Samraong is the capital of Oddar Meanchay Province in North-western Cambodia.
Samraong is a regional hub that travellers in hinterland North-western Cambodia will pass through or use as a base. It is the Cambodian town nearest the O'Smach/Chong Chom border crossing with Thailand. The town in small and nondescript. Notable reference points are the tall, grey Acleda Bank building on the main street and, to its south, the market.
Highway 68 is now paved and runs from the O'Smach/Chong Chom border crossing, about 35 km north of Samraong, via Samraong, to National Highway 6 at Kralanh, which is near Siem Reap.
Unpaved highway 56 runs west to the temples of Banteay Chhmar and then continues south to Sisophon. The ride is pretty good in the dry season and respectable speed can be obtained. In the wet season, travelling may be much slower, particularly closer to Samraong.
The road east to Anlong Veng is being paved as of March 2012, at which time all-weather asphalt was in place for all but about 1 km.
Paramount Angkor Transport serves the town with buses to Phnom Penh via Sisophon, Battambang and Pursat. It also runs buses to Siem Reap and O'Smach town (less than 1 km from the border). The company's office is about 50 m north of Acleda Bank.
Shared taxis to any of the nearby towns can be arranged near the market.
See the town on foot. Motodops are willing to drive to the border for about $10 after haggling.
The town offers little except a glimpse of provincial Cambodian life.
- Heading north on the main street one will come across a pagoda, which is of modern construction but pretty and set in a traditional square moat.
- Slightly further north is a lake, which can provide activities such as loafing and swimming for those who don't need sterile water and chlorine.
Recover from or prepare for the onslaught of back-country travel: laundry, internet and ATM are available.
Acleda Bank has an ATM. The market is the shopping hub.
The usual Khmer stuff. Try the market.
There are several guesthouses and hotels on the main street near Acleda Bank. Quality is good and prices are low.
- Prachea Prey Thmey Guesthouse, Opposite Acleda Bank (walk north from the market for about 200 m). edit
- Heng Meanchey Hotel, Opposite Acleda Bank (walk north from the market for about 200 m), ☎ 012275256. Clean and fairly spacious rooms. En suite bathrooms (no hot water). Staff speak some English. $5. edit
- Sokha Guesthous, Next to Acleda bank (walk north from the market for about 200 m), ☎ 017475747. edit
There is an internet cafe on the main street next to the bus office. $0.75 /hr.
- Thailand is accessible at the O'Smach/Chong Chom border crossing. The drive towards Thailand becomes very scenic as the road ascends the Dangrek Mountains. At the border, between the two countries' immigration offices, are a couple of casino hotels. Visas are issued at this border, make sure you only pay $20 for a Cambodian tourist visa - touts will try to convince you to pay more. On the Cambodian side, O'Smach town, a collection of attap huts and dirt streets, is less than 1 km down the hill from the immigration offices. It hosts at least three (bricks and mortar) guesthouses for anyone arriving late and not being able to make onward transport. It also has a market with cafes and a branch of Acleda Bank (no ATM). Paramount Angkor Transport runs buses to Samraong and beyond from O'Smach town, look for the attap hut with bus advertisements on the highway at the turning to the town. On the Thai side, minibuses run from Chong Chom to Surin (60 Baht).
- The Banteay Chhmar temple complex, a remote site home to some extremely quiet Angkorian ruins is located 50km west. It can be accessed from Samraong by National Highway 56.