Travel guide and information for Kampong Chhnang

Travel guide and information for Kampong Chhnang

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The province Kampong Chhnang is located at the heart of Cambodia. Its bordering Kampong Thom to the North, Kampong Cham to the East, Kampong Speu to the South and Pursat to the West. This province is not only at the fertile and almost ever-wet heart of Cambodia, but also just a 91km ride from Phnom Penh, so it’s a quick jaunt up.

Due to its location next to the Tonle Sap Lake Kampong Chhnang‘s population is predominantly in fishery and rice plantation involved. Especially the provincial capital Kampong Chhnang, which is an easygoing river port town that is worth a visit, focuses on fishery and therefore features a big fishery port. It is, easy to get to from Phnom Penh via national road number 5, passing by the former capital of Udong.  Kampong Chhnang also gives you the option to take an air-con bus to get there (as it wasn’t possible in near past). There are also some nice sights to check out and the town has a fair selection of places to spend the night and a couple of decent spots to have a feed.

The bullet boats to and from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are taking you through a breathtaking countryside along the Tonle Sap to the provincial town. If you are interested you also may rent a motorized boat to explore the Tonle Sap River area around the town. They are between US$ 8 per hour, or you can get one of the small non-motorized boats to take you on a more quiet tour for 4,000 riel per hour. The new river walkway is the place for a stroll and is where the locals head to for the early evening social hour. It’s the evening and weekend spot to be seen.

Geography

The province Kampong Chhnang is located at the heart of Cambodia. Its bordering Kampong Thom to the North, Kampong Cham to the East, Kampong Speu to the South and Pursat to the West. This province is not only at the fertile and almost ever-wet heart of Cambodia, but also just a 91km ride from Phnom Penh, so it’s a quick jaunt up.

Most parts of this province are fertile alluvial soil reservoirs with plenty of fishes and endless rice plantations. There are no more forests remaining except in the Southwest of the country where the biggest coherent forest area of Southeast Asia begins, the massive and unexplored Cardamom Mountains. The provincial borderline in the Southwest resides on the hillside of the highest Mountain of Cambodia  its name is Phnom Aoral with an altitude of 1813m.

Climate

Cambodia has sun almost year round. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.

General information about the provincial climate:

– Rainy season: May – October (27-35c, with humidity up to 90%.)
– Cool season: November- March (18-28c)
– Hot season: March- May (28c -36c)

Population

The total population in Kampong Chhnang is 538,163 person including 259,347 male and 278,816 female or 3.6% of the total population, which is 14,363,519 person in whole Cambodia (2007, provincial government data). The growth rate is 2.4%. The above number is also consisting of 407,453 persons or 85.5% who are farmers, 29,250 persons or 6% who are fishermen, 35,076 persons or 7.5% who are traders and 4,783 persons or 1% who are government officers.

Economy

Kampong Chhnang‘s economy consists basically of fishery, rice and fruit cropping and several garment factories. Especially rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors.

How to Get There

Bus: Your best bet if you don’t have your own transportation is to take the Hoh Wah renting bus. To and from Phnom Penh costs just 5,000 riel on the air-con bus.

Kampong Chhnang to Phnom Penh:

departs 6:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm.
Phnom Penh to Kampong Chhnang departs (from Central Market Terminal) 6:40 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. If you like, you can get off at Udong and see the old ruins and its newest additions (just grab a moto-taxi next to the entrance road), then go back out to the highway and grab the next bus heading your way to Kampong Chhnang.

Share Taxi:
It’s about a 1-1/2 hour ride up from Phnom Penh. The share taxi costs around US$3.5 from Phnom Penh and it doubles for Pursat.

Motorcycle Touring Info:

Highway No 5 from Kampong Chhnang to Pursat is slowly getting some resurfacing work and while not good by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not as bad as it used to be. As mentioned, the Kampong Chhnang to Phnom Penh stretch qualifies a dream road in Cambodia. Security is not a problem.

Bullet Boats:

The bullet boats to and from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are taking you through a breathtaking countryside along the Tonle Sap to the provincial town. Going from Phnom Penh to Kampong Chhnang you’ll have to find the docking station of the boats, which is just around 200m after the Japanese Bridge to the left riverbank of the Tonle Sap. The price for one trip is around US$8. The price from Siem Reap might get a bit higher as you’re starting from the touristy hotspot. The trip from PP will take approx. 3 1/2h; from Siem Reap approx. 4h (depending on rainy and wet season).

Where to Eat

Mittapheap Restaurant: This restaurant is considered to be one of the best in town. They have their menu in English available offering a huge range of Khmer dishes such as soups, noodle, and fish dishes.

Mekong Restaurant:
There is decent Khmer and Chinese food in this simple place. Mekong Restaurant:
This common restaurant has a wide range of Khmer, Chinese and international food. It’s on the Battambang road. This is a place you might need a little while to tell the waiter or the cook what you’d like to eat. But with a little Khmer or just the global finger sign you’ll have proper food. It’s opposite of the bus station. Prices are quite reasonable.

General food points:

Be aware that most of the restaurants in Kampong Chhnang city close around 8 pm as it is quite usual for locals. During the day there is plenty of small places offering noodle dishes/soups next to the Phsar Leu und Phsar Chhnang market. You will also see several simple restaurants near the Khmer Monument Circle.

Where to Stay

There are many small hotels and guesthouses in towns where tourists can reach it easily.

Sokha Guesthouse: (tel: 026/988632)
This guesthouse is quite a charming place in a small, green street. The rooms are mostly equipped with fans or air-con and a western bath at around US$ 8-10. Guest have to order their breakfast or dinner in advance, but this’ll soon change.

Rathisen: (tel: 026/988622)

This place is located next to the river. It’s one of the only hotels in town with basic equipment such as air-con, fan, western bath and TV its recommendable. Unfortunately some of the rooms are a bit sticky due to its windowless status. If you want to enjoy your stay ask for one of the rooms with river view or to the back laying rice fields.

Metapheap Guesthouse: (tel: 012/949297)
This guesthouse is located next to the independence monument. It has light and clean rooms equipped with air-con, fan and a western bath. Downstairs you’ll find a restaurant. The prices are around US$ 5-8.

Phkay Proeuk: (tel: 012/932919)
This basic guesthouse is in the Souzhwest of the town centre located. The rooms are clean and equipped with fans and additional bathroom. The prices are reasonable; US$ 5-7.

Half Way House:
The Half Way House is a restaurant with a pub, which has also bungalows for rent to offer. This is a nice western place run by the amiable Paul, a British-Kenyan that knows the area pretty well. Paul has a Thai wife and lived in Thailand for a number of years. The establishment sees most of it’s business coming from the foreign de-miners and the community based NGO in Kampong Chhnang Province. The place features good pub grub and ice cold drinks. There are also eight, fully, appointed bungalows for rent at US$ 15 per night.  More accommodation may be in work.

Shopping

There are two markets, where you can pop by for shopping, the Phsar Leu in the centre of the town and the Phsar Chhnang, which is a little bit further Northeast from the centre. Both of them are very busy areas with local shops dealing the local daily comsumer products, like fish, fruits, vegetables, meats and packed products. All food and drink shops are surrounding the market.

Special Characteristic

Pottery Development Center-The golden-hued mud piled up in the yards of Ondong Rossey is quarried at nearby Phnom Krang Dai Meas and pounded into fine clay before being shaped and fired; only at the last stage does it acquire a pinkish hue. Pieces, including piggy banks, can be purchased at the Pottery Development Center. In Kompong Chhnang, several stalls selling Ondong Rossey pottery can be found on NH5 towards Phnom Penh from the centre.

Kampong Chhnang Map:

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