After the distressing visit to the Killing Fields where about a million Cambodians were brutally abused and subsequently killed by the Khmer Rouge regime, I really had to get some spiritual solace and for this reason I reached Wat Phnom.
Dubbed as Mountain Temple, this Buddhist place of worship is located at the highest point of Phnom Penh. Initially built as a small shrine in 1373 by Penh, a wealthy widow who founded Phnom Penh city, Wat Phnom was rebuilt a number of times. This temple houses 4 bronze statues of Buddha which were found by Penh inside a Koki tree during a flood.
Entry to the temple is not free for tourists. You’ll have to buy a ticket (USD 1) to enter this shrine which is guarded by mystical Lions and Nagas. Also make sure that your heart doesn’t melt on seeing the birds kept in cages just outside the shrine. I was told that birds were trained to return to those cages even when they are bought and set free.