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PURSAT PROVINCE

kampong_chhnang
Pursat is the fourth biggest province of Cambodia. The province is located in the western part of the country and borders clockwise from the north with Battambang, the Tonle Sap Lake, Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Speu, Koh Kong, and Thailand. Pursat offers a perfect access to both the Tonle Sap (just 35km far) and the Cardamom Mountains (right to the West). The name of Pursat refers to a type of tree.
 
For the time being, Pursat receives few travellers and the two main attractions, the Cardamoms and the Tonle Sap require a little initiative on the tourist's part to visit. Pursat is predominantly accessible by the National Highway No 5 form Phnom Penh (174km) and Battambang (106km). There is also an old slowly train working between Phnom Penh and Battambang, which stops outside (2km) from Pursat.
 
The provincial capital of Pursat is also called Pursat town. The city is located right in the middle between the Tonle Sap and the Cardamom Mountains on the riverbanks of the Stung Pursat. There isn't that much to do in that small town, so most of the tourists coming here are more or less on their way to Battambang or Phnom Penh. For people just driving by, the impression of a boring ordinary town remains. The only tourist attraction in town is the marble workshops near the bridge on the main street. The precious marble stones originate from the Cardamoms, than they are brought here, followed up and sold near the Lam Siv Eng Restaurant. About 5 km from town is the tomb of Khleang Meung.
 
The Tonle Sap
Pursat province offers the magnificent opportunity to see one of the larger and markedly less touristy floating villages without a significant investment in time or money. In fact, there are a number of floating villages in the province only accessible from the lake, Peach Kantil, Kbal Taol, and Prek Kr, but you can only see Kompong Luong for the cost of the day-rate for a moto ($6-8) and the cost for a boat ride once you get there.

Central Cardamoms
Pursat offers a relatively easy way to enter this fantastic ecological wonder, the massive Cardamom Mountains. Accessing the central Cardamoms from Pursat is not too difficult as there is a road from Pursat to Veal Veng, a small village between the Mt. Samkos and Mt. Aural Wildlife Sanctuaries. There's really nothing to do but to take a drive through the country, to have a look at the mountains, and to talk to people who don't see many foreigners ? and that is even worth it. There's no organized transport from Pursat to this place, but if you ask around you should eventually get satisfactory results.
GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE
Pursat province is 12,692 square kilometres big. It?s located in the Southwest of the country and is bordering to the North with Battambang, to the East with Kampong Chhnang, to the South with Kampong Speu and Koh Kong and to the West with Thailand. The province consists of some typical plain wet areas near the Tonle Sap Basin, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The Tonle Sap itself covers a big part in the province?s Northeast. Most surface area of the country is the Kr’vanh Mountains, or literally called "Cardamom Mountains". This is a green, forested mountain range in the southwestern part of the province, near to the border with Thailand. The highest elevation is the 1,813m high Phnom Aural in the Southeast corner of the country.

The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
 
Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.
 
General information about the provincial climate:
- Cool season: November- March (18-28c)
- Hot season: March- May (22c -34c)
- Rainy season: May - October (22-32c, with humidity up to 90%.)
Pursat’s average temperature throughout the year is definitely lower than in other areas of Cambodia (except Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri Province).
POPULATION
The current population in this province is about 442,973 people or 3.1% of the country?s total population (14,363,519 person in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 214,651 male and 228,342 female. The population density is therefore 35 people per square kilometre.
WHAT TO SEE ?
Bak Tra Resort
The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is a very popular destination in the area and it should not be missed. The beauty of the place will surely amaze you like none else. You can reach the Bak Tra Resort, Pursat with ease as there are numerous means of transport available and you can avail hem to reach this spot.
 
The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is a natural resort that is worth paying a visit to. You need to travel for about 16 kilometers if you are staying at the provincial capital of Pursat. You need to take the Road Number 56 to reach the Kra Vanh District.
 
The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is indeed very beautiful with a small mountain that is about 50 meters in height. There is a forest area as well that has a rich foliage of Thlong trees. There is also a canal and a perennial well in the area. All of these adds to the charm of the place and you should not miss it.
 
Cardamom Mountains 
Check the Koh Kong chapter for information on the fried from Koh Kong to Pailin, which cuts through the Cardamom Mountains on the western edge of Pursat province. The Cardamom Mountains of Koh Kong and Pursat provinces are said to be the most pristine wilderness area remaining in Southeast Asia. This ride takes you through the area.The Cardamom Mountains are located in southwest Cambodia. The western edge of the Cardamom region abuts the Thai border, while the easternmost part ends about sixty miles northwest of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The region's area is 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares). The highest point in the range (and in Cambodia) is Mount Aural, at 1,813 meters (5,946 feet). There are five main rivers that run through the Cardamoms, creating dozens of waterfalls. About 25,000 people live in this region, some of whom are ethnic minorities, such as the Porr.
 
There are two wildlife sanctuaries in the Cardamoms, both of which were decreed by King Norodom Sihanouk in 1993 solely on the basis of aerial photographs. Mt. Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary is in the western part of the range, and Mt. Aural Wildlife Sanctuary is in the east. These are "paper"parks only: they exist only by law, with none of the active management necessary for a wildlife preserve.Khmer Rouge guerrillas retreated to the Cardamoms after losing power in 1979, and for the next twenty years, no one wanted to enter that area for fear of the KR and the mines they placed in it. As a result, the region remained untouched and undeveloped. Thousands of Cambodians left the country before and during the KR holocaust by walking over the Cardamoms into refugee camps in Thailand.Today, the Cardamom Mountains region is the largest wilderness in mainland Southeast Asia, preserving a remarkable number of species that are endangered (and in some cases extinct) elsewhere in the world. However, without proper conservation and protection, this area and its inhabitants are now at the mercy of logging interests, as well as poachers.
 
Densely covered with lush virgin rainforest and rising to it's highest point at over 1,770m, the Cardamoms extend over an area of 4,420,000 hectares (10,922,060 acres) covering a large portion of SouthWestern Cambodia. The Cardamoms are considered to represent Southeast Asia's greatest natural resources in terms of virgin forest and wildlife habitats that have never been fully explored and/or catalogued. In 2000, Fauna and Flora International, Conservation International, and the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Protection Programme conducted a joint survey that covered only a small part of the vast expanse of unexplored land. Despite the minimal area under observation the survey identified 30 large mammal species, 30 small mammal species, more than 450 birds, 64 reptiles, 30 amphibians, and many other plants and insects. To name just a few of the animals indigenous to this area would include elephants, tigers, clouded leopards and a variety of other mammals such as the Malaysian sun bear, pleated gibbons, and Siamese crocodiles all of which are high on the endangered species list and the only significant population thought to exist anywhere.
 
Fauna & Flora International was the first to conduct extensive field surveys in the Cardamom Mountains of south-west Cambodia. These established the area as one of the last forest wilderness areas in mainland south-east Asia. Isolated by their remoteness and rugged terrain and forgotten during years of conflict in Cambodia, the Cardamoms have at their core a virtually undisturbed forest covering over 10,000 square kilometres. The Cardamom Mountain Wildlife Sanctuaries Project, a joint venture of Fauna & Flora International and Cambodia's Ministry of Environment, aims to ensure the long-term conservation of a landscape of global importance and its biodiversity while reducing poverty and ensuring essential national development. The focus is to establish and maintain management systems in two protected areas in south-west Cambodia: Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary and Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary.The Cardamom Mountains are now known to contain almost all the country's known mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. This is partly due to the very high diversity of habitats, some of which occur nowhere else in Cambodia, such as large expanses of fire-regulated ferns, upper montane forest, high elevation marshes and blackwater rivers.
 
Floating Village of Lake Tonle Sap
Floating Village of Lake Tonle Sap is heading east from Pursat town, about one-third of the way to Kampong Chhnang town is the town of Krakor. Just a few kilometers to the north are Lake Tonle Sap and the floating village of Kampong Loo-uhng. It?s a complete village on the water populated mostly by Vietnamese fishermen. You can arrange for a small non-motorized boat to show you.
 
Kam Pong Luong Resort
Kampong Luong is a natural site located on the Tonle Sap in Kampong Luong commune, Krakor district, about 35 kilometers east of Pursat provincial town. The site is a sand cape suitable for swimming during the dry season. During the rainy season, especially during Pchumben, many cambodians gather there to play Chaol Teuk Leak (a traditional Khmer game, played by throwing water on one another) on the river. The game can be dangerous, however, because it is often played while in small boats.
 
There are four other sites that Pursat residents prefer to visit. They include:
-Kampeng: located in Pro Ngil village, Por Ngil commune, Kravanh district, about 20 kilometers from the provincial town.
-Phnom Dak Preah: located in Roleap village, Roleap commune, Pursat district, about 10 kilometers from the provincial town.
-Koh Sampeou Meas: located in front of the provincial hall in the middle of Pursat Island. It covers 2 hectares. Preah Theat: located in Sre Sdok village, Sre Sdok commune, Kan Deang district, about 20 kilometers from the provincial town.
 
This sites in Pursat province cater mostly to local people who visit them, especially on holidays or during the traditional festivals.Once past the mouth of the Tonle Sap, the floating village of Kompong Luong is found 30 kilometers into the lake, on its southwest shore. It's truly a floating village, with a large population of Vietnamese fishermen.Almost totally overlooked by tourists because of its remoteness and difficult access, the village is completely self-sufficient. A floating school, factories to make ice for fish preservation, church, pagoda, service stations, pigsty, stores, boat or television repair shops, video club, karaoke bar, police station… everything is on the water. All trades are represented and everybody from children to grandparents goes by boat through the network of canals that cross this little town.
 
Leach Village 
It is visited by both locals and foreign tourists. The scenic beauty of the Leach Village, Pursat matched with the rich rustic tradition has made it a very popular tourist spot.Travelers also undertake excursion trips to the Leach Village in Pursat. Travelers and nature lovers from all over the world visit the place to have a feel of the pastoral atmosphere. The Leach Village, Pursat is also easily accessible. It is around 27 kms from the main town center of Pursat.
 
Leach Village is also a well known center of sandalwood production in the country. The nearby forests close to the Cardamom Mountains are home to sandal trees which serve the wood for the industries. The sandalwood is used for perfumes. Travelers can visit the local sandalwood firms and have an experience of the local production techniques. Travelers can also experience the local houses which are wonderfully designed.Various travel agencies organize trips to the Leach Village, Pursat. The trips are mostly done in shuttle buses or cars. The route is very charming and enjoyable. Useful information about the trip can be obtained from the travel tips and the tourist office.
 
Luaing Trach
Luaing Trach is located in Lang Trach village, Svay Sa Commune, KraKor district, about 49 kilometers (1h:30mn) from Provincial Town. It is Nature & Wildlife Preserves.
 
O'Da Rapids
O'Da Rapids is a river picnic area that the locals head out to on weekends to have a swim and kick back for a while about 52 km from town. There are Thais and Khmers working on building a logging road to extract timber from the area, which is why the river is now accessible for the locals on a fairly good gravel road for much of the way. The location is not really something to write home about, but the ride out gives you a chance to see life in the pursat countryside. To get there, turn left (if coming from Phnom Penh) at the small Caltex station (same as going to the hill temple). Down the road, 27 km from the turn, you come to the town of Leach, follow the curve of the right. At 0.7 km past that, turn left you will then see a mountain ahead. At 52.5 km past the Caltex turn, you arrive at a gate with entry fees listed, although there was nobody there to collect when I visited. The fees are listed in Khmer script, from 500 riel to 5,000 riel, depending upon whether you had a motorcycle; car of just came with others. Go beyond the gate to find the river and picnic areas.

Scenic Drive to Wat Bpahk-Dtrow A nice drive through rural farm country, followed by rolling forested hills, is what you get on the way to this hill temple area. With large boulders and trees lining the temple area, it's a favorite spot for the locals on Sundays and holidays. There are footpaths leading to the different temples and monuments throughout the area. There are food and drink stands near the parking area. To get there just head east from the river bridge on National Hwy5 (towards Phnom Penh) and turn right at the small Caltex gas station-you go under a brick and metal mesh gateway. Just follow this road for about twenty of twenty- five minutes (around 14 km) and you will see the hilltop temple in the distance on the left. Turn left at the blue white pillars.
 
Phnom Ba Klas
Phnom Ba Klas is a natural and cultural site located in Tnaot Chum Village, Tnaot Chum cmmune, Krakor district, about 20 kilometers east of the provincial town. The site affords visitors beautiful scenery and abundant fresh air. The near by mountains are filled with a small fruit trees, especially Kuy and Sei moan, which are popular among visitors. An old, crumbling pagoda still contains many statues and sculptures. Khmer people still come there to worship.
 
Phnom Baykhlor Resort
Pnhom Baykhlor Resorts is the natural and cultural resort. It is located at Thuaut Chum village, Thnaut Chum commune, Ko Kor District in 20-Kilometer distance from the provincial town of Pursat by the National Road N0 5 then turning right more 12 Kilometers to the East. This resort consists of:
 
- Beautiful scenery for tourists.
- Mountain and forest.
- Broken ancient statues and other varied sculpt.
It is a nice place to spend a day while you are out on Pursat tours. The natural beauty of the place and the exotic surroundings are sure to allure you. The beautiful scenery and the wide range of features make Phnom Baykhlor Resort, Pursat a delightful spot and also a place worth visiting. Phnom Baykhlor Resort, Pursat is one of the major tourist attractions in Pursat that attract the visitors with its scenic beauty and exquisiteness. There are a few resorts and fascinating places to visit while out on sightseeing in Pursat and among them Phnom Baykhlor Resort is one of the lovely places.
 
Phnom Baykhlor Resort in Pursat is located at Thuaut Chum village, Thnaut Chum commune, Ko Kor District. It is about 20 kilometers from the provincial town of Pursat. It is easily accessible from the town and you can reach here by taking the National Road N0 5 then turning right and driving about 12 kilometers to the East. It is visited by many vacationers seeking complete relaxation and also family units for spending a fun filled and a pleasurable day. It appeals to all sections of the society- small and big, young and the old. Well known for its beautiful scenery, Phnom Baykhlor Resort, Pursat is a favorite with the tourists who could also capture some of the most amazing pictures. The resort also consists of broken ancient statues and there are interesting sculptures also that can be found here. The diverse landscapes and the beauty of the mountains and forests surrounding it further add a charm to Phnom Baykhlor Resort, Pursat.
 
Scenic Drive to Wat Bpahk- Dtrow
Scenic Drive to Wat Bpahk-Dtrow a nice drive through rural farm country, followed by rolling forested hills, is what you get on the way to this hill temple area. With large boulders and trees lining the temple area, it's a favorite spot for the locals on Sundays and holidays. There are footpaths leading to the different temples and monuments throughout the area. There are food and drink stands near the parking area.
 
To get there just head east from the river bridge on National Road No.5 (towards Phnom Penh) and turn right at the small Caltex gas station-you go under a brick and metal mesh gateway. Just follow this road for about twenty of twenty- five minutes (around 14 km) and you will see the hilltop temple in the distance on the left. Turn left at the blue white pillars.
 
Venerable Site of Neak Ta Khleang Moeang
Neak Ta Khleang Moeang is the main historical site in Cambodia and located at Snam Preah Commune, Ba Kan District, about 6 kilometers south of Pursat provincial town.
 
The site is the sacred place prayed and worshipped by tourists who come from the near and far areas. This venerable site has a statue of Neak Ta Khleang Moeang respected and worshipped by the Cambodian people. The statue is newly made in 1993 and put at the right place because the ancient statue is completely damaged by the civil war.
 
Neak Ta Khleang Moeang, Pursat is one of the famous tourist attractions in Pursat which attracts large number of visitors every year. It is one of the historical sites, which has great significance to the tourists. If you are a history aficionado and would like to explore the historical sites and places of cultural interests in Pursat in Cambodia then do visit the Neak Ta Khleang Moeang, Pursat.
 
Neak Ta Khleang Moeang, Pursat is one of the main historical sites in Cambodia. Pursat is a rural town located on the western side of Cambodia. It is also the fourth largest province in Cambodia, stretching from Thai border eastwards to the Tonle Sap Lake. I also include the Cardamom Mountains. There are a few attractions in Pursat and it is mostly the beauty of the natural surroundings that beguile the tourists to this place.

Neak Ta Khleang Moeang, Pursat is a must visit in the itinerary of the tourists out on sightseeing in Pursat as the place is one of the famous historic sites in Cambodia. It largely appeals to the people who take interest in the past and the historical background of the province. It is located at Snam Preah Commune, Ba Kan District. Apart from a tourist attraction, it is also a religious center and a site sacred site which is frequented by pilgrims and worshippers who come here from near and far areas.
 
Neak Ta Khleang Moeang in Pursat is one of the most esteemed sites that which has both historical and religious importance. It also houses a statue of Neak Ta Khleang Moeang which is worshipped by the Cambodian people. The ancient statue was completely damaged by the civil war and was replaced by a new statue.
 
Wat Preh S'dai and Pursat River
Wat Preh S'dai and Pursat River, Pursat is one of the main areas of interest for the tourists arriving at Pursat to spend a day or two during the Tour of Cambodia. Counted among the popular sites it is included in a day's tour of the sites. Wat Preh S'dai and Pursat is the temple that is located to the southern bend of the river.
 
A visit here is a highly enjoyable experience and the setting quite picturesque. Driving on National Highway 5 that connects Pursat with other Cambodian cities will give a view of Wat Preh S'dai and Pursat River. The visitors will find a new Wat being constructed at the temple site. Locals go there for a day's picnic by the riverside. If you intend to cross the river opt for the wooden bridge across the river road that connects the two ends of the river.
 
After touring the temple site, move further north of the bridge and you reach the white sandy beach that keeps pulling visitors during the weekend. A scenic drive to Wat Preh S'dai and Pursat River is worth enjoying and tourist will relish the experience for a long time.
WHERE TO EAT ?
Like in Kampong Chhnang the most restaurants close quite early as the city falls apart after 9pm. To have reasonable and quite tasty food you may look for the ordinary food stalls and noodle cookshops at the market near the NH No 5.
 
Magic Fish Restaurant:
This riverside restaurant is located in the far north of the town. You have to look for the yellow building on the right as you drive north from town (no English sign). Nice fish dishes, for sure, as the name already promises.

River Front Restaurant:
Located about 20 meters north of the dam on the main river drag this is by far the most pleasant spot to have a meal. It’s right next to the river, so there is plenty of entertainment on hand watching the locals swim, fish and socialize. The food is good and the beer girls are very friendly. Show off and practice your newly acquired Khmer language skills with them.

Stung Pursat Restaurant & Nightclub:
That’s the top nightclub in town, which isn’t saying much. The food is fair to okay and the nightly Cambodian dance  a  thon, complete with band, starts at 8:30 pm. The beer girls will greet you at the door.
 
Boray Thmei Restaurant/Restaurant & Nightclub:
Around 3 km heading down the road towards Phnom Penh are where you will see these two places. They feature the standard Khmer and Chinese fare.
 
Lam Siveeng Restaurant:
Open for breakfast and throughout the day. It's a simple and friendly place with good food the omellets, French bread and coffee are tasty and cheap. Some of the staff speaks English.
 
Vimean Sourkey Restaurant:
It’s next to the hotel of the same name and has good Khmer and Chinese food.
 

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