The Pagoda Tank beside Yeay Peau Temple, near Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh - places to see a little outside of the City.

There are several places to visit on half day trips out of Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek as well as Ta Phrom and Yeay Peau Temples.

The Killing Fields memorial area is quite close to Phnom Penh and easily done by hiring a tuk tuk. The temples at Ta Phrom and Yeay Peau are much further out - around 30kms from the centre of Phnom Penh. Depending on how much bumping around etc. you can tolerate then tuk-tuk drivers will go out to the temples quite happily - this is obviously quite a cheap way of getting to see them but can be quite hot and dusty apart from the "bumps".
Some of the skulls at the Killing Feilds, Choeung Ek, Cambodia The Stupa memorial at Choeung Ek, Cambodia

Visiting The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek near Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

Located around 13km southwest of Phnom Penh, Choeung Ek is where Pol Pot (the infamous Cambodian Communist revolutionary leader) and the Khmer Rouge soldiers executed nearly 19000 people between 1975 and 1979 and buried them in mass graves. A Buddhist Stupa now forms part of the memorial - the Stupa has glass sides and contains over 5000 human skulls. As you walk round the area you can see signs of the burial pits - there is also a small museum containing photographs and information about Pol Pot. The site has become a major tourist attraction and at around 14km from Phnom Penh is easily reached by tuk-tuk. Opening times are 0800 to 1730 every day and there is a small entrance fee. The area is quite obviously a very sad place to visit and visitors should show respect not only by being quiet but also in considering what clothing they should wear.

Visiting the 12th century Ta Phrom Temple and nearbye Yeay Peau Buddhist Temples outside of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

Firstly do not confuse this Ta Phrom Temple with it's same-named and much more famous Ta Phrom in Angkor Park. This quite rarely visited temple with it's beautiful carvings is located to the south of Phnom Penh City and is close to the popular (by local Cambodians) weekend picnic area of Tonle Bati (commonly called Bati Lake). Foreign tourists have to pay a USD3 entry fee to the general lake area but this does allow you to visit the two temples without further fees. The temple is dedicated to the Buddhist Jayavarman VII who was king of the Khmer Empire from 1181 to 1218.
Ta Prohm Aspara - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Buddhist Temple - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm lintel reclining Buddha - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple aspara - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Ta Prohm Temple Asparas - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple Buddha - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Templeworn carving - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple carvings - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The temple area is in typical Cambodian style quite neglected but there really are quite a lot of carvings of asparas and so on if you look carefully - the temple and area must have been really beautifull in the past. Some of the locals can be a bit of a nuisance - as soon as you enter the temple several village women and children will start pestering you - pretending to want to be your guide - which is hardly a neccessity of course at such a small place. What they are of course doing is just getting in the way until you give them a dollar to clear off.
Ta Prohm Temple gate - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple lintel - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple ruins - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple sculpture - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Ta Prohm Temple aspara - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Aspara - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Buddhist Temple - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Whether going out so far from Phnom Penh just to see the temple is worth while is perhaps a bit debateable - as mentioned the trip there especially on a tuk-tuk is somewhat hard going and although the temple does have some excellent carvings to look at should you have been or are continuing a tour which includes Angkor Park then there are plenty of temples and carvings to look at once there. On the other hand you do go through countryside to get there and so can stop and look at this and that during the trip - also the lake is very pleasant to visit and the Wat is very interesting to see..
Ta Prohm Temple - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Aspara - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple carving - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ta Prohm Temple - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
There is very little left of Yeay Peau Temple - the area around it contains a fairly substantial Wat and buildings and the original old temple just sits a little forlornly in front of the main Wat. The grounds around the Wat are very beautifully laid out and there is an exceedingly nice quite large tank on one side of the complex.
Yeay Peau Temple - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Yeay Peau - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Yeay Peau - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wat Tonle Bati - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Wat Buddha images - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wat Chedis - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wat Tonle Bati Building - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wat Tonle Bati Building - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Wat Tonle Bati Chedi - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wat Tonle Bati Chedi - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wat Tonle Bati tank entrance - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Wat Tonle Bati Tank - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Situated close to the Wat, Tonle Bati Lake has quite a few stilt houses and some floating houses alongside it's edge - these are quite heavily used by local Cambodians particularly during weekends and holidays just to get away from the City. The stilt houses can be hired for the day and nearbye restaurants will provide food and drink which they deliver onto the stilt houses. Bear in mind that your really need to know how much you will be charged firstly for use of the stilt house and secondly for any food and drink you order - to avoid what could be a future very unpleasant surprise when the bill arrives.
Bati Lake stilthouses - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Bati Lake - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tonle Bati stilthouses - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tonle Bati - near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Fishing is also quite popular around the lake and some locals even use the lake for a bit of swimming etc. but though the water looks clean enough one wonders whether this is worth the risk - especially for foreign tourists who probably are not as immune to this and that as the locals are.

Phnom Penh attractions and things to do including day trips.
Please see our Cambodia Travel and Touring Guide Home Page which has links to our items about Battambang, Siem Reap and lots about visiting the various temples and sites at Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia - all with many photos.
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