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.

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

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Food offerings placed in front of the Buddha statue.

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Many people come here to pray.

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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.

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

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