Phnom Chhngok cave temple, Kampot - review by Rusty Compass
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Phnom Chhngok cave temple, Kampot

| 29 May 2013
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Phnom Chhngok cave temple, Kampot
Off the road to Kep
Sometimes $1USD

Our rating
29 May 2013

Around 8 kms from Kampot off the road to Kep are a number of caves set in limestone mountains. The cave temple of Phnom Chhngok is worth a visit. The journey through scenic rural countrtside is also enjoyable.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

Phnom Chhngok, off the main road to Kep is a good cycle or tuk tuk ride from Kampot. It can also be visited en-route to Kep. This is an impressively low key cave formation that is home to a 7th century shrine to Shiva. The cave has provided good protection for the temple and it's in remarkably good shape. The rural setting is also special.

It's possible to explore other nearby caves. Take care as there are a couple of tricky climbs that would be nasty in a fall. Bring a torch if possible - though the kids that will likely become your guides will also have torches with them.

If you arrive in low season, the atmosphere can be unpleasant with kids squabbling over your custom. Staff are unfriendly and unhelpful and there is no information available on the site or its history.

While it's tempting to be charmed by the welcome of the kids, remember, their presence and access to the site like elsewhere in Cambodia and Vietnam, isn't by accident. Adults control them and their access and take a cut from their earnings.

Travel tips
Easily accessed by bicycle, motorbike or Tuk Tuk. 8kms from Kampot, half the ride is along a bumpy unsealed road. You'll be accosted by local kids wanting to guide you for a small tip (around $1). Depending on the day, you may also be hit for an entrance fee.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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