Named after a tree that used to grow along its riverbanks, the sleepy provincial capital of PURSAT is pretty much the quintessence of humdrum. Within Cambodia, it’s famous mainly for being the nation’s main marble carving centre, using stone quarried from the rocky outcrops of the nearby Cardamom Mountains and carved in workshops around the town and the surrounding countryside. For visitors, the main reason to come is to explore the fascinating floating village of Kompong Luong, and Pursat also provides a possible starting point for expeditions into the rewarding, but little explored, northern Cardamom Mountains. The town itself is laid out for a couple of kilometres along NR5 and bisected by the Stung Pursat, which flows northeast into the Tonle Sap. Most of the town’s modest cluster of hotels and restaurants are close to the bridge over the river, on (or just off) the main road.

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