There are regular traffic jams on NR4 south of Kirirom at the Pich Nil pass. This is due to Cambodian motorists breaking their journey to make offerings at the shrine of Yeah Mao, or Black Grandmother, who is believed to protect travellers and fishermen – the most popular story has it that she perished in the waves after setting out to find her husband who had left to fight at sea.

To pick out her shrine, follow the eye-watering haze of incense – a smoke-dimmed image of her can be found within it. The rows of spirit houses are recent additions and are a bit of a scam by local stallholders, but most Khmer would prefer to make an offering rather than risk offending the spirits.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cambodia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

This beguiling country in Southeast Asia has captured the hearts and imaginations of travellers from all over the world. Travel photographer Fiona Campbell is …

11 Jan 2016 • Fiona Campbell insert_drive_file Article
How to see Angkor Wat without the crowds

How to see Angkor Wat without the crowds

The sky is lightening. Squint and you can just about make out a change in the colour of it, a shift from inky-black to blue-black. As the sun rises further it c…

03 Jun 2015 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month