Gateway to the beautiful Cardamom Mountains (famous in Pursat for its local marble) and Tonle Sap lake, Pursat is a popular stop on route to Battambang or Phnom Penh. One of the oldest active pagodas in Cambodia can be found here, Wat Bakan, and only 5kms outside of town lays the tomb of Oknha Khleang Meung.
Pursat is fast gaining a name as a desired eco-tourism site and is rich in natural surroundings. From the picturesque Pursat river to the traditional villages and mighty Cardamom mountain ranges, Pursat offers traditional Khmer charm and a chance to experience one of the quieter provinces in Cambodia.
One of the most sacred sites in Buddhism is said to be Wat Bakan. This 800-year-old pagoda is still actively in use today and is located in Pursat Province. Pursat itself was the site of an infamous battle between the Siamese and Khmer prior to the French Colonial Era.
The Tomb of Oknha Kleang Meung, (the Cambodian hero who led the war against Siamese and defeated them in 1482) is a popular historical site.
- Cool season – November- March (18-28c)
- Hot season – March- May (22c -34c)
- Rainy season – May – October (22-32c)
Things to Do
Pursat is the home of many floating villages that can only be accessed from the Tonle Sap lake. Kbal Taol and Peach Kantil are two of the most popular villages to visit. Boat trips can provide an insight into everyday life in these fishing villages and provide spectacular views of the stunning lakeside vegetation.
Kampong Luang is a town floating on the Tonle Sap Lake, around 40 km away from Pursat town. The floating village is fully self-sufficient with schools, restaurants, doctors and police station.
The remote waters of Ouda are a popular site for relaxation and tranquillity. The waters flow in from the Arai River in the Cardamom mountains and the mouth of the river is adorned with countless smooth rocks. The region is now becoming more recognized and though still a tranquil hideaway, is becoming more accessible.
Considered to be an ecological wonder, the mighty Cardamom Mountains are lush green and densely forested. The Cardamoms cover a staggering 4.5 million hectares and are rich in wildlife habitats. Largely unexplored, this region is considered to be one of the best examples of pristine virgin forests in South East Asia and a sanctuary for native flora and fauna. In fact, over 60 species of mammals and 450 species of birds call the Cardamom Mountains their home.
Visit a marble workshop
One of the biggest industries in Pursat is marble carving. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly a third of Pursat residents earn a living from marble.
The marble was first discovered in Krovanh district. In order to obtain the precious marble, the locals trek around 80 km out of the town to the Thmor Keo Mountain. Here they can obtain surprisingly high-quality marble in many hues including red, blue, green and black. There are many marble carvers and workshops worth visiting to get a glimpse into this lucrative industry.