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Kandal Province

This province is around Phnom Penh so nearly all the nation road in Cambodia cross this province, however, the destination which it transversely is really difference such as the national road number 5 the main target it across is Udong Mountain where we can visit both nature and culture because on the top of the mountain there are two grave of the Khmer King, and the nature around it seam normally because it is not invention or devolve yet. And the second destination Preak Peap where the national road across only 7 km but can enjoys the trip at that place and the image of this destination is boil corn and a co.

Places of Interest:

Phnom Udong:
Phnom Udong is lcated in Phsar Dek and Phnom Bat communes, Ponhea Leu district, about 41 kilometers north of Phnom Penh. The city drops behind while fishing villages and rice paddies surround either side of the sweeping plains of Kandal province. Then without warning, a mountain rises above it all, topped by the spire of stupas like some fairy castle. The road to Udong is clearly marked, and the distance along this road to the former city is less than 4 kilometers. Picnic huts selling everything from sweet palm fruit to roasted chicken cluster around the based of the hill.

There are three names for this hill: Phnom Udong, Phnom Preah Reach Troap and Phnom Edthareus. The site includes the summits of five hills: Chetdei, Trai Treung, Chetdei Kampul Buon, Preah Ang Chol Nipean, and Ariya Kasaks. Chetdy and Trai Treung summits are the same height. The area of Phnom Udong is about 1500 meters by 700 meters from the east to the west.

Close up, Udong actually appears as two hump-backed hills. The smaller is topped by shrines and the remains of Ta San mosque, built by a Cham Muslim on ground given to him for the purpose by one of the ancient kings. The main hill is said to be shaped like a naga. The stupas on the main hill house the remains of past monarchs, including King Monivong and King Ang Duong. A new huge stupa at the end of the mountain ridge was completed in 2002 and built to hold relics of the Buddha. The relics, once housed in a small stupa near the railroad station in Phnom Penh, were relocated to the new stupa by King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk in December 2002.

This site is of particular interest to visitors seeking to learn about early Cambodian history. Udong was home to several Kings  when it served as the Cambodian capital between AD 1618 and 1866. In addition, it offers more than an exhibit of ancient history. At the top of the stairs on the left lies the city’s most impressive structure, Vihear Preah Edthareus, sanctuary of the 18 cubit Buddha, retains the scars of heavy strafing inflicted in face-to-face firefights between Khmer Rouge, Lon Nol and American troops in the 1970s. The eight huge columns of the shrine rise into the sky, the roof they once supported was destroyed when Khmer Rouge forces blew up the temple in 1977. The arm and part of one side of a huge Buddha remains, and his face has placed at the foot of the pedestal and a modern shrine built around it.

However, the severity of the fighting and the extent of the damage to this once magnificent building do not take away from its haunting beauty. The views of the surrounding countryside from entire ridge are breathtaking, and the silence casts an air of serenity over the battleground of a war long past.

Phnom Prasith:
Phnom Prasith is located in Makak commune, Ang Snoul district and in Chhviang commune, Ponhea Leu district, north of Phnom Penh. To get there, take National Road 5 north about 11 kilometers to Prek Pneuv Market point. From there, turn left and drive another 13 kilometer along a dirt trail. The total distance is about 24 kilometers from Phnom Penh or about 35 kilometers from Takmao provincial town. In the future, once National Road 26 is completed and the trail to Phnom Prasith is improved, visitors will be able to visit Phnom Prasith, and then continue on to Phnom Udong. Or, they could visit Udong first and Phnom Prasith later.

Phnom Prasith is composed of two hills, the East Hill and the West Hill. The West Hill has no stories. The East Hill, however, has stories relating to religion and the Khmer King. It also has a large statue of the reclining Buddha reaching nirvana.

There are not many big trees in Phnom Prasith, and there are no development plans for now. The site attracts few visitors because there is poor organization and management. Nevertheless, this area has beautiful scenery, abundant fresh air and is rich in culture and history.

About 1 kilometer from hnom Prasith, there is a man-made cultural site called Phnom Reap or Prasat Vihear Suor. Based on the style of Angkor Wat which is why it is called the New Angkor Wat, Phnom Reap was constructed of stone and cement between 1996 and 1998 for about 1 million US dollars. The money was raised from local and foreign sources by Mr. Meas Sarin.

Today, Phnom Reap attracts many Cambodian and foreign tourists. It is often used as the backdrop for Cambodian videos.

Wat Phnom Thon Mond:
Wat Phnom Thon Mond is located in Prek Koy commune, Saang district, about 24 kilometers from Takmao provincial town and about 35 kilometers from Phnom Penh. To reach this site, visitors should travel along National Road 21 via the Prek Toch Market (also known as Saang district market) until they reach Svay Tany Primary School, about 20 kilometers to Wat Phnom Thon Mond. The site can also be reached by traveling along the Bassac River.

Wat Phnom Thon Mond was built in 1954 by a monk named Rath Phan. Today, thanks to the contributions of many generous people, the pagoda has become a tourists attraction in Kandal Province. And since Cambodian people are superstitious, this pagoda attracts many local tourists, who pray for happiness and other wishes. It is particularly popular among locals on Silas Day, a Buddhist holiday. There are many trees at Wat Phnom Thon Mond, stretching from the base of the hill to the peak. At the peak, visitors will find abundant fresh air and beautiful scenery.

In accordance with the wishes of local visitors, the provincial tourism services, working with the local authority and the monastery committee has enlarged the yard, planted more trees and arranged for parking. A number of statues have also been added that deal with the history of Phnom Thon Mond.

Saang Phnom:
Saang Phnom is located in Saang Phnom commune, 23 kilometers from Takmao, or 34 kilometers from Phnom Penh. To reach the site, travel along new National Road 21, which was constructed during the Khmer Rouge regime, via Tuol Krosang plain. From Takmao, new National Road 21 meets old National Road 21 at Wat Chhoung Leap, Rokar Kpus commune. The distance is about 12 kilometers. From Wat Chhoung Leap drive 5 kilometers to Saang district market and look for a trail on the right. Go another 205 kilometers until you see the pagoda gate. Turn right and go another 2.5kiometers to reach the hill.

There is a pagoda at the top of the hill. Saang Phnom has fewer trees than Phnom Thon Mond, but a big lake surrounds the hill and there are many Rumchong and Prolit flowers. The lake is full of fish, and many visitors enjoy taking boat rides and fishing. During the rainy season, Saang Phnom looks like a small forest island. The air is cool and fresh there. Recently, the provincial tourism services, working with local authorities, planted more trees and improved security and sanitary conditions for tourists. The site is especially popular during traditional festivals and public holidays.

Wat Pumpek
Wat Tumpek is located in Krang Yov commune, Ssaang district. Krang Yov covers 8000 hectares and has a population of 12700. It is a Hun Sen development area. The development plan for the area includes agricultural product processing. The area is rich with rice fields, has a network of canals and good trails between villages.

There are three pagodas in Krang Yov: Wat Seila Andet, Wat Kaong Naram and Wat Tumpek. Of the three, only Wat Tumpetk has been developed for tourism. The chief monk at Wat Tumpek has built eight temples for the purpose of making the monastery a tourist attraction. Each temple has ancient objects on display. The road around the monastery is smooth, trees have been planted along the foot of the hill and a pond has been dug. In addition, a 1-hectare wedding park, where newly married couples can plant a tree, has been added.

Wat Angkor Chey:
Wat Angkor Chey is located in Banteay Dek commune, Kean Svay district, about 29 kilometers from Phnom Penh. Travellers from Phnom Penh or Takamo must cross the Monivong Bridge and travel east 29 kilometers along National Road 1. The pagoda gate is on the right of the road. Wat Angkor Chey is about 1600 meters inside the gate. Before reaching the pagoda, visitors will cross a 100-meter wooden bridge. Under the bridge there is a big pond that can hold water for use in dry season.

Behind the pagoda, on a termite mound, is a Buddhist site called Dombok Kmao. The termite mound is believed at one time to have been the home of a powerful person or the king. This is because objects such as tools, bowls and pots have been found there. Now Dombok Kmao termite mound has been decorated and maintained because of superstitions relating to the site. Many people visit Wat Angkor Chey, particularly, those who are superstitious. They usually go there to get holy water. In addition, the scenery is beautiful, and the surrounding environment is pleasant.

Wat Kean Svay Krau:
Wat Kean Svay Krau is located in Phum Thom commune, Kean Svay district, about 19 kilometers from Phnom Penh, or about 30 kilometers from Takmao. To reach Wat Kean Svay, cross the Monvong Bridge and travel east for 19 kilometers on National Road 1. The gate to the pagoda is on the left. The site is about 300 meters inside the gate.
The site covers 10 hectares and is lush with trees and other vegetation. Many kinds of crops and fruit are sold here. It became a tourist destination in 1979. Its main attraction is Wat Kean Svay Krau. The site is popular with many tourists from Phnom Penh who come to see the floating houses and restaurants, where they can enjoy delicious foods such as grilled chicken and fish, as well as jack fruit, sapodilla, mango, banana and coconut.

Fruit trees line the edge of the Ktub River, creating an inviting atmosphere for tourists to sit and relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The river is also a key transportation link to Ka Om village, another popular tourist site.

Because of the natural beauty of Kean Svay, the provincial tourism service and local authorities hope to make the site more popular with tourists. They have added parking and restroom facilities and increased security.

Handicraft Center (Mekong Island)
The handicraft center in Kandal province is located in Koh Dach commune, Muk Kampul district in the middle of the Mekong River. Also known as Mekong Island, it is 12 kilometers long. It is 100 meters wide at its most narrow point and 2500 meters at its widest. On the eastern side of the island lies Preak Luong and Oknha Tei communes, Ksach Kandal district, on the western side lie Prek Leap and Bakheng communes, Muk Kompul district. There are five villages in Koh Dach communes: Koh Dach, Kbal Koh, Lvear, Chong Koh and Oknha Tei villages. The commune office is located in Kbal Koh village. Flooding on the Mekong River has caused the riverbank along Koh Dach commune to gradually collapse.

Many of the people who live here make their living as farmers. They plant corn, sesame, beans and banana. They also plant fruit trees. In addition to farming, the villagers produce mosquito nets, silk, sarong, pha muong, hol, Krama, and run small businesses. Khmer Handicrafts are in abundance here, since there are many wavers and they loom products, big or small, depending on their resources.

There are three pagodas in Koh Dach: Wat Ampor Phal, Wat Krapum Pich, and wat Samky Kbal Koh. Men and women in Koh Dach commune also enjoy boat racing. Wat Ampor Phal and Wat Kbal Koh both have two boats for men – a paddle boat and a rowboat. Wat Krapum Pich has two rowboats – one for men and the other for women.

The island’s natural resources and traditions make it an ideal destination for tourists. The tourism industry here can be developed best by:
    - Helping weavers to improve their skills in making silk hol, pha moung and karma that meet international standards and can be sold to visitors.
-    Repairing and maintaining the roads in the communes, encouraging the villages to build traditional Khmer houses and educating villagers about the importance of preserving Khmer traditions and traditional games. Promote boat racing by men’s and women’s teams in national and religious festivals.