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Kampong Thom is link Phnom Penh(165km) and Siem Reap (150km) with the National Highway No 6, and the separate National Road 64 to Preah Vihear province with a distance of 126 km. There are many bus companies offer daily bus schedule from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and return. So it is easy to drop off Kampong Thom, and separates to Preah Vihea province National Road 64.
The Sambor temple and Prei Kuk temple are the two main temples in Kompong Thom as well as other less significant Angkorian sites. Kompong Thom was a former capital in Southeast Asia during the Funan period. Later on, during the French rule, the province was home to a large group named the Stieng, but they have long been assimilated into Khmer society.
Attraction in Kampong Thom
Sambor Prei Kuk Temple
Sambo Prey Kuk Temple is a cultural and historical site located in Sambo village, Sambo commune, Prasat Sambo district, about 25 kilometers northeast of Kampong Thom provincial town. The site was once an old capital named Isanapura and a religious center for the worship of Shiva Brahmanism.
Many temples were built in Sambo Preykuk during the reign of King Isanavarman I (AD 616- 635) in the 7th century. The temples of Sambo Preykuk constructed of solid brick, laterite and sandstone and decorated by bas-reliefs. The lintel, pillars and the door frames are all made of sandstone. So far, 140 temples have been discovered in the forest.
Sambor Prei Kuk, located near Kompong Thom, 150km south-east of Siem Reap, lies off the main road towards Cambodia?s capital Phnom Penh. Kompong Thom is a sleepy little town. The only hive of activity was the market place next to the Stung Sen River where we bought some brown palm sugar and Cambodian fragrant rice. The local ?taxi? was actually an open-air wooden cart pulled by an antiquated motorbike. Its owner was an elderly man wearing spectacles with thick lenses.
Phnom Santok is a cultural and natural site located in Ko Koh village, Ko Koh commune, Santuk district, about 17 kilometers south of Kampong Thom provincial town. The site include four mountains: Phnom Srah Kmao or Phnom Tbeng, Phnom Penhum or Phnom Kraper, Phnom Champa and Phnom Santuk. Since the ancient time to the present, Phnom Santuk Mountain has been called in many names as below:
- Phnom Thom (in history)
- Phnom Arth Santuk (In history)
- Phnom Chorm Chong Kiri
- Phnom Krop Tuk
- Phnom Preah Bat Chann Tuk
The ancient heritages on the top of the mountain:
– Many Buddha statues were carved from great mountain rock including three big Buddha statues reaching Nirvana, each has more than 10-meter length.
– Prasat Touch of pyramid shape, made of sandstone, has three stories and three-meter height, and is located next to the ancient wooden temple (presently, it is made of cement) with a rectangular pond (10m x 4m).
– Preah Bat Chann Tuk statue was carved on the stone shaped as food of a sacred human, and there are many other small sculptures. By the stories, the construction and the statues were erected during the reign of Preah Ponhea Dharma Reacha (1474-1494) and have been maintained until now.
Lion Temple Group
Lion temple group comprise 18 temples with two ramparts closed to the pond. The reasons why the people called Lion Temple because on the tops of all stairs from the four directions, there were sitting lions with forelegs standing up, hind-legs humbling down, its head rose up and its mouth opened to the sanctuary. Now the pond is empty during the dry season.
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