The journey to Wat Ek Phnom takes visitors through dense forest, lush rice fields, and bucolic villages dotted with houses where rice paper, used to wrap spring rolls, is made. After it is made, the circular paper is dried on mesh boards in the sun. Built in the 11th century, during the reign of King Suryavarman, this partially collapsed Angkorian temple comprises finely carved prasats (towers) mounted on a platform. The root-strangled ruins have been looted, although the lintel above the eastern entrance to the central tower has survived; it depicts the Churning of the Ocean of Milk by the gods and asuras (demons), a Hindu myth.
Close to the temple is a small, peaceful pond that is covered with lily pads. There are several large, shady trees around the ruins, with a number of alfresco cafés that make for an excellent lunch venue. Opposite Wat Ek Phnom is a modern pagoda of the same name.