Kampong Cham - capital city and colonial french charm, Kampong Cham Province

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Kampong Cham (city), Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia

Kampong Cham, the city shares the same name as its province and serves as its capital, situated on the Mekong River in eastern Cambodia, located 124 kilometers northeast from Phnom Penh and is accessible via either boat or asphalt road.

The city exudes a colonial French charm and a distinctive "wild west" feel, making it a fascinating subject for research. Although most travelers use Kampong Cham as a stopover en route to other destinations, those who choose to explore the provincial capital for a few days can relish the relaxed atmosphere and picturesque allure of the city.


The majority of Kampong Cham's population comprises ethnic Khmer, with a significant Cham minority residing in the province's towns. Notably, this minority group has a relatively higher proportion of adherents to Islam and Christianity.

Due to the absence of significant foreign investment and large-scale tourism, Kampong Cham is categorized as a poverty-stricken city, lacking in modern infrastructure. Nonetheless, it still retains a plethora of colonial-era French architecture.

However, the recent completion of a modern two-lane bridge across the Mekong has led to a gradual recovery from the city's prolonged economic decline. Despite its financial struggles, the locals of Kampong Cham exhibit a friendly and welcoming demeanor towards tourists, which is typical of Cambodian culture.

Image source: frerd / shutterstock


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