Phnom Sampow in 90 Minutes

…mainly because we were caught by afternoon rains as we traveled the bumpy unpaved roads by tuk-tuk. We made good use of our time hiring some young locals to moto us up the mountain and serve as impromptu guides.

Phnom Sampow is a bit overwhelming, as you have Neak Ta shrines, ‘killing caves‘, a fully functioning Buddhist temple, gun emplacements, and an awesome view with a mythic background. It truly was a whirlwind – lots of beauty, lots of history, all jumbled together. One moment amusement, another intrigue, and an undercurrent of sadness.

(Left:) Multivore poses as the legendary Neang Rum Say Sok. Her ‘powder room’ is one of the many caves, and a nearby mountain is supposed to be the crocodile Atonn that tries to sink the ‘ship’ of Phnom Sampow.


This spirit house (above) has a squiggle straight out of Krazy Kat‘s Coconino or Charlie Brown’s t-shirt.


One of two emplacements. (Solid Eastern bloc technology, built to last.) With proper grid coordinates, gunners could dominate the surrounding area.


A very small Neak Ta shrine.


The ubiquitous monkeys, chilling out at the Buddhist Wat. Don’t get too close, they’re greedy! Temple pictures from my previous visit can be seen here.


Loo with a view – quite possibly Cambodia’s most picturesque outhouse.

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One Response to “Phnom Sampow in 90 Minutes”

  1. Darren says:

    Hey John,
    been lurking your blog ever since meeting up with Ken and Natasha back in Feb. Way interesting stuff. Say HI to them from me. Ken can fill you in on some of my story.

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