Wat Damnak, Siem-Reap

Quick Facts:

  • Address: East of Siem Reap River, opposite the Old market
  • Entrance Fee: Donation
  • Opening Hours: 06:00 to 18:00 daily, the Library is open Monday to Saturday

Located in the heart of Siem Reap, the Wat Damnak monastery is known as the Research Centre of Khmer' culture and religion, including a language center, a weaving center, a primary school, charity administration offices, the library and offices. It was originally a royal palace under the reign of King Sisowath. Currently, since the public academic library for free was added, Wat Damnak monastery has become a frequent destination of students, Buddhist monks, tour guides, high school teacher, researches and so on to learn and look document.

Therefore, the atmosphere in the monastery is always quiet and separate. Perhaps the only uproarious time is when the 15 days long Festival of the Dead or Pchum Ben Festival occurs as the traditional activity of Buddhist Khmer culture. In these days, the Cambodian people wear nice clothes, bear bowls with food and gather at Damnak entrance gate as well as other surrounding temples. This is also one of the moments attracting the largest number of domestic and foreign tourists to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

There are some notes for visitors while strolling around the monastery and surrounding areas.  The Myanmar people as well as monks always welcome visitors. However, not bother prayer or eating times is the need to remember. When meeting older monks, please bowing slightly as the tradition in here, not point soles of feet or fingers towards monks or Buddha statues, sitting with feet tucked behind, hats off in the monastery grounds, taking off your shoes in the pagoda and speaking softly. Especially, women’s touching monks is the taboo. When travelers want to take photos, please ask the curator or monks before. Besides, there are some closed buildings without permission. Finally, every contribution is always welcomed but it should be put in the donation boxes.

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