Lighthouses of Cambodia

Cambodia has a rather short coastline on the Gulf of Thailand between Vietnam and Thailand; Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville) is the only deepwater port. A French colony from 1863 to 1953, Cambodia suffered greatly from the warfare in Vietnam (1955-75) plus the misrule of the Khmer Rouge insurgency (1975-79). However, the country has stabilized and reopened for Western tourism in recent years.

During the French colonial period, Cambodia had no major salt water ports; it was served by ships sailing the Mekong River through Vietnam. Development of the modern port of Sihanoukville (Kampong Saom) began only in 1955.

Nothing is known about the history of Cambodian lighthouses. The Koh Rung Samloan lighthouse shown at right appears to have been built during the French colonial period, but I do not know its date of construction. Additional information on these lighthouses would be most welcome.

The lighthouses in Cambodia are maintained by the Port Autonome Sihanoukville. In the Khmer language spoken in Cambodia, a lighthouse is called bangkol phleung hvar (literally "fire on a pole"); koh or kaoh is an island, and kampong phe is a harbor.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Cambodia
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
World of Lighthouses - Cambodia
Photos by various photographers available from

Koh Rung Samloen Light, Sihanoukville, 2015
photo copyright Martin Kjellberg; used by permission

Gulf of Thailand Lighthouses
Koh Rung Samloen (Koah Rung Samloem)
Early 1900s. Inactive; listed with focal plane 120 m (394 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, attached to a small 1-story keeper's cottage or equipment building. Lantern removed; it appears that a light is displayed from a short mast. The lighthouse is listed as being painted white with one red horizontal band, but Oli Bryant's 2010 photo shows that it is now unpainted. Martin Kjellberg's photo is above, a 2016 photo is available, there's also a view from the gallery, and Google has a distant satellite view of the station. The Jenkins 1904 light list mentions this light as "intended." The island of Rung Samloen lies on the west side of the entrance to the bay of Kampong Saom. Located on the south point of the island, about 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Kampong Saom. Site open, and apparently the tower is also open. ARLHS CAB-005; Admiralty F3014; NGA 20532.
Koh Koang Kang (Kaoh Tas, Kaoh Kong Kang)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white light occulting twice every 9 s. 9 m (30 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with gallery, painted white. Wim ON6TZ's photo is at right, Dan Baldini has a view from the sea, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the eastern point of Tas Island, 8 km (5 mi) west of Kampong Saom. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAB-006; Admiralty F3015; NGA 20536.
* Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville) South Mole (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); continuous green light. Light mounted atop a 1-story pier house. A 2013 photo is available, Samorn Tuon has a photo sphere, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the mole used by cruise ships docking at Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville). Accessible by walking the mole. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F3017; NGA 20544.

Tonlé Sap Lighthouse
Note: Tonlé Sap is a large fresh water seasonal lake. During the dry season it is relatively small and shallow, but during the monsoon (June through October) the Mekong River backs up into the lake, greatly increasing its size. Navigation on the lake is limited to small craft.
Chong Khneas
Date unknown. Active; focal plane and light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower carries instruments, probably including an automatic weather station; it appears that a light is shown from a mast. has a photo, a closeup photo is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located about 3.2 km (2 mi) south of Chong Khneas, a boat launching area at the end of highway 63, about 18 km (11 mi) south of Siem Reap. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
Koh Tas Light
Koh Koang Kang (Koh Tas) Light, Sihanoukville
photo copyright Wim ON6TZ/XU7TZG courtesy of
Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Southern Vietnam | West: Central Thailand

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Posted August 11, 2007. Checked and revised December 21, 2016. Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.