There are numerous options for Day Trips when it comes to the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Oudong, alternatively spelled as Udong, makes an attractive choice for those who want to experience something new. The former royal capital of Cambodia up until it moved to Phnom Penh in the 1800s. Located 45 km north of the main city in the Kampng Speu province, Oudong is a perfect escapade to Cambodian countryside. Importance of Oudong is completely centered around the numerous monuments that house the burial sites of Khmer kings along with religious artifacts that are located at the peak of Oudong hill, which has put it in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage.
The first structure that greeted me is the numerous set of staircase. The green canopy surrounding the area definitely created a more secluded atmosphere, and the lack of tourists was definitely an added benefit. Once you reach the top of the peak, glimpse of the silver-colored Preah Sakyamoni Chedi definitely helped in consoling my racing heart. Considered as a sacred structure, the stupa is said to consist of relics from the Buddha himself.
The intricate carvings and the sheer magnificence of the structure definitely made up for the painstaking effort of climbing stairs. The serenity of the place, compounded by its majestic views ad the resounding echoes of the soft chants from the Buddhist monks makes for a striking impression.
How to get to Oudong?
There are 3 ways to get there from Phnom Penh:
- Easy way: Hire a car with driver to take you there for about $40 to $45 return.
- Relatively easy: Hire a tuk tuk to take you there and back for about $25. Do note that it will take a journey time of 2 hours on a very dusty path with a tuk tuk.
- Hard way: Aim to find a shared taxi in Sorya Bus Terminal near the Central Market. No fixed schedules. The shared taxi will leave only when full. Another possibility also from the same bus terminal is to take northbound buses and ask them to drop you off at Oudong. Problem with this is that you’ll be taken to Oudong town and not to Phnom Oudong, which requires another ride. And once there, there are no guarantees of finding a shared taxi back!