike a pose. : Stuart McDonald.
Strike a pose. Photo: Stuart McDonald

All the favourite Angkor statue subjects are there: lions, nagas, Buddha, Lokesvara and Vishnu, in stone and in wood, along with some impressive lingas and a seventh century inscribed stele. The way they are kept is a bit concerning, some stuck in a glass storage cabinet off to the left as you walk in, but the signage is all reasonable and informative.

These exhibits are near priceless and it’s a shame more people don’t get to see it. Good as it is—and all exhibits come with English-language explanations—it would be difficult to spend more than 20 minutes here even if you peruse every item. Still, there isn’t too much else to do in town and the museum is free to enter.

An unorthodox display cabinet. : Stuart McDonald.
An unorthodox display cabinet. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The location is not ideal—a solid 30 minute walk to the north of the bridge (or a couple of minutes in a tuk tuk). If you are walking, stop off and see Wat Kompong Thom (also known as Wat Indrisamvora) on the way there or back. The grounds include a large collection of very gaudy statues depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology scattered around the grounds and a large bright yellow main worshipping hall, but some of the associated temple buildings are perhaps more interesting. The original temple dates back to the 17th century, though much of what you see is obviously of more recent date.

Contact details for Kompong Thom Museum

Address: National Route 6, Kompong Thom
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º53'17.92" E, 12º43'38.05" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: Free

Reviewed by

Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

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These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.


Our top 5 other sights and activities in and around Kompong Thom

Sambor Prei Kuk
Sambor Prei Kuk

The perfect precursor to Angkor

Preah Khan of Kompong Svay
Preah Khan of Kompong Svay

Isolated and stunning

Phnom Santuk
Phnom Santuk

A hill top and a silk farm

Prasat Kok Rocha
Prasat Kok Rocha

Cambodia's own leaning tower

Prasat Phum Prasat and Tnoat Chum
Prasat Phum Prasat and Tnoat Chum

It is all about the journey