Set on the Mekong River, the erstwhile capital and sovereign residence of Cambodia — about 27 miles to the north of Phnom Penh — is little more than a modest-sized town today, most notable for its rolling countryside and royal Khmer-era remnants such as temples and stupas. It’s a popular pilgrimage point for Cambodians looking to pay their respects to the former kings who are now entombed here.
What We Love
Memorial to the Victims of Pol Pot: At the foot of the staircase that leads up to Phnom Preah Reach Throap, look out for the memorial honoring the victims of the tragic Pol Pot regime; here lie the remains of Cambodian casualties who were dug up from mass regional graves.
Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Center: Cruisers of AmaWaterways will have the chance to attend a special blessing ceremony at this monastery, hosted by resident Buddhist monks.
Best Known For
Phnom Preah Reach Throap: The "Hill of the Royal Fortune" consists of a series of temples and ruins on a wooded hilltop, as well as stupas containing the ashes of Khmer kings. The pleasant views of the Cambodian countryside here round out the transporting atmosphere.
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Who It's Best For
History Buffs: Surrounded by the vestiges of an ancient royal capital, Oudong draws travelers into its fascinating history.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Lost Culture: You're only seeing a fraction of what the royal residence once was, because many of the stupas, temples, and monuments were destroyed during Cambodia's notorious Khmer Rouge regime.
Elissa Garay is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.