CAMBODIA 2 Cambodia Siem Reap Monks Logo Cambodia (1)
Back to Listing

Kampong Thom

For those looking to break up the journey between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh whilst also gaining insight into everyday Khmer life, we highly recommend a stay in Kampong Thom. Although this city takes its name from its province, it is surprisingly understated and has a largely agrarian economy – you will feel a world away from the more cosmopolitan Phnom Penh. Locals are modest and friendly, making their living by working the local rice paddy fields and selling their wares in the town’s buzzing markets, and are always more than happy to show you around or point you in the right direction.

While the town remains relatively untouristed, those who do visit are often tempted by its relaxed charm and slower pace of life. A number of traditional guesthouses and more luxurious boutique hotels can be found here (our favourite being The Sambor Village), which ensure authentic stays in a Khmer atmosphere. Most lodges rent out bikes to their guests, allowing you to travel with ease through the town streets and surrounding area in local custom. Once outside the city’s confines, don’t forget to look up to the sky above as Kampong Thom is a haven for several rare species of birdlife including the Yellow-breasted Bunting, Siberian Rubythroat and globally threatened Manchurian Reed Warbler.

For days when cycling seems too much, we recommend taking a boat trip along the Stung Sen river to admire the picturesque scenery. Pass local fishermen, gold-adorned temples, and verdant paddies as you glide downstream and enjoy a trip at sunset for spectacular views.

Another highlight of the area is Sambor Prei Kuk, the ancient ruins of the Chenla Kingdom’s capital city that lie just a 45-minute drive away. The site predates the heavily visited Angkor temples by four centuries and offers visitors the chance to witness extraordinary historical remains in a far quieter environment. Officially instated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2017, we recommend visiting as soon as possible, before the international crowds start to set in.

Features in the following itineraries

Kompong Thom Cambodia Kompong Thom Cambodia
I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson

Client Testimonials

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences

Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award 2020
Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award 2019
Condé Nast Readers Choice Award 2019