Prey Veng is quite a sleepy Cambodian province, that just happen
to have one of the countries busiest highways running straight
through it-National Highway No 1, which links Phnom Penh and Ho
Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It is a small but heavily populated
agricultural region located on the east banks of the mighty
Mekong. The name of the province means literally “tall forest”,
but actually doesn’t refer in any case to lush forests as most
of them were chopped down in the past 30-50 years. Also rubber
played once a big economical role in this province, but since
the war took over the country the plantations are no longer
There are little places of significance to see nowadays, but
during the pre-Angkorian times it must have been one of the most
populated and lively areas of the country. One of the earliest
pre-Angkorian kingdoms was located in the area around Ba Phnom.
The sleepy provincial capital is also named Prey Veng and
situates on the National Highway No 11, recently rebuild as a
road link between National Road No 11 and No 7, or Neak Luong
and Kompong Cham. There aren’t a lot of travellers making their
way to that small town. So if you would like to escape from your
fellow travellers that’s an opportunity, especially on the way
to Kampong Cham. It’s also a stop worth on the way to or from
The town itself hosts a few decaying colonial buildings, showing
that this was once a lively and important centre. There is a
huge lake on the west edge of the town, which evaporates from
March till August and local farmers cultivate their rice on the
Prey Veng province is 4,883 square kilometres big. It’s located
in the South of the country and is bordering to the North with
Kampong Cham, to the West with Kandal, to the East with Svay
Rieng and to the South with Vietnam. The province consists of
the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering rice fields
and other agricultural plantations (rubber plantations in former
times). The province also features two of the biggest rivers of
the country the Tonle Bassac and the mighty Mekong.
How to get there
Prey Veng is with 90km distance to Phnom Penh not far away (to
the east). Kampong Cham is even closer with 78km to the North.
Due to the former, bad condition of NH No 11 the place used to
seem a world away. For good the government comprehensively
overhauled the road in 2003 and now the city of Prey Veng is
easily to enter.
There is lot’s of minibuses going almost everytime of the day
from Phnom Penh to Prey Veng (6000Riel). Most of them leave near
the central market (Southwest corner), where you can also find
lots of usual buses heading to Vietnam or Svay Rieng Province
(they have to pass Prey Veng). Going with a share taxi won’t
cost you so much time to reach, but a little more money
(8000-10000Riel, 2 hours). If you would like to go to Kampong
Cham, there are also minibuses leaving from the centre of Prey
Veng city for a 1 1/2 hour ride costing 4000-6000Riels.
The wonderful newly overhauled road is a mixed blessing for
motorbikers as it gets a lot faster to Prey Veng, but less
interesting and enjoying than the crappy, bumpier roads of old.
Where to eat
The same family of the nearby Mittapheap Hotel owns this
restaurant. The manager of this place is always concerned about
their guests and therefore ensures fast service. So this place
shows up as a friendly, sometimes funny restaurant offering
Khmer, Vietnamese and Chinese food.
They make the most of their parkway location by having a small
sidewalk eating area. It’s a pleasant enough early evening spot
as the locals ride by on their evening motorcycle pleasure
cruise. They have good food (Western and Khmer), and an English
menu to go along with English-speaking staff.
No Name Restaurant:
Located across the parkway from the Arunreas, this place is easy
to spot, as it always seems to have Coca Cola and Player
umbrellas set up. The food is tasty, but is prepared to try your
hand at Khmer as they don’t speak English and there isn’t an
English menu. The staffs is very friendly and though.
Kolap Stung Treng Hotel & Restaurant:
Good Khmer and Chinese food with an English menu and beer girls,
Hotel Sok-sabat & Restaurant:
At the time of our trip, the hotel was talking about expanding
its restaurant. It was talking about expanding its restaurant.
It was only serving a soup breakfast and catering to wedding
parties at the time.
Noodle and Rice Shops:
Along the parkway and near the market are some dirt cheap,
simple Khmer food stands.
Where to stay
Mittapheap Hotel: (tel: 012/997757)
This hotel is located on the central crossroads in town. It’s a
very popular small place, since many years the old timer among
Prey Vent’s hotels. The rooms are clean and include bathroom and
fan (some air-con), a good value for money ($5-10).
Angkor Thom Hotel: (tell: 012/953165)
This smart, but small hotel sets a new standard for the city of
Prey Vent with 27 pristine rooms including attached bathroom and
fan (some air-con). The prices range from US$5 to 10.
Rung Dare Hotel: (tell: 011/761052)
This hotel is located on the north-eastern corner of the town
right behind the local stadium. The rooms are very clean and
comfortable with bathroom and air-con. Prices range from
Chan Kiry Guesthouse: (tel: 011/746014)
This guesthouse sits on a headland jutting into the big lake
during the wet season. Unfortunately the hotel standards do not
tackle with the setting of it, but still the rooms are equipped
with Satellite TV, bathroom and air-con. Prices range from
This is a very pleasant place with its nice layout and location
next to the San River. Bib rooms with nice old wooden furniture
and a Western bath are US$ 10 a night with a fan, or a whopping
US$ 20 a night to flip on the a/c. They say the electricity is
expensive in these parts. Better bargains are the simple rooms
in the back of the complex. They have a fan and Western bath for
US $ 5 a night. The friendly Khmer lady owner has her staff
(family) head to the market for warm French bread in the
mornings and serves it with espresso coffee.
Very basic rooms with a floor fan, bed and mosquito net. It’s
clean and there is a share bathroom for US$ 5 a night.
Preap Sor Guesthouse:
Clean and simple rooms with a Western bath for US$ 10 a night
including a fan. It’s double what the price should be. Adding
a/c puts the price at US$ 15.
It’s a fairly new place with nice rooms that go for US$ 10-20 a
night. They also have a Chinese breakfast in the morning.
As it is quite common in Cambodia even smaller cities, such as
Prey Veng have at least one bigger market. You may also find a
market in Prey Veng centre, which is a very busy area with local
shops dealing the local daily consumer products, like fish,
fruits, vegetables, meats and packed products. The market is
bustling Cambodian affair with loads of goods from nearby
Vietnam. Most of the food and drink shops are surrounding the
You may also find some Mini-Marts with Western Foods. This
doublewide mini-mart has a number of Western foods to satisfy
your craving. The other side is filled with cases of all brands
of beer available in Cambodia- enough to quench even the driest
What to see
Ba Phnom Resort
Ba Phnom is located in Chheur Kach commune, Ba Phnom
district, about 78 kilometers east of Phnom Penh and 45
kilometers south of Prey Veng provincial town. Visitors
traveling from Phnom Penh along National Road 1 should
turn left at Kampong Sneung market and go about 7
There are four mountains in Ba Phnom-Phnom Sampeou,
Phnom Laang, Phnom Thom and Phnom Banhchor. Ba Phnom was
once the ancient city Nokor Phnom, which was located
near these mountains in Ba Phnom district. Few remnants
of the city remain. Among those that can be seen are
pieces of the ancient temple Prasat Chan, which was
located in front of Wat Vihear Kuk, near the foot of
Phnom Sampeou in Cheung Phnom commune. At one time, the
city also had a palace and a hall, but both have been
destroyed by years of war.
The view from the top of Ba Phnom is very picturesque.
There is a big, rocky cave near the mountaintop that
shelters wildlife. At the foot of mountain, there is a
pagoda, Wat Phnom, also known as Wat Ba Phnom.
Aroad circles the mountains, and a big pond lies the
east of them. People live around the mountains. Ba Phnom
has been eyed for tourism development east of the Mekong
River, because the area attracts many people on weekends
and during Cambodian festivals.
Ba Ray An Det Resort
Baray Andet is in Baray village, Baray commune, Prey
Veng district, 3 kilometers west of Prey Veng provincial
town. It is a plain on high ground surrounded by big
trees. It is believed that Baray Andet is Bang Bot
place, where all of the powerful and magical spirits in
Prey Veng province gather, so local people consider it
to be an ideal place for swearing oaths and praying.
On Silas days, people play pinpeat music for the spirit
Neakta. They pray for happiness and ask for rain to grow
rice. This is also the starting point for the Neakta
procession to Ba Phnom before Khmer New Year.
Chong Srok Temple
Chong Srok temple is located in Chong
Srok village, Chong Srok commune, Srei Sithar Kandal
district, about 38 kilometers north of Prey Veng
provincial town. Chong Srok temple was built of brick
and sandstone in the 7th century. It was built on a high
ground in a field of palm trees near a koki tree.
Although much of the temple has been destroyed, there
remains a sandstone statue of a bull, once revered as a
powerful Bodhisattva, or a Buddhist deity.
Beside the three sites, there are 15 other worship sites
for visitors to explore:
. Vihear Kandal in Kampong Trabek district
. Vihear Prey Cha Riek in Kampong Trabek district
. Vihear Prey Vear in Kampong Trabek district
. Kampong Trabek Stupa
. Wat Kdei Troap in Preah Sdech district
. Wat Krang Svay in Preah Sdech district
. Kdei Ang or Ang Chumnit in Preah Sdech district
. Vihear Preah Sena in Preah Sdech district
. Wat Viang ptan in Preah Sdech district
. Vihear Hor in Preah Sdech district
. Preah Poan in Preah Sdech district
. Vihear in Preah Sdech district
. Preah Vihear Kuk in Ba Phnom district
. Preah Vihear Cham or Chan Ba Phnom
. Preah Theat Me Bon in Prey Veng district
Animists in Prey Veng province go to these sites to
worship. The sites are also gathering points for local
Fish Growing Center
Fish Growing Center is located in Bati Village, Peam Ror commune,
Peam Ror district, about 23 kilometers (40mn) from
Kampong Sne Damp
Kampong Sne Damp is located in Sné Village, Theay
Commune, Baphnom District, about 16 kilometers (40mn)
From Provincial Town. It is a Nature & Wildlife
Nokor Phnom is located in Roung Dam Rei Village, Cheung
Phnom Commune, Bar Phnom District, about 45 km (1h:30mn)
from Provincial Town. It is a Nature & Wildlife
Prey Chong Srok Temple
Prey Chong Srok Temple is located in Boeng Chor Village,
Prey TorToeng Commune, Sithorkandal Distic, about 50 km
(2h) From Provincial Town. It is a Historical Sites &
Viel Brang (Veal Brang ) In the
Viel Brang (Veal Brang) is located in Kampong Leav
Commune, Kampung Leav District, in the City. It is a
Nature & Wildlife Preserves.
Vihear Chan Temple
Vihear Chan Temple is located in Rong Dam Rey
VillageCheungPhnom Commune, Bar Phnom District, about 30
km (1h) From Provincial Town. It is a Historical Sites &
Weaving Handicraf Center
Weaving Handicraf Center is located in Prék Chorngkran
Village, Prék Chorngkran Commune, Sithorkandal District,
about 55 km (2h:30mn) from Provincial Town.