Wat Ounalom

Attraction Sangkat Chey Chum Neas Samdach Sothearos Boulevard Phnom Penh 12206 Cambodia Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hours 30 mins
06:00 AM - 06:00 PM
08:00 AM
09:30 AM
Second-time visit
Attraction
Cultural
Landmark
Temple & Monument
0.00 USD

Wat Ounalom is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
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  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Wat Ounalom is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the country. It has since been restored, and now houses the highest figure of Cambodian Buddhism.

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Why Wat Ounalom is special ?

Founded in 1422 by King Ponhea Yat who lived from 1405 until 1467, Wat Ounalom consists of 44 structures. It is the seat of the Mahanikaya, the largest of the two top Buddhist sects in Cambodia. Wat Ounalom is one of the five original Wats (monastery temples) in Phnom Penh.
There is a stupa in the back of the complex that supposedly contains an eyebrow hair from Buddha (which is known as Ounalom). In 1975 the Khmer Rouge killed a great number of monks and the abbot, before this took place there were at least 500 monks living there. When it became reestablished in 1992 it contained the Buddhist Institute for a short while due to its history of being a learning institute for Buddhists.
Another feature of this Wat was the Buddhist Institute's large library that included more than 30,000 titles until the Khmer Rouge demolished the Wat in 1975. This temple is now the Cambodian headquarters of the Ecole Francaise d'extreme-orient that predominantly studies archeology and modern Asian societies while its name translates into The French School of the Far East. 


What to explore at Wat Ounalom?

Tucked away in a quaint setting, Wat Ounalom consists of a cluster of 44 buildings. Erected in 1952, the main temple is the modern recreation of the original shrine that was constructed in the 15th century. It is spread over three levels and has to its credit an interesting collection of magnificent paintings and cultural relics that throw light on the life of the Lord Buddha.


Found behind the main temple is Chetdai – the 500-year-old stupa, where Lord Buddha’s eyebrow hair is preserved. Dating back to the Angkorian era, this amazing stupa is also striking for its four bronze images of Buddha in sitting posture, each of which faces a cardinal direction. Additionally, the walls that bound this ancient stupa are graced with several figures of Hindu gods – the most significant being the image of Lord Vishnu, Garuda the mythical bird, and Lord Yama on his buffalo.


Another highlight of Wat Ounalom is the image of Samdech Huot Tat - the fourth Buddhist patriarch who was executed during the Pol Pot era. It is placed at the main temple’s northeast corner. Further, the monastery of the Supreme Patriarch is seen to the north of the main temple. Above all, the serene, natural surroundings of this Wat are as endearing as its collections and features.


Source: http://www.visit-mekong.com/

Selling points

  • “Beautiful achitecture”
  • “Large temple complex”
  • “Peacefull and beautiful”
  • “Impressive and quiet temple”
  • “Surprisingly Nice”
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Duration
2.0 days
Estimated
61.41 USD
Total travel distance
km
Number of places
4 places

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Location

Address

Sangkat Chey Chum Neas Samdach Sothearos Boulevard Phnom Penh 12206 Cambodia

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Tips for you

  • Contribute what you can to the donation box.
    Things to do
  • Take off your shoes in the building, speak softly, ask before taking pictures
    Photography
  • Please always remember to not disturb prayer or eating times
    Timming
  • Women are not allowed to touch monks
    Other
  • Bow slightly in the presence of older monks, don’t point soles of feet or fingers towards monks or Buddha statues,
    Other
  • Sit with feet tucked behind rather than crossed, hats off in the monastery grounds.
    Other
  • Don’t enter closed buildings without permission
    Other
  • It's quiet atmosphere offers a sharp contrast with the market just on its northern side.
    Things nearby
  • During the week ends, in front of this tempel, there are some artisans selling baskets and other handicraft articles.
    Events

Reviews

FourSquare View more

Tóm tắt 4 lời sư thầy dặn dò: Tin vào bản thân - Thành tâm thực hiện - Đóng góp thành quả - Suy nghĩ đúng sai

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Central Cambodian monastery with monk's king residence. Must have to visit, free to enter, very beautiful!

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Sư thầy đang cầu khấn

TripAdvisor View more

This is one of the most ignored places in Phnom Penh, i think. I asked some of the travelers in our hostel if they have been there and they even don't know that it exist. Maybe Wat Ounalom is an underrated temple in Phnom Penh.Since it is just a walk from our hostel, we decided to go here after we had our breakfast for our first day in Phnom Penh. We enter the back door which faces the backpackers' district. When we were there, an uncle/monk offered us to enter the Wat Ounalom and bless us prayer, which we think made our stay in Phnom Penh wonderful and memorable. Since we are blessed there, all we got is luck and happiness in Phnom Penh which made us think that maybe its what he blessed us for. Don't skip this place when you go Phnom Penh and be bless by the monks there. It's just one dollar or less for a days/week worth of blessing in Phnom Penh.

TripAdvisor View more

Considering the wealth of architectural beauty around and about, this site does not really match up to the best that Phnom Penh offers. The main temple is barren, with perhaps a simpler approach to worship.

TripAdvisor View more

Nice temple in the heart of the city's hustle and bustle. Too bad that there are a lot of beggars milling about. Great place to walk around in and find a semblance of peace in the city.

FourSquare View more

Central Cambodian monastery with monk's king residence. Must have to visit, free to enter, very beautiful!

TripAdvisor View more

This is one of the most ignored places in Phnom Penh, i think. I asked some of the travelers in our hostel if they have been there and they even don't know that it exist. Maybe Wat Ounalom is an underrated temple in Phnom Penh. Since it is just a walk from our hostel, we decided to go here after we had our breakfast for our first day in Phnom Penh. We enter the back door which faces the backpackers' district. When we were there, an uncle/monk offered us to enter the Wat Ounalom and bless us prayer, which we think made our stay in Phnom Penh wonderful and memorable. Since we are blessed there, all we got is luck and happiness in Phnom Penh which made us think that maybe its what he blessed us for. Don't skip this place when you go Phnom Penh and be bless by the monks there. It's just one dollar or less for a days/week worth of blessing in Phnom Penh.

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