Prey Veng translates to “Long or Tall Forest” in Khmer, and is located on the Eastern side of the Mekong River. Relatively untouched by tourism, the town is a perfect example of a traditional Cambodian community focused on agriculture and fishing.
Prey Veng contributes more than 10% of Cambodia’s rice and it’s fertile land places it the “great green belt” region of the nation.
The province has nice paved footpaths and wide quiet roads making it perfect for leisurely bicycle rides. The locals take pride in the appearance of town and roundabouts and pavements are adorned with many statues, in particular, lotus flowers, tiger and lion statues.
The town centres around a busy Market Street, full of local shops and Psar Prey Veng where you can buy anything from cheap sunglasses to mobile phones and fresh produce. Along with rice, Prey Veng also produces cane mangoes, coconuts, sugar cane, cashews and many other types of fresh produce.
Blessed with an abundance of water, Prey Veng is graced with the presence of Tonle Bassac and Mekong rivers, as well as a huge lake that is rich in greenery in the wet season, and then serves as the perfect location for growing rice in the other seasons as the water drains.
Around the outskirts of town, there are many footpaths and park benches where you can take in the scenery and fresh air and enjoy a drink or local snack from the food carts.
During the Kingdom of Funan, Prey Veng served as a major centre though over time the economic and political hubs changed location. Prey Veng also played a significant role in the 15th century when Khmer emperors who were under attack from the Thais formed an army at Ba Phnom to defend the nation.
Prey Veng still holds remnants of French colonial buildings. While under the French protectorate, the opportunity for thriving agriculture and fishing was noted and the region was cleared of some forest in order to make room for these industries.
The residents of Prey Veng are distinctively Buddhist. Many shrines and statues are dotted around town and locals follow traditional Khmer traditions and celebrations.
Cool season – November- March (24-32c)
Hot season – March- May (28c -36c)
Rainy season -May – October
Things to Do
Neak Loeung Bridge
Neak Loeung Bridge (also known as Tsubasa Bridge) is a 2.2km bridge that links Kandal Province and Prey Veng Province. Prior to its construction residents relied on a ferry to cross the Mekong River but thanks to the generosity of the Japanese Government, the Tsubasa Bridge helps keep things moving, especially on the busy highway between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City.
It’s the longest bridge to cross the Mekong River, and one of several donated by the Japanese to Cambodia. You can find its image on the 500 riel note. The view of the Mekong and its surrounds is suburb from the bridge.
By trekking up a number of sturdy steps, adorned with serpent railings, you can take in the view from Ba Phnom in Prey Veng Province. Ba Phnom is made up of four mountains -Phnom Sampeou, Phnom Laang, Phnom Thom and Phnom Banhchor and was once the part of the ancient city of Nokor Phnom.
Atop the mountain, you will find ornate red and gold carved pillars, and large rock formations nestled in a dense green forest. Here you may find a hidden cave and many forms of wildlife call the mountain region their home.
The view is wonderful and the air is lovely and fresh, particularly during the rainy season. At the base of Phnom Sampeou you can find remnants of the ancient temple of Prasat Chan, located in front of Wat Vihear Kuk.
Ba Phnom is located around 78kms outside of the town centre of Prey Veng.