Explore Oudong, the ancient capital of Cambodia on a half-day trip from Phnom Penh. This small collection of stupas is set high on a hill top overlooking the countryside below. The views from the top are quite impressive. You’ll find the ashes of former monarchs, battle scars from war and an interesting look into Cambodian history.
Oudong - Arthaross Temple
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Starting at the base of the stairs that lead to up to the ridge, is a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge. It contains bones collected from mass graves that were found in the area. Nearby is a small pavilion with painted murals showing the atrocities that were committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.
Take the stairs to the top of the ridge where you will find a modern temple that contains a relic of Buddha, believed to be an eyebrow hair! Continue along the path to three large stupas that contain the ashes of former monarchs. The first is Damrei Sam Poan, next is Ang Doung with coloured tiles and the last is Mak Proum, with its four Buddha faces pointing in each cardinal direction. Beyond Mak Proum are three small shrines, two which contain Buddha images and the third that housed a solid gold statue of Preah Ko - the sacred bull, the original which was looted by the Thais long ago. The most impressive is the remains of Arthaross Temple, a massive enclosure housing a large Buddha that was destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. Despite the battle scars the arm and part of the right side of the original Buddha remain.