Located about 70 km to the North of Siem Reap city, at the top of a cluster of hills is Peung Tanon or Standing Stones as they’re otherwise known. It’s a stunning, natural geological wonder consisting of a series of huge sandstone formations dotted around the hilltop site.
I’d never even heard of this site until another expat told me she’d visited with a local friend. This, of course, piqued my interest and I set about arranging a day trip there with friends.
Peung Tanon Standing Stones Day Trip
Nobody seems to know much about Peung Tanon at all. How they formed and their history remains a mystery.
When asked, a guide at the site suggested the site could once have been an ocean bed and the Khmer Rouge may have used it during the Pol Pot regime. To be honest, this sounded very much like guesswork.
When we visited Peung Tanon Standing Stones there was no entrance fee. It did, however, look as if a ticket booth was halfway through being built so I suspect it won’t be free for long.
Things to Do at Peung Tanon
Explore the Site
When you first arrive at the site there’s a small, tree-shaded parking area for you to leave your vehicle. When we got there, a few locals and a couple of saffron-robed monks sat on wooden platforms and lazed in hammocks.
A short 10-minute easy trek uphill and through a small community is needed to reach the actual site. We passed by a few houses on stilts and some sort of shrine, before emerging out of the trees onto the hilltop.
Dotted amongst carpets of colourful flowers and bright green vegetation are many sandstone formations and rocks of different shapes, sizes and colours. Some rocks appeared to be balanced on top of one another or positioned in such a way they gave the illusion of a human face or some kind of animal.
As we explored the site we were dive-bombed by low-flying dragonflies and beautiful butterflies. We also spotted a gecko and another unidentified lizard basking on the hot rocks.
Admire the Views
Rock Climbing and Bouldering
Eat and Drink at Pueng Tanon
There are a few dubious-looking little food shacks and stalls around the car park area of the site, but I’d recommend giving them a wide berth. The canned drinks and bottled water are probably o.k. but personally, I wouldn’t risk the food.
Your best bet is to take a picnic lunch with you which you can enjoy on the flat surface of one of the rocks.
How to Get to Pueng Tanon
Peung Tanon Standing Stones is as ‘off the beaten track‘ as you’ll get near Siem Reap, which I soon realised when I began to organise the trip. There were only a couple of listings in Google (with different spellings), and very few locals had even heard of it.
The Journey to Peung Tanon
After trying many variations of the spelling, I managed to find some directions on Google Maps, which are in the map above.
One thing to note is that our driver didn’t follow this map exactly. I’m assuming this was because the roads suggested on Google Maps were too bad as you get closer to the site. I couldn’t embed a map of our actual route but the screenshot above should help.
This is the ticket booth that’s being built and is where you need to turn off from the main road.
To date, Peung Tanon Standing Stones is the only sandstone formation site of its kind discovered in Cambodia. There is a natural beauty to these fascinating natural formations in their lush setting, and the lack of tourists make it even more special. Here’s Andy’s vlog about Peung Tanon – Standing Stones.
If you have the time left on your Cambodia visa and the stomach for a very bumpy journey be sure to head out of Siem Reap to this very off-the-beaten-track destination before it becomes another of Cambodia’s more popular tourist attractions.
Travel Resources for Cambodia
Planning your trip to Cambodia? Here are some of our recommended useful resources to help you have the best time possible:
● TRAVEL INSURANCE IS AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION FOR TRAVEL. If you’re travelling long-term like us and from the EU, then True Traveller is our go-to option.
If you’re from a non-EU country, another option for long-term travel insurance is SafetyWing, which you can pay for on a month-by-month basis. This is also good for shorter trips.
● Compare Rental car prices in Cambodia on Rentalcars.com.
● Booking.com usually have the best hotel prices in Cambodia.
● Our go-to for self-catering accommodation in Cambodia is Vrbo.
● Before booking accommodation in Cambodia, check reviews on Tripadvisor.