Phnom Oudong: 10 Sep 2003


Phnom Oudong

Oudong, meaning "Victorious", served as the capital of Cambodia under several sovereigns between 1618 and 1866. The main attractions today are the two humps of Phnom Oudong, which have several stupas on them. From a distance, The bluffs of Oudong appear as two symmetrical hills, the higher being topped with spires, in the middle of a enormous plain.


Stairway to Heaven

Phnom Oudong is not a major tourist attraction, but is definitely worth a visit for those with more time. It is generally very quiet, offering a sense of serenity and tranquility to those who come.


The Lesser Hill

The lesser peak has several stupas and two structures... a mosque and a temple, both of which sustained heavy damage during the period of Khmer Rouge fighting.


Aged to Perfection

The larger ridge is known as Phnom Preah Reach Throap, meaning Hill of the Royal Fortune, named so because a 16th century Khmer king is said to have hidden the national treasury here during a war with the Thais.


Smily Buddha

Near the base of the main stairway up Phnom Preah Reach Throap are three well worn stupas and a vihara. At each corner of this vihara sits a smiling statue.


Sweeping Clean

At the northwest extremity of Phnom Preah Reach Throap stand three large stupas. The first is the cement Chet Dey Mak Proum, the final resting place of King Monivong who ruled from 1927 to 1941.



On this morning, the nuns are busy with cleaning.


Golden Umbrella

A contrast of gold against blue. These ornamental umbrellas sit on the four corners of Chet Dey Mak Proum.


View Beyond

The hill offers stunning panorama of the countryside around. Flood plains, rice fields, the Tonle Sap river, and distant mountains.


Guardians To Temple

Detailed in decoration, Che Dey Mak Proum is guarded by many mytical creatures... nagas, lions, and garudas.



In complete silence, these people were deeply focused in their prayers.



The other two stupas are in much weathered state, with weeds overgrowing and broken motif.



An army of stone elephants guard the base of thise Stupa.


Down The Stairs

The view of the countryside from the main stairway. The nuns can be seen busy cleaning.



Along Highway 5 near Oudong is Prasat Nokor Vimean Sour, a concrete ornate temple built in 1998 with many features of Angkor Wat.



These young boys were kind enough to guide me into the temple and offered me to climb a metal ladder to the roof of the temple. Unfortunately I had to decline in view of time constrains.



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