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Pursat Province

Pursat is a small province, situated in northwestern Cambodia, 186km northwest of Phnom Penh. The province occupies an area of 1,296,200 hectares, and borders the Tonle Sap Lake to the northeast. It consists of six districts: Krakor, Bakan, Phnom Kravanh, Kan Deang, Veal Veng and Sampovmeas. The population of Pursat town is 360,445 with the density of 28 people per km2. The area has many natural attractions, such as the Cardamom Mountains (Chuor Phnom Kravanh) characterized by rolling hills and steeper escarpments cloaked in closed-canopy evergreen forest and to the western edge of Pursat province and the Tonle Sap Great Lake on the northeast. For those úst passing through there are a number of interesting sights to make you linger longer in and around the town of Pursat and the greater province.

Pursat, is a rural town and lies off National Highway 5, straddling the Country´s two major cities of Phnom Penh and Battambang. Some use Pursat as a stopover destination en route from Phnom Penh to Thailand (through the Poy Pet border crossing). Pursat can be reached by road in an air-conditioned bus, shared taxi or car rentals and if time is no problem, a train rip through the Cambodian Countryside can be an at tractive alternative.

The Pursat river adds beauty to the town, and flows into the Tonle Sap Greal Lake, which covers about 124,635 hectares and is approximately 80km in length. The river originates in the Cardamon Mountains, which acts as a high rainfall catchments area. During the heat of the day many children can be seen splashing around in the river and during evening locals stroll along the riverbanks, or swim and fish in a small dam/spillway further upstream.

Other information

The tourism office is located beside all the government building on the river´s west bank, near the island.

The towns facilities include a bank, post office, phone and fax outlets, restaurants and a choice of reasonably priced hotels.


CLIMATE

The air temperature changes little throughout the course of the year, with the “hot season” in the months of March to April (25oC-35oC). It may rain almost daily between July and November, making traveling more difficult and resulting in poor road conditions. In the “hot season” mountainous highland areas such as the Veal Veng district, provide a cool escape and a change of scenery from the lowland Pursat area. Traveling by ferry on Tonle Sap Lake is advisable only in the dry season, as there is the possibility of bad weather and storms between May and November.

The name Pursat (Po Sat) came from the native word Po Ro Sat, which originated from a legend about a Po tree which floated up the river, germinated and later successfully grew in the province. Nationally, Pursat province is famous for orange fruit trees, and through its association with the region is known as Krauch Po Sat (Pursat orange).

Traditional ways still linger in Pursat province, along with strong traces of cultural history and many historic sights. One particularly famous historic site to visit is the Tomb of Kleang Meug. Ohknha Kleang Meug is a Khmer national hero who defeated the Thais in the celebrated battle of 1482. The tomb is situated 6km outside Pursat town in the direction of Battambang.

Places of Interest:

Venerable Site of Neakta Kliang Meung
The venerable site of Neakta Kliang Meung is an important historical site in Cambodia. It is located in Snam Preah commune, Bakan district, about 6 kilometers south of Pursat provincial town.

Animist believers go there to worship at the statue of the guardian spirit Neakta Kliang Meung. This statue was constructed in 1993 to replace an older statue destroyed during the war. The area in front of the statue is a place of worship, while the area behind the statue is where locals gather to play traditional games on Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben festival.

Baktra
Baktra is a natural site about 16 kilometers south of Pursat provincial town along National Road 56. This site includes a 50-meter-high hill, a forest, a larte stone, a steam from which  water flows year round, and many natural wells. Fruit trees are abundant, particularly kuy or sei moan. Baktra is also an important place of worship.

Phnom Ba Klas
Phnom Ba Klas is a natural and cultural site located in Tnaot Chum village, Tnaot Chum commune, Krakor district, about 20 kilometers beautiful scenery and abundant fresh air. The nearby mountains are filled with small fruit trees, especially kuy and sei moan, which are popular among visitors. An old, crumbling pagoda still contains many statues and sculptures. Khmer people still come there to worship.

Kampong Luong
Kampong Luong is a natural site located on the Tonle Sap in Kompong Luong commune, Krakor district, about 35 kilometers east of Pursat provincial town. The site is a sand cape suitable for swimming during the dry season. During the rainy season, expecially during Pchum Ben, many Cambodians gather there to play Chaol Chaol Teuk Leak on the river. The game can be dangerous, however, because it is often played while in small boats.

There are four other sites that Pursat residents prefer to visit. They include:
-    Kapeng: located in Pro Ngil village, Pro Ngil commune, Kravanh district, about 20 kilometers from the provincial town.
-    Phnom Dak Preah: Located in Roleap village, Roleap commune, Pusat district, about 10 kilometers from the provincial town.
-    Koh Sampeou Meas: located in front of the provincial hall in the middle of Pursat Island. It covers 2 hectares.
-    Preah Theat: Loated in Sre Sdok village, Sre Sdok commune, Kan Deang district, about 20 kilometers from the provincial town.

The sites in Pursat province cater mostly to local people who visit them, especially on holidays or during traditional festivals.