Where is Wat Phnom 

In the Khmer language, Wat Phnom means “Mountain Pagoda”. Here is all you need to know about this Cambodia pagoda: 


Wat Phnom is located at 178 Street 108, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. The pagoda  is situated in the heart of Phnom Penh, on a small hill that rises above the city. 

 the tallest religious structure in Phnom Penh

Wat Phnom stands as the tallest religious structure in the capital city of Phnom Penh

Spotting Wat Phnom upon arriving in Phnom Penh is no challenge, for it is centrally positioned and towers as the city's highest point. You will effortlessly identify Wat Phnom with a mere glance at a splendid 27-meter-tall hillock.

Opening hours

Wat Phnom is open from 7 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday - Sunday and this attraction closes on Monday. Remember this while planning your visit!


The entrance fee to Wat Phnom Pagoda is $1 for foreign visitors. 

Unlike tickets to Angkor that can be bought both online and offline, you need to purchase Wat Phnom tickets directly at the ticket counter. Wat Phnom has an entrance at one end and an exit at the opposite end. 

Historical Background

 National Historic Monument of Cambodia

Wat Phnom is considered a National Historic Monument of Cambodia

Here is why Wat Phnom is a special destination to visit. The legend of Wat Phnom tells the story of a wealthy widow named Daun Penh who found four bronze Buddha statues and a stone statue of Vishnu washed up on the banks of the Tonle Sap River in 1372. 

Afterward, Lady Penh constructed a hill and erected a small temple to worship the four Buddha statues. Eventually, the area around it was called 'Phnom' in Cambodia, referring to the hill, and named after its creator, Lady Penh. Hence, it became known as Phnom Penh.

The present temple was reconstructed in late 1926 and has seen numerous additional structures added over the centuries.

A guide to visiting Wat Phnom Cambodia

How to get to Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom pagoda

You can walk to Wat Phnom when strolling around the Phnom Penh capital

Wat Phnom is easily accessible by foot, bicycle, or tuk-tuk. If you are coming from the city center, simply follow Street 108 until you reach the pagoda.

Visitors to Wat Phnom not only appreciate the historical significance of the temple but also adore the serene atmosphere and pristine surroundings it offers.

What to see in Wat Phnom

To ensure you don't miss the most intriguing points of Wat Phnom, here are the highlights we have listed for you:

  • Hilltop Buddha Temple: The ascent to the temple is not steep, featuring a statue of the Naga serpent deity and two lion statues along the way – familiar creatures in Cambodian beliefs and prevalent in the Angkor complex.

The pagoda is the most striking feature of the temple and is decorated with gold leaf and colorful tiles. The shrines are dedicated to different Buddhist deities, including Buddha, Vishnu, and Shiva. There is also a museum at Wat Phnom that exhibits artifacts from the temple's history.

  • Lady Penh Shrine: Positioned behind the main pagoda, it honors the founder of Wat Phnom. The shrine is a simple structure, with a roof supported by four pillars. Inside the shrine is a statue of Lady Penh, dressed in traditional Khmer attire. There are also several offerings at the shrine, including flowers, candles, and incense.  

Located beside the Lady Penh shrine is a statue of the Wealth God. This statue is worshiped according to Chinese beliefs.

King Ponhea Yat Statue in Wat Phnom

King Ponhea Yat Statue in Wat Phnom

  • King Ponhea Yat Statue: The monarch who moved the Khmer empire from Angkor to Phnom Penh. The statue is about 10 meters (33 feet) tall. The Khmer final King is dressed in traditional Khmer attire and seated on a lotus throne. Wat Phnom holds his remains in a white stupa behind the temple.

  • The Giant Clock: This clock is a gift from the Chinese community, it stands along the descent path. There is a cobra statue coiled around half of this clock. Crafted from cast iron, the clock spans approximately 20 meters (66 feet) across. It is adorned with elaborate engravings of flowers, creatures, and various symbols.

Dress Code and Etiquette

 Wat Phnom pagoda

Pay respect while visiting Wat Phnom

The attire guideline at Wat Phnom is quite lenient. Nevertheless, it is considerate to maintain modest dress when exploring a Buddhist pagoda. This involves ensuring your shoulders and knees are covered while refraining from wearing attire that is too revealing.

It is also important to be respectful of the religious practices of others when visiting Wat Phnom. This means refraining from talking loudly, taking photos inside the pagoda, or touching the Buddha statues.

Wat Phnom is considered an immensely sacred site, responsive to wishes for luck and prosperity. However, local residents share that due to Lady Penh's widowhood in her lifetime, it is advised to not visit for romantic wishes or even enter as a couple, one person should wait outside while the other enters.

Other Destinations Nearby

There are a number of other interesting destinations located near Wat Phnom that you can refer to for a day trip in Phnom Penh. These include the National Museum of Cambodia (1,5km), the Royal Palace (2,6km), and the Independence Monument (2,3km).

Wat Phnom Cambodia

Visit Wat Phnom Cambodia

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With its profound historical significance in Cambodia, Wat Phnom undeniably deserves to be on your list when visiting Phnom Penh. The temple's surroundings are home to monkeys and birds, creating a leisurely space imbued with Khmer charm. And if you are looking for Vietnam and Cambodia package tour, feel free to contact us for more details!