Kampong Cham is a city with an interesting past due to its trading importance during the French period. The buildings reflect this cultural exposure and the atmosphere differs to other cities in Cambodia. It acts as a good base for exploring the surrounding area and also possesses some gems of its own.
Highlights include the Wat Nokor temple, a Theravada Buddhist pagoda positioned by an 11th century Mahayana Buddhist shrine. Wander amongst the hidden shrines and soak up the spiritual atmosphere. A lighthouse with French influence stands by the Mekong River, and for those who are brave enough to reach the summit are rewarded with stunning views.
Also reachable from Kampong Cham city is the island of Koh Paen, situated in the Mekong River. Cross the attractive bamboo bridge or take a boat ride to reach the rural island, where livelihoods of fishing and growing crops of tobacco and sesame thrive.