Legends Behind Phnom CHEUONG PREY
Retold by: Suy Se ( October, 2002 Volume 2 No.10 )

There are two mountains separated 100 meters each from the other located in the North of national road 6 or about three kilometers East of Phsar Pha'Av, in Cheuong Prey district, in Kampong Cham province. The eastern mountain is called Phnom Srey or Phnom Thom (big mountain) and the other shorter one on the west is called Phnom Phros or Phnom Prah Bath. The two mountains are jointly known as Phnom Cheuong Prey. Legend has it that men and women challenged each other to build mountains, similar to the legend of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey located also in Kampong Cham. In the process, women began digging the ground to build a mountain while men on the other side, 100meters away also started digging to build theirs. But it is strange that in Phnom Cheuong Prey, the hole that was dug by the women became a large pond always filled with water both during the dry season as well as rainy season and people call the water - pond of god. Whereas, the hole dug by men became a large dry pit and it holds no water even in the rainy season. and so is called - dry pond. It is likely that somehow there is a big hole or something draining the water out.

According to elders who live near the pond, the reason the men's pond runs dry, is because it possesses spirits that were placed on it by the women. On the top of this mountain there were a lot of artifacts but they are almost all louted. Today there remains a statue of the sleeping Buddha, a standing Buddha and a relief of the Buddha's footprint. At the western and eastern doorstop of this mountain there are many scarifying marks that were clearly written in, what we can see from long distance, Khmer letters. When we get close to them you see that perhaps not even a Khmer lecturer could read or know what these ancient Khmer letters are. There were more ancient things here, such as a big piece of stone called "Loom of Neang Teav", which today is only a group of markers because the stone has been smashed and has disappeared nearly completely.

At the front of Phnom Srey, there is a piece of stone with a footprint of a human called "Dan Cheuong Taprein" (footprint of grandfather Prein). Northeast of this mountain there is an area of smooth ground called "Kanleng Khun Chhang Teatt Sey" (place Khun Chhang plays tennis). On the west side there is a hole just big enough to put a coin into and that hole is called Ta Prein's hole as he always plays every evening. Since long ago, villagers believe that at this mountain they must always be careful of two things: First, there is a small hatch located under the tree of Samrong called " Khtorm Neak Ta Kra Hom Kor" (a hatch of red neck Neak Ta). This Neak Ta is so effective that the villagers named it after him, gentleman of Phnom (mountain).

In the past, magical people, pregnant woman, government officials and other high rank people did not dare to walk past his face. If they walk past its face, they would lose magic, baby or their rank. Even today, when his power has faded, people are still afraid to walk past his face. Second, people don't risk catching the monkeys living in the tree of Samrong. They are considered the children of Neak Ta Kra Hom Kor and if they catch and beat them it will bring trouble. Phnom Cheuong Prey has become a resort mainly for local tourists who live in Cheuong Prey and Prey Chhor districts, who come to enjoy an outing, especially during Khmer New Year.