Set back from the west bank of the Siem Reap River, Wat Preah Prom Rath temple boasts a history that may date back to the 13th century. However, everything to be seen here was built after World War II. Colorful statues and lush gardens in the heart of downtown offer the chance to see how Cambodian Buddhism is practiced today.
Like most other Buddhist temples in Cambodia, Wat Preah Prom Rath welcomes visitors. There’s no entrance fee, but donations are recommended—just drop some small notes in the offering boxes. Some monks at the temple speak English, and many travelers choose to visit Wat Preah Prom Rath independently, although hiring a guide or joining a tour can add important cultural context. It is location, rather than historic or architectural significance, that makes the temple an occasional stop on tours of downtown Siem Reap.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Wat Preah Prom Rath will intrigue travelers who are interested in Buddhism.
- Dress respectfully when visiting this working temple, in clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
- Women are not allowed to touch or be touched by monks.
- The grounds of Wat Preah Prom Rath are flat and generally accessible, but the prayer hall and other buildings are reached by steps.
Close to the west bank of the Siem Reap River, in a prime location just north of the Old Market, Wat Preah Prom Rath stands in the heart of downtown and is easy to reach on foot (or bicycle) from many Siem Reap sights and hotels. Siem Reap has no public transport, so travelers who would like to see more of the city may choose to join an organized tour.When to Get There
Wat Preah Prom Rath is open to visitors throughout the daylight hours, but midafternoon is generally a good time to visit if you would like to talk to the monks. Expect to see colorful rituals around Khmer New Year, which runs for three days from April 13 or 14, and Vesak, Buddha’s birthday, generally in April or May.Avoiding Siem Reap’s Monk Scams
As Cambodia’s tourist epicenter, Siem Reap is replete with questionable monks of all varieties—from practicing monks gone bad to fraudsters just pretending to be monks. Be very suspicious of any “monk” who approaches you on Pub Street, and know that authentic monks never sell goods of any kind.