Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is one of the most important religious sites located on a 27-meter-height small hill in the center of Phnom Penh and is the first Buddhist temple in town. Built in 1373, people also call the temple by another name “Lady Penh” due to its ancient legend which is relatively linked to the establishment and development of the capital.

The legend was about Mrs. Penh (Daun Penh) who found a large wood with four bronze Buddha statues inside in the river. She decided to build a small temple on an artificial hill to protect and worship these sacred items. At that time, people totally trusted Wat Phnom and it gradually gained popularity spreading over the surroundings. Therefore, some Cambodian people believe that the capital Phnom Penh was originally named following that story.

Wat Phnom 1

Wat Phnom is a typical Khmer-style pagoda with the appearance of numerous statues of Naga gods, lions, Hinduism, and Buddhism snakes. Being the tallest religious site in Phnom Penh, its interior has a central complex with a great bronze Buddha encircled by other statues, candles, ornamentations, and other worshipping items. The shrine dedicated to Lady Penh lying on the southwest corner is the place where locals often bring food to express their wishes and piety.

Coming here, tourists should not miss the chance to admire the beautiful pictures depicting mysterious Buddha stories hanging on the wall and the mythical elephant Sam Bo – one of the most delightful features of the temple. The tranquil garden around Wat Phnom offers people a peaceful and quiet atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.

Wat Phnom 2

Wat Phnom is situated in the north of Phnom Penh and is conveniently accessed by a private car in a day tour exploring other highlights of the city such as the Royal Palace, National Museum, Independence Monument, and Tuol Sleng Museum.

Climate, the best time to visit
Phnom Penh has a tropical climate that is hot and humid all year round. The dry season is from November to April and the wet season covers the remaining months of the year. You can visit Wat Phnom any time in the year. However, the most comfortable time is during the dry season with clear blue skies and less chance of rainfall.

Wat Phnom 3

Festivals and holidays
Wat Phnom is an important place celebrating Khmer New Year (the 13th – 15th April basing on the lunar calendar) and Pchum Ben (the 15th day of the 10th Khmer month).

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