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Wat Ounalom
Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom

Free admission
Sangkat Chey Chum Neas Samdach Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The basics

With a prime location by the Royal Palace and the waterfront, Wat Ounalom is a home for Buddhist monks in the city center. There’s no single shrine or Buddha image as the centerpiece of the temple complex but it’s free to enter and rarely crowded with tourists. That means it’s well worth a visit if you’re exploring Phnom Penh and interested in Cambodia’s long-running Buddhist traditions.

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Things to know before you go

  • Dress modestly: anyone with shorts, mini-skirts, and bare shoulders may be refused admission.
  • As hats and footwear must be removed before entering shrines, wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
  • Donations help support maintenance of the historic temple, and they’re cash only; boxes can be found within Wat Ounalom.
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How to get there

Wat Ounalom is located on Samdech Sothearos Boulevard in Phnom Penh, near the Royal Palace. It’s walking distance from many centrally located sites and hotels, but if you’re coming from farther away there are ample transport options. The most environmentally friendly option is a cyclo, or bicycle rickshaw, which are most often used when traveling short distances. Alternatives include motorcycle-powered tuk tuks and enclosed taxis. Be sure to negotiate the price before departure.

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When to get there

Open daily from 6am to 6pm, Wat Ounalom is rarely crowded. Around noon, however, some sections of the temple complex are closed as the monks eat lunch. Since Wat Ounalom has longer hours than adjacent attractions—including the Royal Palace and the National Museum of Cambodia—it’s a convenient first or last stop when exploring the historic center.

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Buddhist Blessings at Wat Ounalom

If you’d like to experience a traditional Buddhist blessing at the temple complex, ask attendants upon arrival—this is a time when having a guide helps as many monks don’t speak English. You may have the chance to offer incense at a shrine, be blessed with fragrant water, and leave with a thin red string tied around your wrist. While the blessing is freely given, it’s customary to leave a donation with the temple if you receive one.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Wat Ounalom?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Phnom Penh?
A:
As well as visiting the Wat Ounalom, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: