Angkor Tuk Tuk Travel

History of Kampong Thom Province

How did it get its name ?

The Province has actually had three name over the centuries, according to Mr. Um Sok, the former director of Culture and Fine Art department of Kampong Thom province.

Long time ago this area was given name Kampong Puos Thom that mean’s the ‘The port of the big snake”.

The reason is based on a  pair of huge snakes was living in a cave locate underneath the site of the current Kampong Thom pagoda.

At that time, to the south a canal flowed from a pond to a tributary of the steung sen river. Located in front of the provincial market of the city.

Everyday the snakes left the cave swam from the canal to the tributary and played for a while but one day changed their home and instead went to the Pen Chum mountain in Santuk district, where there is another cave, about six meters wide at the entrance.

The villagers just observed this and accepted it. They lived in harmony with the snakes, but they called the area after them. As years passed the name became shorted to Kampong Thom, But there is another theory. It was also called Kampong Chumnum Thom. Mean the big meeting” during the 17th century in the decho Meas er. A man called Decho Meas as powerful and intelligent warlord. Decho Meas has a house located in Kampong Thom precinct he was a high ranking official during the period of The Royal Government.

Everyday, he met with his official, the located of his house required them to cross by boat with their ox-carts, horse and elephants, so the people called the port Kampong Chumnum Thom, meaning or business meeting, But the name became shorted to “Kampong Thom”. Now the third theory is that in the period of Decho Meas, the Khmer capital was Longvek now in Kampong Chhnang province.

At the time, most Khmer living along and northwestern part of Tonle sap, were migrating constantly due to civil war. Communication was very difficult between the northern and southern areas of the Steung Sen and Decho Meas asked the king to separate this region in to two province. The southern part of steung sen was called santuk province. (even how we still have santuk district) and that province covered up to the modern Kampong Cham border and included some parts of Kampong Chhnang, this province was under the kings’brother.

The northern part of The steung sen was Kampong Svay province and again there is still a Kampong svay dritrict where Decho Meas ruled. Before he died he turned the area over to man called Yort from the minority Kouy race of Cambodians.

Under Yort the area enjoyed peace and developed quickly. The king was very happy and liked Yort very much. He gave him the nickname of Dech Yort (Decho Means greatness or majesty) and blened the two province under the name Kampong Thom (Big Port).

Kampong Thom Geography

Kampong Thom Province lies in the center of Cambodia, the Province border the Tonle sap lake, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Cham province to the south, Kampong Cham and Kratie to the east steung treng and Preah vihear to the north and Siem Reap province to the west.

Kampong Thom covers 1,506,187 hectars about 180,920 hectars for agriculture and 1,046,800 hectars of forestry  concessions there were four logging companies operating here. Kampong Thom also boasts rubber plantations, it is rich in forests, agriculture and fishery. Kampong Thom is divided into eight district. Most residents engage in some areas of agriculture and fishing lots. The hill tribe people who live in the north of the province are known as Kouy they’re depend on foresty resources.

There are two main tourist attractions

1-  Santuk Mountain: locate in Ka Koh commune, Santuk district, on the National Road 6 this beautiful pagoda boasts a well where people drop coins for luck as well as a footprint of Buddha. There’re five big carvings of Buddha sleeping atop of the mountain. Many people visit here during festivals and holidays. There are also ruins at the foot of the mountain.

     2-  Prasat Sambo Prey Kuk: located in Sambo commune, Prasat sambo district, just east of the corner of National Road 64 about 23 kilometers north-east from kampong Thom twon. The road to the temples is now a good laterite all weather road and guides may sometimes be hired in Kampong Thom town. This tranquil forested area is about 30 kilometer square (five by six kilometers andis dotted with 200 temples most them ruined. However there are 41 temples still in good condition. These temples were constructed during the 6th and 7th century and inscriptions at some of the site tell us this ancient city was probably the capital call Ey-san Borak (ishanabora) between 616 to 636AD. And the area is well known in history as the capital city of the Chenla (or Zhenla) Kingdom, a dynasty succeeding of the funan Kingdom, both of them were the former name of today’s Cambodia.

In ancient time, the original name of Sambo Prey Kuk derived from ancient Khmer words “Samphubora” which meant the place or palace for Shiva o Lord,. And many people knew of sambo Prey Kuk is Ishanabora.

According to the king name.

During the decade of searching the huge sambo Prey Kuk temple complex, the number of discovered temple increased from about 100 to 280 temples. Along with these discoveries were found many bas relieve statues of gods and Lintels.

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Guest Name: Marcela Mansur
Country: United States
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Travel Date: 20/06/2018
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Tour Name: Angkor Tour 2 Days