Kampong Cham Cambodia
Kampong Cham Cambodia, more a quiet town than a bustling city, Kampong Cham is a peaceful provincial capital spread along the banks of the Mekong. It was an important trading post during the French period, the legacy of which is evident as you wander through the streets of chastened yet classic buildings.
Long considered Cambodia’s third city after Phnom Penh and Battambang, Kampong Cham has lately been somewhat left in the dust by the fast-growing tourist towns of Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. However, Kampong Cham remains an important travel hub and acts as the gateway to eastern Cambodia. The big bridge south of the centre was the first to span the Mekong’s width in Camsbodia.
When the best time to visit Kampong Cham
Kampong Cham has sun almost year round. The average temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius; minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months during the year. General information about the climate:
– Rainy season: May – October (27-35c, with humidity up to 90%.)
– Cool season: November- March (17-27c)
– Hot season: March- May (28c -36c)
The best time to visit Kampong Cham is betweem November and March.
Getting There & Away
The best price found from Vietnam to Kompong Cham is on August 16th, 2015, travelling with Vietnam Airlines
Please contact us to book flight ticket.
Car & Motorbike
Car hire is best arranged via our office. Rates almost always include a driver.
Getting around Hanoi by motorbike means relentless traffic, non – existent road manners and inadequate street lighting.
Phnom Penh Sorya is the most reliable bus company operating out of Kompong Cham.
GST/Liang US Express has morning buses to Battambang, Kratie and Siem Reap. Rith Mony adds buses to Ban Lung (10am), Battambang and Siem Reap.
Taxi & Minibus
Share taxis (US$3.50) dash to Phnom Penh from the taxi park near the New Market (Psar Thmei). The trip takes two to 2½ hours. Overcrowded local minibuses also do the run (10,000r).
Morning share taxis and minibuses to Kratie (US$5, 1½ hours) depart when full from the Caltex station at the main roundabout, and there are morning minibuses from the taxi park as well.
Sights & Activities
The original fusion temple, Wat Nokor is a modern Theravada Buddhist pagoda squeezed into the walls of an 11th-century Mahayana Buddhist shrine of sandstone and laterite. It is a kitsch kind of place and many of the older building’s archways have been incorporated into the new building as shrines for worship. On weekdays there are only a few monks in the complex and it’s peaceful to wander among the alcoves and their hidden shrines. The entry price includes admission to Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei just outside town.
To get here, head out of town on the NH7 to Phnom Penh, and take the left fork at the large roundabout, 2.5km west of the bridge in Kompong Cham. The temple is a couple hundred metres down a pretty dirt road.
For a supremely relaxing bicycle ride, it’s hard to beat Koh Paen, a rural island in the Mekong River, connected to the southern reaches of Kompong Cham town by an elaborate bamboo bridge (500r to 1000r) in the dry season or a local ferry (with/without bicycle 1500/1000r) in the wet season. The bamboo bridge is an attraction in itself, totally built by hand each year and looking like it is made of matchsticks from afar. During the dry season, several sandbars, the closest thing to a beach in this part of Cambodia, appear around the island.
Old French Lighthouse
Looming over the Mekong River opposite town is an old French lighthouse. For years it was an abandoned shell, but it’s recently been renovated, including an incredibly steep metal staircase, more like a series of ladders. Don’t attempt the climb if you are scared of heights. There are great views across the Mekong from the summit, especially at sunset.
Eating & Drinking
Smile Restaurant: Sihanouk Street
Run by the Buddhism and Society Development Association, this handsome nonprofit restaurant is a huge hit with the NGO crowd for its big breakfasts and authentic Khmer cuisine such as chaar k’daa (stir fry with lemongrass, hot basil and peanuts) and black-pepper squid. Western and Thai dishes show up on the menu as well, and it sells BSDA-made kramas and trinkets.
Hao An Restaurant: Preah Monivong Blvd
The original Kompong Cham diner draws a legion of Khmers from across the country. The picture menu of Khmer and Chinese favourites has a huge array of images, including a cuddly baby goat on the raw-meat menu.
Chaplin’s Bar & Restaurant: Sihanouk Street
For a dash of urban flair in somnolent Kompong Cham, this Scottish-owned, Charlie Chaplin–themed bistro serves excellent Cambodian food, pizzas and imported steaks in an arty space with funky lamps dangling from a towering ceiling.
Destiny Coffee House: 12 Vithei Pasteur
This stylish cafe has relaxing sofas and a contemporary look. The international menu includes delicious hummus with dips, lip-smacking homemade cakes, breakfast burritos, salads and wraps.