Kampong Thom - the province in the southeast of Cambodia is located along the National Road 6 between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This is an enjoyable and relaxing place which is a nice starting spot for those who want to explore the countryside of Cambodia.
The name “Kampong Thom” was originally called “Kampong Pos Thom” that refers to a legend about two big snakes in a cave at the dock of the Sen River. During the Funan period, Kampong Thom had been a very influential capital among Southeast Asia region. When it came to the French rule, it became home to Stieng people but then they have been assimilated into Khmer culture and society.
In fact, Kampong Thom is a stopover on the way from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, than a tourist destination. People prefer to come here to explore Sambor Prei Kuk - the pre-Angkorian Chenla capital, the two main temples of Sambor Temple and Prei Kuk Temple. The town is extremely easy to discover by foot. Travelers also can experience motorbike-taxis to get around the distant sights within the city.
The grasslands around Kampong Thom have an extremely important meaning in the conservation of wildlife animals. This is also the only place where many endangered species such as the Bustard of Bengal Florican, wintering Palearctic passerines, the Manchurian Reed Warbler as well as large the water birds from the Tonle Sap. Here visitors can have a glimpse of daily life in rural Cambodia with the fishermen whose life closely associated with water, ox carts and small-scale farms. You can take a boat trip on the Stung River if you want in order to discover deep down the life on the edge of the Tonle Sap Lake.
Although there are not many things to do in Kampong Thom, travelers can be impressed with its charming atmosphere, the statues in riverside park and the evening fruit vendors in the market as well as the hospitable and friendly locals.
In the evening, there is a small night market in front of the market hall. There tourists can find both local and foreign dishes. Located behind the Arunras Hotel in the corner of the market, the best Khmer restaurant which is friendly with tourists will surely serve you with many excellent foods. You also can try several good Khmer foods at some large establishments on the road.