Photo: The stairs go on and on.

Phnom Santuk

Our rating:

Phnom Santuk is a small hill to the southeast of Kompong Thom with an active monastery at the summit offering up impressive views for free.

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Reached via a 809-step staircase lined by kitschy statues of poor quality and an abundance of elderly beggars, we recommend climbing to the summit in early morning or late afternoon—not at midday as we did. Once at the summit you can enjoy the beautiful views, and chat with friendly English-speaking monks and Cambodian teens interested in practising the English skills they learn in school.

Best not climbed at midday. Photo taken in or around Phnom Santuk, Kompong Thom, Cambodia by Stuart McDonald.

Best not climbed at midday. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Also at the top is a gilded pagoda with white walls covered in Khmer script, surrounded by a series of figurines and lesser shrines and temples, including a reclining Buddha carved into the rock face. Curved cement bridges connect various small temples and statues of people, horses and gods.

A large UFO-like structure rises up from the main lookout point with a statue of a man underneath—we were told by locals it’s supposed to be King-Father Sihanouk in his youth. Overfed macaques, as with most Khmer pagodas, wander lazily around the grounds, sifting for crumbs through rubbish left behind.

As expected, the views are not shabby. Photo taken in or around Phnom Santuk, Kompong Thom, Cambodia by Stuart McDonald.

As expected, the views are not shabby. Photo: Stuart McDonald

There are more interesting hills to climb in Cambodia, such as Phnom Bok near Siem Reap or Phnom Udong near Phnom Penh, but if you combine this with sites along the route such as Prasat Kok Rocha and the below-mentioned silk and carving village, and it is a worthwhile ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Map

Phnom Santuk
About 15 kilometres southeast of Kompong Thom, off National Road 6
Admission: $2

Popular attractions in Kompong Thom

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Kompong Thom.



Best places to stay in Kompong Thom

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Kompong Thom.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Kompong Thom.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Kompong Thom.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Kompong Thom.
 Read up on how to get to Kompong Thom, or book your transport online with Camboticket.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Kompong Thom? Please read this.
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See below for more sights and activities in Kompong Thom that are listed on Travelfish.org.


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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Kompong Thom? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Cambodia.


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