Oudong Mountain Reviews
Oudong Mountain Temple - Phnom Oudong, Cambodia Feb 21, 2013
If you are visiting Phnom Penh and would like to to get away from the usual city exploration activities and enjoy a serenity of a small town, then Phnom Oudong should be one of the places to go!
Oudong Mountain is located at Phnom Oudong, the ancient capital of Cambodia, situated about 40kms northwest of the present capital Phnom Penh. The Oudong mountain is very popular for its Buddha temple at the top of the mountain which has amazing stupas and temple structures.
The mountain is not very big, but has over 500 steps to the top. To climb up the mountain from the base it took me around 20 mins with few quick breaks in between. For the most part the climb will be vertical making us little tiresome, however, there are few bends where people usually take rest and continue their climb. The stairway is surrounded by lush green trees which protects direct sunlight and gives nice breeze as well when climbing up.
Several monkeys can be found on the tree branches and also seen playing along the stairway, entertaining everyone.
There are few sellers along the way selling fruits, incense sticks and other offerings for the worship. There are actually two levels at the top mountain. The first being the worship area where people do prayers and leave their offerings, and the next level, the top most is where the Buddha temple is located.
Once at the top of the mountain and just before the entrance at the first level, everyone is required to remove their shoes and hat. The prayer location gets natural fresh air because of its open area and also has a wonderful view of the surroundings. The fresh breeze, quite atmosphere and the nice aroma from the incense sticks makes a perfect serenity.
The top most level, where new Buddha temple is located, is only few steps away from the prayer location. The new temple is amazing with a fantastic design work and has a modern outlook, yet strictly follows the Khmer architecture. The temple offers an exceptional view of the countryside, especially the town under, which includes rice fields, several Wats and river.
The ancient stupas are located on the other side of the mountain cliff, just below the new temple. The pathway that leads to the ancient temple is kind of unpaved, uneven along the side of mountain slope, however, it looked faily safe to walk. The ancient stupas looked great and intact, has not been renovated, but preserved to its original condition. There were some ruins found around and also a huge stupa in a small downhill terrain which is reachable only through steep, uneven muddy steps.
The good thing about this mountain temple is, it is totally away from the crowd, noise, pollution, traffic and it is quite relaxing place to get some fresh air. This temple does not look very touristy, but it looks popular to locals. There is big market at the base of the temple along the sides of the road which seem to attract local crowd. There were not any fancy restaurants or places to eat or chill out, as I only saw small food stalls.
The mountain is reachable by a nice highway from Phnom Penh and it only takes around 1:30hrs by tuk tuk. The ride will be quite entertaining because of the countryside views and nice villages. Many farm fresh fruits and vegetables are sold by the locals along the way which gives an idea how locals make their living.
This mountain is worth visiting for a half-day or could be planned as a day trip. It's easy and economical getaway from Phnom Penh to experience something different, something interesting and something historical.
- There are no toilet facilities on the mountain or elsewhere on the ground, other than a small public toilet in a very average condition on the ground.
- Do not forget to take water/juice before climbing the mountain. There are no shops on the top.
- Do not expect any fancy places to eat. You can buy fruits/snacks/juice/food from the market on the ground.
- Bananas could be fed to monkeys on the mountains, so buy it at the market on the ground.
- The round trip tuk tuk ride would cost around $25 from Phnom Penh.
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