Kompong Chhnang, the capital of the province of the same name, is the only destination in the province that makes sense for most tourists. The word ‘Chhnang’ refers to the traditional earthenware pots that are made in the region, and while the locals are proud of their posts, but you’d be sorely disappointed if you showed up just to take a peek at them.
The real draw is that the town sits on the banks of a beautiful watershed– miles of verdant marshland in the dry season, which fills up to the floors of the stilt houses along the banks during the wet season.
The waterway provides the province with much of its abundant year round fishing and agriculture, and also a particularly picturesque and surprisingly massive ‘floating village’ where thousands of Cambodians live, work and conduct commerce with little pressing need to set foot on dry land.
Across the river, a half-day tour of the countryside, under the pretext of taking a look at some crumbling old temples from the 7th and 8th centuries, makes for a laid back and very un-touristy tour. The town itself offers some very good, and very cheap accommodation. Services are limited, little English is spoken, and the town is short on delectable things to eat, but it’s a great place to stop over to get off-the-beaten-track.