The Preah Thong and Neang Neak statue: A monumental tribute to Khmer heritage

According to Khmer folklore, Preah Thong and Neang Neak embarked on a legendary journey to meet their parents at the fabled Naga palace, Than Phu Chong Neak, found deep within the ocean’s depths. This mythical encounter signifies the birth of Cambodia’s distinct identity, steeped in age-old traditions and customs.

Today, the Preah Thong and Neang Neak statue honors the legendary co-founders of the Funan Kingdom, Preah Thong and Neang Neak, showcasing Cambodia’s rich history and cultural legacy.

Khmer Can Do

Standing some 21 meters and weighing an impressive 60 tonnes, the Preah Thong and Neang Neak statue is the largest copper statue in Cambodia. Mounted on a 6.34-meter-high pedestal, its total height reaches an awe-inspiring 27.34 meters, overlooking the vast sea and symbolizing the genesis of Khmer land, culture, and civilization.

The tale of Preah Thong and Neang Neak has endured through generations, profoundly shaping Khmer wedding customs and societal norms. Legends recount how Kaundinya, also known as Preah Thong, founded the state of Funan after a divine revelation in which he received a magic bow. With this enchanted weapon, he vanquished the Naga princess Soma, daughter of the Naga king, ultimately marrying her and establishing their royal lineage, marking the birth of Funan’s dynasty.

The Preah Thong and Neang Neak statue stands as a testament to Cambodia’s enduring legacy, joining the ranks of other notable statues such as the Preah Uma-Mahesor statue and the three-faced Siharaj statue in Sihanoukville. Its imposing presence and captivating narrative make it a must-see attraction for tourists exploring Cambodia’s cultural tapestry.

Preah Thong and Neang Neak statue

While visiting Cambodia, travelers should seize the opportunity to witness this magnificent monument firsthand. Nestled in the coastal beauty of Preah Sihanouk province, the Preah Thong and Neang Neak statue offers a captivating blend of historical intrigue and scenic tranquility. Embark on a journey to uncover the legend of Preah Thong and Neang Neak while basking in the sun-kissed shores of Sihanoukville, allowing this remarkable landmark to become a cherished memory of your Cambodian adventure.

Sihanoukville as a destination

Sihanoukville, or Kampong Som, is a coastal gem along the Gulf of Thailand, renowned for its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. Beyond the Preah Thong and Neang Neak statue, visitors to Sihanoukville can indulge in a myriad of unforgettable experiences.

Beach enthusiasts will find themselves spoiled for choice with Sihanoukville’s array of sun-kissed shores. From the bustling atmosphere of Serendipity Beach to the secluded tranquility of Otres Beach, each stretch of sand offers a unique ambiance and opportunities for relaxation and water sports.

For those seeking adventure, Sihanoukville serves as a gateway to the enchanting islands of the Koh Rong archipelago. Embark on a boat excursion to explore pristine coral reefs, hidden coves, and lush jungle trails, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Cambodia’s coastal paradise.

Cultural aficionados can delve into Sihanoukville’s vibrant culinary scene, savoring fresh seafood delicacies at local markets or sampling traditional Khmer cuisine at seaside restaurants. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit bustling markets such as Phsar Leu Market, where you can peruse an array of local crafts, souvenirs, and street food delights.

Sihanoukville as a destination

As the sun sets, Sihanoukville comes alive with an eclectic mix of bars, clubs, and beachfront venues. Dance the night away to live music, mingle with fellow travelers, or simply unwind with a refreshing cocktail as you soak in the seaside ambiance.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Sihanoukville offers something for every traveler, ensuring an unforgettable experience along Cambodia’s captivating coastline.

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Tom Starkey
Author: Tom Starkey

Tom Starkey is an International Development graduate from Sussex University with 12-years of experience across 4 continents, Tom's goal is that he wants to showcase his love for Cambodia, where he lives, works and now happily calls home.