When coming to Phnom Penh in Cambodia tour, in addition to enjoying drinks in the historical space or watching the special performances of the Cambodian people, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Wat Phnom - the most sacred temple in Cambodia.
Where is Wat Phnom Temple situated?
Wat Phnom is located on the hill in the north of Phnom Penh. From the direction of the independent monument, you go straight on Norodom Boulevard towards the Royal Place about a few kilometers then reach. According to legend, this temple was built by a wealthy Khmer woman living on the banks of the Mekong, her name is Penh. It is said that one day when walking on the river, Ms. Penh caught the big rotten tree washed up on the shore. She approached and saw four wooden Buddha statues inside it. Believing that this is a godsend, she mobilized the villagers to build a hill near the river and a temple on it to worship the statues. In 1372, Wat Phnom was completed. In Khmer language, Wat is the temple and Phnom is the hill. Wat Phnom means the temple located on the hill.
Visiting Wat Phnom Temple
After many repairs, devastated by war and the Khmer Rouge, Wat Phnom is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Phnom Penh. The temple attracted not only foreign tourists but also many Khmer people from far away to worship. If you are a foreign tourist, you will pay $1 to enter the temple and the Khmer will be free. Wat Phnom Temple is open from 8 am to 6 pm everyday.
How to get to Wat Phnom?
You can go for a walk or hire a tuk tuk to travel around with the price of $2 - $3/ time /person. From West Street on Sisowath Quay road, you walk about 5 minutes on the left, cross KFC restaurant and turn left on Highway 98 to a hill where the sacred Wat Phnom temple is located.
The architecture of Wat Phnom Temple
The entrance to the Wat Phnom Temple is guarded by the seven-headed Naga serpents, guardian Gods, and lions. The temple is situated on a high hill surrounded by a shady campus. This is the perfect location to stop when the heat of Phnom Penh makes you feel stuffy. There are lots of stone chairs on this campus.
Wat Phnom is built under the traditional Khmer architecture. Constructed in 1372 with many historical ups and downs, the Wat Phnom temple is probably over 640 years old. Inside the temple, the most prominent is the Cambodian Buddha statue sitting on the central lotus. The below side are dozens of Buddha statues with many different postures. The ceiling and walls of the temple are decorated with paintings depicting the life of Shakyamuni and the epic Ramayana which is the epic of India painted in most temples and in the royal palace. Some of the Buddha statues in Wat Phnom in particular and the Khmer, in general, are often decorated with fine patterns, worn robes and crowns.
The shady campus on Wat Phnom
5 outstanding activities in Wat Phnom
Because of the legend that Lady Penh built the temple after picking up the log containing 4 Buddha statues inside, the Wat Phnom temple is considered the holiest place in Cambodia. You can put money on the feet and hands of the Buddha statue to pray.
At the entrance of Wat Phnom is a sorcerer with fortune tellers. Visitors who want to consult a fortune-teller will be given a bunch of cards placed on the front head to pray and then pick the card. After that, the sorcerer will explain the card. When finishing, the guest will put the money in the copper tray next to it.
Birds to release are sold at many temples in Cambodia. In the yard of Wat Phnom, there are many sellers of small sparrows. However, it can be seen that all the birds are cut off the tail. The price of sparrows ranges from $10 to $25/ cage, about 15 - 25 sparrows.
Taking pictures with monkeys
Wat Phnom campus is the home to many long-tailed monkeys in almost everywhere. Visitors can feed monkeys, take beautiful pictures with them. However, you should limit to directly get in touch with them because there are some quite prankish monkeys.
Visiting the stone tower
To the west of Wat Phnom, there is a stone tower carved extremely delicately, which can be seen from the distance. The tower housed the ashes of King Ponhea Yat, who reigned in the 1400s and moved the capital of the Khmer empire from Angkor to Phnom Penh in 1422.
The stone tower view at night in Phnom Penh
For the people of Phnom Penh, Wat Phnom temple is extremely sacred. And for every foreign visitor, it is a must-go place to visit and learn about the capital of Cambodia - the land of wonders. To know more information about Cambodia tour packages, via our website. Have a wonderful trip!