Kampong Cham Travel Guide

Kampong Cham means ‘Port of the Chams’ in Khmer. It was an important trading post during the French period, the legacy of which is evident as you wander through the streets of chastened yet classic buildings.

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Kampong Cham is a province of Cambodia located on the central lowlands of the Mekong River. It borders the provinces of Kampong Chhnang to the west, Kampong Thom and Kratié to the north, Tbong Khmum to the east, and Prey Veng and Kandal to the south.

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Kampong Cham was officially divided into two provinces on December 31st, 2013 in what was seen by many as a political move by the ruling party. All land west of the Mekong remained Kampong Cham while land east of the river became Tbong Khmum province.

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Its capital is Kampong Cham City. Kampong Cham is home to the current Prime Minister, Hun Sen.

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Kampong Cham means ‘Port of the Chams’ in Khmer. It was an important trading post during the French period, the legacy of which is evident as you wander through the streets of chastened yet classic buildings.

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Kampong Cham is one of the most highly-populated provinces in Cambodia and most likely the province with the most fertile land as well. Most people in Kampong Cham are ethnic Khmer, but there is a sizeable Cham minority in the province's towns, including a disproportionately high number of Muslims and Christians.

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Because there is little foreign investment and no large scale tourism, this city is very poor, with few modern buildings, though not lacking in French architecture from the colonial period. However, with the completion of a modern Kizuna Bridge, the first bridge to be built over Mekong River in Cambodia which connects the country's northeastern regions to the city, the city has begun a slow recovery from decades of decline.,

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Most travelers who do find themselves in Kampong Cham are in transit to elsewhere in the country, but those who choose to spend at least a couple of days in the provincial capital will enjoy the laid back atmosphere and quaint charm.

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The charming city of Kampong Cham is the best place to get a feel of the “real” Cambodia. While remnants of French colonial rule remain, modern developments have done quite a bit to give the city a more contemporary look. The real charm of Kampong Cham lies with its people: hospitable, happy-go-lucky folks who are welcoming to tourists.

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Kampong Cham attractions
First of all, it is easy to identify the French features in this province when you visit French Lookout Tower lying silently on a side of the river. It was used for controlling river traffic but now, it is quite old. To be careful, tourists will climb the stair to reach the highest of French Lookout Tower. From here you are treated to a great panorama view of vast river and green fields.

The ancient beauty here is represented through Nokor Wat. It is a modern Theravada Buddhist pagoda built in 11th century. To reach this place, follow the road to Phnom Penh and then take the left fork about 1km from the town. Going through a dirty road, you will see the ancient pagoda. Tourists can identify that Nokor Wat was built based on Ankorian architecture and made of sandstone and laterite. The highlights of inside area are ancient paintings describing torture of religious nature and charming scenes of heaven also.

Culture
Many people said that the real charm of Kampong Cham is reflected clearly in normal life and culture of local people. On weekends and special occasions, tourists will enjoy Apsara dancing, a Cambodian traditional dance. The dancing is usually performed behind Nokor Wat by children and teenagers from non- business organizations for free.
Visiting local market is a great idea. People sell various things such as household goods, fresh meat, foods and drinks, etc. Here visitors will feel the bustling atmosphere of everyday life of Kampong Cham people.

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Famous attractions in Kampong Cham

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Scenic Mekong Cruise 8 Days

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  • 100% one-bedroom balcony suites
  • 21 superb meals including 07 Breakfasts (B), 07 Lunches (L) and 07 Dinners (D) and choice of dining venues
  • Private personal butler for every guest
  • Complimentary laundry facilities
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  • On board entertainment
  • 24-hour room service
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  • Return airport transfers
  • All tips, gratuities and porterage
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  • Treatments are at an additional cost (Fitness and wellness centre, massage, beauty salon, boutique and library)
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