Situated at the heart of Cambodia along the banks of the Stung Sen, this busy artery town enjoys trade from the traffic en route to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Its original name was Kompong Pos Thom, derived from posthom meaning two snakes who, according to legend, lived in a cave here and were worshiped by the local Buddhist population. The cave’s location has since been forgotten; however, relics of the recent past, namely the pre-Angkorian temple monuments of Sambor Prei Kuk, are increasingly drawing more visitors to this town, as is the quirky mountain temple of Phnom Santuk. The country- side surrounding Kompong Thom is picturesque, with buffalo lazing in roadside pools, and villagers riding their livestock-drawn carts across their farmlands. Visitors should keep an eye out for the home-made effigies outside houses, which are believed to ward off evil spirits.