Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros

Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros, known as the "Woman Hill" and "Man Hill" respectively, are two iconic hills in Cambodia's Kampong Chhnang province. These hills are steeped in local legend, offering picturesque viewpoints of the countryside and the Tonle Sap River. Their special charm lies in the enduring folklore and the tranquil scenery that draws both tourists and pilgrims seeking blessings for love and fertility.

Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros’s location

Located in Kro La commune, Kampong Siem district, Kampong Cham Province, Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros are the names of two mountains away from each other approximately 500 meters northwest of 7 km from Kampong Cham. These are also the names of two pagodas which are on top of each mountain. Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros pagodas face one another in a near stand-off and are mysterious ones regarding a historic story of the relationship between legendary Cambodian men and women. It’s also a nice peaceful place for visitors when arriving Kampong Cham.

Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros

The legend of Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros

It’s said that a mountain-building competition was organised between men and women to determine who of the two should propose marriage. One moutain was made by men, and the other by women. They had a one day to bulid and whoever built the highest hill would become the winner. The loser would be the one to ask the for the opposite side’s hand in marriage. The competition would end when the Sirius Star rose (about 4AM). The women had a planto mount a lantern high so that when the men seeing the light, they mistook it for Sirius and lay down their tools. So the women crowned the winner. Their moutain is taller and named Phnom Srei (Women’s Hill). The man’s mountain was called Phnom Pros (Men’s Hill). From that time, both men and women accepted the rule that they must be the ones to propose if they wish to get married. This is also a huge departure from the traditional norm of Khmer people.

Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros

You will have to climb up 308 stair steps to the top of Phnom Srei. It’s a good place which offers splendid views over the countryside with Kompong Cham and the Mekong. From here you can explore the Phnom Srei pagodas and a very strokeable statue of Nandin (a sacred bull that was Shiva’s mount). Many local people often go there during the Khmer traditional festivals such as Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben.

Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros

Phnom Pros is far smaller than Phnom Srei and has approximately 30-meter height. At the top, you will also find a high-five peak pagoda adapted the model of Bontey Srey temple and two pagodas closed to each other. One pagoda is the old pagodas having two peaks built in Sang Kum Reas Niyum time and the other is being built. Below the pagoda, there is a big Keo So statue with 15-meter height built by the first dead of pagoda. At the base of mountain, you can see Kot for monks staying. The area between the two mountains which was once a killing field now has a small gilded brick stupa with a pile of skulls. You can walk from Phnom Pros to Phnom Srei and explore other monuments such as a sculpture garden with a large Bayon-style head, a new garish wat, a library and a Chinese cemetery, …

This destination is far 114 kilometers from Phnom Penh, so the easiest way to reach here is by taking a road trip from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham and by a car.

Source: Dr GiNo Youtube Channel

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