Phnom Srey & Phnom Pros
Located at Kro La Commune, Kampong Siem District in Seven- kilometers distance from the provincial town of Kampong Cham or 114-kilometers distance from Phnom Penh with exceeding 500 Metres to the left. The pagoda of Phnom Pros has official name called What Sovan Kiri Rotanak Phnom Pros; in 1000 Meters to the North, there is another mountain, which has pointed peak called Phnom Srey.
North of the Phnom Srey, there are ranks of mountains such as mountains of Dang Rek, Ba Ley and Chhuk. The mountain of Pros has dull peak and has approximate 30-metre height. It can be reached by road until the top. At the top, there are a high-five peak temple adapted the model of Bontey Srey temple and two pagodas closed to each other: one is the old pagodas having two peaks built in Sang Kum Reas Niyum time and the other one is being built. Under the temple, there is a big statue with 15-metre height built by the first dead of pagoda, named Keo So. At the mountain base, there are Kot for monks staying.
In addition, at the top of Pros Mountain we can view the beautiful scene of Kampong Cham Province. From 1975-1979, the mountain of Pros was a big detention place for torturing Cambodian people in Kampong Cham Province. The mountain of Srey has pointed peak and can be climbed up by 308 Stair steps. At the top, there is a ruined temple, with a few nuns and no monks who stay to maintain and collect contribution to rebuild the temple. In this resort, there are many local people who go there during the Khmer traditional festivals such as Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben.
You will also find a high-five peak temple on the Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros, Kampong Cham. The temple is built in the form of Bontey Srey Temple. You will also find two pagodas that are located close to each other. One of the pagodas includes two peaks built in Sang Kum Reas Niyum time and the other one has been recently built. Below the temple, you will find a big statue, which is 15-metre in height and is named as Keo So.
At the base of the Phnom Han Chey of Kampong Cham, there are Kot for monks. Here you will find monks staying in the Kots. As you climb up to the Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros, you will get to see the beautiful scenery of the entire Kampong Cham province. This Khmer race of the province has left a wonderful heritage for the world to wonder at, and the religious memorials built by them stand as an everlasting evidence to the inventiveness of the human intelligence. The numerous Tourist Attractions in Kampong Cham carry the evidence of the superiority of this race.
Phnom Srei translates into Man Hill and Women Hill respectively. The common legend told about these hills is that two teams (one of men and one of women) were competing to build the tallest mountain before sunrise. This competition occurred because the Khmer custom was that a man needed to go to the woman’s parents to ask permission for wedding, and the men were challenging this. As the story goes, the women lit a fire at night, which made the men believe that the sun was rising. They stopped working, and the women won the competition. Thus men still need to ask the women's parents for permission, and Phnom Srei is higher than Phnom Pros.
There are modern hilltop temples on each of the hills that you can explore. Phnom Srei also offers good countryside views, while Phnom Pros is considered to be a good relaxation spot. Between the two hills is the location of the Kompong Cham killing frelds. In ancient times, there was a queen named Srei Ayuthiya. Since no man could propose to such a beautiful, noble woman, she decided to choose the man of her own preference for her husband. After that, it became the custom in the country that a woman proposed to a man.
Some women, especially those who were not so appealing, were very unhappy with this arrangement and wanted to change the custom. One day, the women thought up a trick to make the men come to propose to them again. All the women gathered for a meeting. At that time, the women employed their trick. They dared the men for a contest. If the men won this competition, all would remain the same and women would have to continue asking the hand of the men, while if the women won, the men would have to ask the hand of the women. Work on the mountain must continue until the morning star rose, and then they could stop.
The men believed it would be easy to win this contest, because they were much stronger and could carry more earth, so they accepted the contest. Both started working hard, digging the earth to build the mountain, and the men were clearly winning the competition. In the middle of the night, while the men took a rest, the women hung a lantern way up in a tall tree. The men, seeing the light of the lantern, thought that it was the morning star and went to sleep, convinced they had won. But the women continued constructing their mountain. When the daylight arrived, their mountain was higher that the one from the men. They woke up the men and showed them the morning star.