Things to See and Do - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Ounalom Pagoda - Phnom Penh

Wat Ounalom is another of Phnom Penh's five original monasteries (1422). it housed the Institute Bouddhique and library. On the riverfront about 250 meters north of the National Museum, facing the Tonle Sap River near the Royal Palace, this pagoda serves as the headquarters for one of Cambodia?s most revered Buddhist patriarchs.Ounalom Pagoda, Phnom Penh is one of the major tourist attractions in Phnom Penh. With respect to the numerous pagodas, parks, monuments and museums, the city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia is an idea destination for the vacationers. A visit to the Ounalom Pagoda, Phnom Penh will render a pleasurable experience to your trip to this city.

Situated in the Corner Sothearos, the Ounalom Pagoda in Phnom Penh is one of the most significant pagodas featuring Cambodian Buddhism. This pagoda comprises of the country's religious establishment. It is here where the top monk of the nation resides. In the earlier years, this pagoda served as the library of the Buddhist Institute. At that time, this place has cumulated about 30, 000 titles. However, it was later ruined by the Khmer Rouge. Over the years, the structure has been regained from its ruins caused by the Vietnamese invasion in 1979. In the recent times, this old institute has been re-positioned to more spacious areas on the Sihanouk Boulevard. The most important and eminent attribute related to this wat or pagoda is a hair from Buddha's eyebrow which is referred to as 'ounalom'. At present, it has been conserved carefully in a building situated behind the main wat of the Ounalom Pagoda.

This pagoda lies in front of the Tonle Sap River. The Royal Palace is also quite close to the wat. The area features a pleasant ambience where tourists can take a stroll. Now this pagoda serves as the headquarters of the Cambodian Buddhism.The Wat Ounalom or the Ounalom Pagoda can be regarded as the most important pagoda in all of Phnom Penh, since it is the headquarters of the Buddhist patriarchate of Phnom Penh and was also the home of the Buddhist Institute and library until 1999. Wat Ounalom was one of the five initial monasteries to be built in Phnom Penh, way back in the year 1422 during the reign of Ponhea Yat. Before 1974, the pagoda housed over 500 Buddhist monks and also the library of the Buddhist Institute which had a collection of over 30,000 titles. The library was unfortunately destroyed with many other buildings during the years of the Khmer Rogue. The Institute is now re-established and was moved to the Sihanouk Boulevard, where it enjoys a much larger area.

Wat Ounalom

Credit Marten Baer

Map of Ounalom Pagoda

Other Attractions in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace

Royal Palace

Gleaming in gold, the Royal Palace is one of Phnom Penh?s most splendid architectural achievements. It is home to His Majesty Preah Bat smdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and Her Majesty Preah Reach Akka-Mohesey Norodom Monineath. The palace was built in 1866 by His Majeaty Preah Bat Norodom, great grandfather to our current King. The... read more

Independence Monument

Independence Monument

An Angkorian style tower, the inimitable place in the whole city, located in the heart of the capital. It was built in 1958 to Sybilles Cambodian Independence Day after winning back their independence from the French protectorate on the 9th of November 1953. The monument attracts many tourists for its peculiar looking but unique... read more

Chroy Changvar Bridge

Chroy Changvar Bridge

Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge - It was constructed in 1966. During the war from 1973 to 1975 the Khmer Rouge forces mined twice to death in 1973. By 17th April 1975, all Phnom Penh citizens have been chased out of the city, by Khmer Rouge forces, to live and farm at the rural areas. Therefore, the bridge has been abandoned... read more

Cheung Ek Killing Field

Cheung Ek Killing Field

Between 1975 and 1978,aabout 17,000 men, women, children and infants (including nine westerners), detained and tortured at S-21 prison (now Tuol Sleng Museum), were transported to the extermination to death to avoid wasting precious bullets.The remains of 8985 people, many of whom were bound and blindfolded, were exhumed in 1980... read more

Ounalom Pagoda

Ounalom Pagoda

Wat Ounalom is another of Phnom Penh's five original monasteries (1422). it housed the Institute Bouddhique and library. On the riverfront about 250 meters north of the National Museum, facing the Tonle Sap River near the Royal Palace, this pagoda serves as the headquarters for one of Cambodia?s most revered Buddhist... read more

Silver Pagoda

Silver Pagoda

Wat Preah Keo Morakot (Silver Pagoda) is located in the southern portion of the Royal Palace complex. The pagoda was formerly known as Wat Uborsoth Rotannaram because it is where the King worshiped, prayed and practiced every Buddhist Silas Day. In the additional, the royal family and officials also held Buddhist ceremonies... read more

Wat Phnom Hill

Wat Phnom Hill

Set on top of a tree-covered knoll 27m high, Wat Phnom is the only hill in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong and discovered by a woman name, Penh. The main entrance to Wat Phnom is via the grand eastern staircase,... read more

Orussey Market

Orussey Market

Orussey Market is Centrally located, Orussey Market is much more geared towards locals than tourists; hence you will not find as much in the way of souvenirs as the other markets mentioned. A huge array of foodstuffs is on offer including the wet market with fresh meat, poultry and seafood. Other items in abundance include house... read more

Tuol Tompoung Market

Tuol Tompoung Market

So-named because of the prevalence of items from the Eastern Bloc in past times, the Toul Tom Poung Market today is a treasure trove for tourists. Particular items worth seeking out include CDs, fabrics, jewelry, carved handicrafts and ceramics. There are also a large number of clothing outlets and on site tailors and seamstresses... read more

Chaktomuk Conference Hall

Chaktomuk Conference Hall

The Chaktomuk Conference Hall is located at Preah Sisowath Quay, Sangkat Chaktomuk, Khan Daun Penh. It designed by renowned architect Vann Molyvann, this venue was originally opened in 1961 as La Salle de Conf?rence Chaktomuk. Earmarked for redevelopment as a restaurant in 1991, it was brought back into use as a theatre in 1994... read more

Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park

A stroll or Cyclo ride along the park-lined riverfront is a must pubs, restaurants, shops and tourist boats line the way. Chhrouy Changva park is another newly attraction at the other side of the river opposite the Royal Palace. The view of the confluence of Mekong and the Tonle Sap is geographically unique. Early risers, check out... read more

Central Market (Phsar Thmei)

Central Market (Phsar Thmei)

The dark-yellow Art Deco Phsa Thmei (New Market) is also referred to as the Central Market, a reference to its location and size. It was constructed in 1935 37. The Art deco building is shaped in the form of a cross with a nice central dome. And has four wings filled with shops selling gold and silver jewelry, antique coins, fake... read more

National Museum

National Museum

The NATIONAL MUSEUM has a good collection of Khmer sculptures dating from the pre-Angkor period (4th century) to post-Ankgor period (14th century). The museum, built of red bricks by the French in 1917 in a pseudo-Khmer style, is built around a courtyard.A stone's throw away from the Tonle Sap is the royal Palace built on the site... read more

Toul Sleng Genocidal Museum (S-21)

Toul Sleng Genocidal Museum (S-21)

In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot's security force and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). It soon became the largest such center of detention and torture in the country. Over 17,000 people held at S-21 were taken to the extermination camp at Choeung Ek to be executed; detainees who... read more

Old Market ( Phsar Chas)

Old Market ( Phsar Chas)

Old Market (Phsar Chas) is a local market that is not at all geared to the tourist. It carries such items as fruits and vegetable, second hand cloths, hardware, motorcycle parts and religious items. In the late afternoon food vendors and fruit sellers set up mats along Street 13 in preparation for the evening market. The dinner rush... read more

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