Located on a grassy hilltop, Wat Phnom is the main temple and namesake of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital city.
History of Wat Phnom
According to legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found sacred Buddhist objects in the nearby river and placed them here on the small hill. A temple was built to house the relics and the city was named for it - Phnom Penh means "Penh's Hill."
What to See at Wat Phnom
Wat Phnom is a standard Southeast Asian wat, with a bell-shaped chedi and Naga snakes decorating the corners of the roof.
Inside are bright modern murals that just about glow in the dark, depicting the lives of the Buddha and other stories. The central ceiling has not yet been restored and retains its original aging murals.
Young salesmen near the temple like to sell tourists the chance to earn some Buddhist merit by releasing a caged bird. (Customers who hang around long enough will get to see the bird returning to its cage shortly thereafter.)
Quick Facts on Wat Phnom
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||11.576108° N, 104.923081° E|
|Address:||Phnom Penh, Cambodia|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Wat Phnom|
- Frommer's Southeast Asia.
Map of Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh
Below is a location map and aerial view of Wat Phnom. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.