Ancient City of Ondong

Photo by Els Slots.

Ancient City of Ondong is part of the Tentative list of Cambodia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Ancient City of Oudong was the capital of Cambodia from the 17th to the 19th century. It was built next to the sacred mountain of Oudong. It also had a port at Tonle Sap. Due to its commercial importance it also attracted foreigners, who lived in enclaves and established their own religious structures.

Map of Ancient City of Ondong

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Els Slots

The Netherlands - 05-Feb-23 -

Ancient City of Ondong (T) by Els Slots

Ever wondered what the Cambodians were doing between the fall of Angkor (early 15th century) and the start of the French Protectorate in the late 19th century? They had to endure repeated invasions and interferences by the Siamese and Vietnamese, and there was even a Cambodian-Dutch War! Oudong was the capital for most of this period –  a trading river port in Central Cambodia, also known for its silver workshops.

The TWHS description shows no focus and a nomination doesn’t seem likely in the near future, despite remaining on Cambodia’s most recent Tentative List in 2020. To a casual visitor nowadays it mostly resembles a sacred mountain ‘experience’. It all revolves around Phnom Oudong, a hill ridge, covered with animist, Hindu, and Buddhist temples and shrines. It also has stupas in remembrance of deceased members of the Royal family.

I arrived around 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and it was so busy that the police even had to direct the traffic flow. It seemed that I had just missed ‘the party’, as tuk-tuks full of orange-clad monks were already leaving. At the base of the hill, there are numerous food stalls, parking lots and newish temples. Here the stone footpath starts that leads from one end of the ridge to the other, the trail can easily be seen on

The path is crammed with one shrine, stupa, or temple after the other. I had no idea what I was looking at, although the animist shrines stood out with their unfamiliar scenes. The local visitors seemed to combine a joyful day trip with a prayer here and there.

At the hilltop, you’ll encounter the older stupas for King Sisowat (the prettiest of them all with the ‘smiling face’ at its top), King Ang Duong (with interesting plastered ceramics), and the Chedei Damrei Sam Poan in Sukhothai-style. The biggest and most popular temple is the Preah Shakyamuni Chedei, which dates from 2002 and has relics of the Buddha.

Getting there and away by public transport: Take a bus between Phnom Penh and Kampong Chhnang, and get off at the fly-over near Oudong. Buses aren’t too frequent, so I opted for a shared minivan from Phnom Penh’s Central Market (5 USD; it didn’t fill up, so we drove all the way with only 3 passengers). I was dropped at the entrance road to the mountain, and easily found a tuk-tuk for the final 2 km.  For the return trip, I started to walk down to the main road. An empty tuk-tuk eventually caught up with me, and he offered to take me all the way back to central Phnom Penh for 15 USD.

Read more from Els Slots here.

Tony Lagrou

BelgiBe - 24-Aug-16 -

Yesterday I went to Oudong Mountain.It is a religious mountain with a lot of temples, pagodas on the mountain. Some are very New, others are older. Some are small, others are bigger. The view from the hill is spectacular. I went up by the stairs and went down the other way. Not so many tourists during the week, But the weekend must be crowded, seeing all the infrastructure there. Also in the surroundings you see a lot of temples. On the parking lot is a small structure with bones from the red kamer horror.

You drive there on the highway 5 to Battambang, from Phnom Penh it is almost 1h30min and Price for tuktuk is 20 USD.


Cambodia - 09-Oct-09 -

Last year, I went on a trip to Udong mountain (or Phnom Preah Reach Trop in Khmer). I went there by bicycle with my sister and her friends.It is about 45km from the capital of Phnom Penh. In fact, we can also reach there by bus. The site is so beautiful, and the mountain is not so high that we can reach the top easily. From the top, I can see a lot of beautiful rice fields, pagodas, and houses. There are some mysterious places there and big buddhas. The nature and ancient places there are quite fantastic!

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Full Name
Ancient City of Ondong
Archaeological site - South (East) Asian
2020 Revision

Renomination of Site d'Oudong (1992)

2020 Added to Tentative List

Unesco Website: Ancient City of Ondong

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Ancient City of Ondong (T)


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