Despite being the biggest pagoda in Siem Reap, this was my first visit to take a stroll around Wat Damnak. As I am leaving Cambodia soon, I have been determined to tick items off my bucket list, and Wat Damnak was at the top of that list!
Wat Damnak served as the royal palace during the reign of King Sisowath, between 1904 and 1927. During the dark times of the Khmer Rouge regime, Wat Damnak was used as a military depot. Nowadays it is a pagoda with a public school, library and two NGO’s on the premises. It is home to many Monks, who spend their days praying, attending ceremonies, studying, and if they are involved with the NGO on the premises, volunteering.
The library at Wat Damnak is particularly impressive, with Cambodians of all ages visiting there each day. The books are in English, Khmer and French and have a wide range of resources. My friends who are in University often choose to go there to complete their group assignments, due to the abundance of books and the tranquil environment.
Located across from Siem Reap River, you can feel free to walk in and browse around Wat Damnak. There are many great photo opportunities, including a large pond with a shrine, an old pagoda and plenty of stupas. You will be able to stay cool, even in the stifling summer heat, with the ample number of leafy trees.
When on the premises, ensure that you stay clear of the public school, so as not to interrupt the students. Also, if you want to take photos of the Monks, please ask them for permission first. They have every right to say no!
Despite being in the heart of Siem Reap town, Wat Damnak is quiet, serene and a great place to take a break when you are on holiday.
|Opening Hours||Daily from 6am – 8pm|
Market Street, Siem Reap