Phnom Sampeau is a hilltop pagoda sat on a striking elongated limestone outcrop 15km from Battambang and is steeped in legend. Phnom Sampeau is well-known to all Cambodians because of the legend of Rumsay Sok - local legend says that the outcrop is the broken hull of a ship, sunk by a crocodile whose love for Rumsay Sok was unrequited; when she and a prince, her fiancé, took to the sea, they were attacked by the crocodile and drowned. To punish the crocodile the local villages drained the sea until the crocodile died, its body being represented by the nearby Crocodile Mountain. As well as the hilltop pagoda the mountain is dissected by a number of caves some more accessible than others. The main stairway up the mountain consists of an energy sapping 700+ steps! However, there is a track which winds its way more gently up the mountain side. The pagoda itself is unexceptional, however Phnom Sampeau is an important site in terms of Cambodia’s recent history. During the Khmer Rouge era, some of the pagoda buildings were used as a prison and interrogation centre – victims were then pushed through a hole in the roof of a cave to fall to their deaths. A narrow rocky path behind the pagoda leads to the bottom of this cave where the remains have been placed in a shrine. Phnom Sampeau was of strategic significance as recently as the factional Government – Khmer Rouge fighting of 1995, and there are still two large field guns on the mountainside pointing off to what were Khmer Rouge positions.