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“Worth the Trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Phnom Sampeau

Phnom Sampeau
Off NH57, Battambang, Cambodia
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Ranked #4 of 36 things to do in Battambang
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Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Worth the Trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

After a 45 minute ride from Battambang by tuk tuk, I wasn't willing to make the hill climb in 90+ degree temperatures and high humidity. It was $2 to ride on the back of a motorcycle to the top. Halfway up, be sure to visit the Killing Cave where innocent Cambodians were thrown to their deaths by the paranoid regime of Pol Pot. It was an eye opening experience of man's inhumanity especially to see the skulls of murdered victims. At the top of the hill was a temple complex which was picturesque. The view of the Cambodian countryside from the top was clear and spectacular on the day I visited. The breeze was refreshing and the walk down the stairs was shaded and a pleasant way to end the trip.

Visited February 2013
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126 reviews from our community

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Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Hot climb, interesting history, great views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

A great combination for a day trip. We walked up the road and then down the steps and by the time we got to the top were calling it sauna mountain. But we enjoyed the hike anyway. The temple half way up is interesting. You can sit under a Banyen tree, walk around and through the temple painted with scenes of Buddha's life - it is not complete yet and so donations are welcome. Nuns and monks live here and may ask for donations for upkeep and to feed them. From the temple you can walk over to the Killing Caves which is now a temple with a reclining Buddha. Then from there continue up the mountain past the large golden Buddha statue and disciples, and onward to the top. At the top you will find another temple consisting of a few buildings to explore and incredible views. Below the steps into the temple area, you can stand up on a rocky ledge and look out over the rice fields and villages and see for miles and get a good look at the region - though the day we were there it was not totally clear and we weren't sure if it was smoke or or humidity or both. A woman sells drinks, fresh mangos, ice cream and other snacks there as well so you can sit in the shade and refresh yourself before the long walk down. The walk down the stairs has more shade on it and so is a good way to end the hike. At the bottom there are places you can eat lunch if you like or get a cold drink. It was a great way to get some good exercise and work off some of the food, and get some more history, and also a better idea of where we were.

Visited January 2013
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“A hill climb to a temple and The Killing Caves”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

It is a steep walk to the Temple (which is pleasant but not worth a trip in its own right). Then a short walk to visit The Killing Cave, where the Khmer Rouge threw their victims to their death. If you choose, you can then walk up to the top of the hill (again very steep) but the views and the breeze at the top are wonderful - particularly when accompanied by a cold can of beer!

Visited February 2013
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19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Cambodia has a dark history but it's worth understanding to get a sense of the place and the people. If you're interested in understanding what happened under the Khmer Rouge, then you'll find this a worthwhile trip to make. Even if you're not, then you'll enjoy the views across the flatlands to the mountains from the top of the two temples. Would recommend getting a local guide to make the most of the experience.

Visited November 2012
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“An interesting area”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Phnom Sampeau is well worth a day trip out from Battambang. There is an interesting temple half way up the mountain and, nearby, the so-called killing caves, where Khner Rouge soldiers threw villagers to their deaths, has been turned into a memorial. You can also hire a moto guide to take you to the top of the mountain, but I did not go to the top. There is a Buddha statue up the top, I am told.

At the base of the mountain is Wat Sampeau, which is quite colourful and has friendly monks who are happy to pose for pictures. And of course, at dusk, you must stay to watch the "10 million bats", which swarm out of a cave in the mountain at dusk looking for a feed.

Visited October 2012
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