Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is a must-see if you’re in Phnom Penh.

It doesn’t take a lot of time, as it’s fairly small, but it’s very important: it was the first temple built in the city. A woman named Penh arrived to the area a long time ago (14th century), found this hill, built a shrine on it to pay respect to four Buddha statues that she found nearby, and eventually the city was formed around it. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Phnom means hill, and wat means temple.

Note that admission is only $1 per person, and the sidewalks surrounding the hill are perfect for a leisurely walk, a rest, or a picnic.


Outside, vendors sell flowers (to make an offering) and incense (to burn).


Food offerings placed in front of the Buddha statue.


Many people come here to pray.


These cards are used by a fortune teller. You place the stack on your head, and place the pin in the middle randomly. The fortune teller will read you whichever card the pin landed on.


One more thing – several monkeys live in the trees below the temple. Make sure to look for them!


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