Wat Phnom: The Central Point of Phnom Penh
Wat Phnom is located on a hill near the Riverside area and it is also known as the central point of Phnom Penh. It is also known as a religious sanctuary for prayers and offerings since 1373. The park at the bottom of the hill is frequented by the locals and travelers as a place to relax under the shady trees.
Although Wat Phnom is not gated, visitors would still need to pay an entrance fee of USD$2 before ascending to the top of the hill. The main entrance of Wat Phnom is where you’ll find a pair of naga’s protecting the staircase that goes up to the temple. There are quite a few stories on this landmark but one that proves to be consistent is the legend of Lady Penh. According to folklore, Lady Penh was a wealthy lady who discovered the trunk of a koki tree with 4 statues of Buddha in it. She took this as an omen to create a shrine at the hill which is now known as Wat Phnom.
Things to see & do around Wat Phnom
- The original mural painting on the ceiling of the main worship area.
- The small shrine dedicated to Daun Chi Penh (Lady Penh) in a neighbouring pavilion.
- Paintings which show stories of Buddha before enlightenment.
- The large stupa which has the ashes of King Ponhea Yat.
- Statue of King Sisowath
- The shrine to Preah Chau which is worshiped by Vietnamese devotees.
- The clock in the garden at the bottom of Wat Phnom.
- Wander around the area for free when you show up at 7am. However, there may be guards who will ask for some money.
- Walk around the park area and look out for women selling drinks or children selling birds for prayer offerings.
Fore more info:
Address: St 96, Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
How to get there: Take the tuk tuk, motodup or walk if you have plenty of hours that day.
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.