Angkor was once the capital of the Khmer kingdom, but nothing lasts forever.
In the 14th century there was a wealthy grandma known as Lady Penh living on the outskirts of a village located in present day Phnom Penh. During the flood of the Mekong river, a koki tree floated up to her garden. She planned to use it for firewood but then noticed it was hollow and found inside four bronze statues of the Buddha. Lady Penh saw this as a sign that the Buddha wanted a new home.
With the help of all the villagers, Lady Penh raised a small hill and had the koki tree sawn so it could be used as the pillars of a shrine to protect the sacred statues. This temple (wat) grew famous and soon became a pilgrimage place.
The village itself became larger and got to be known as Phnom Daun Penh, which literally means “Hill of Lady Penh”. The word “Daun” was dropped over the course of time … that’s how Phnom Penh was born!
When Siam invaded Angkor a hundred years later, the capital city of Cambodia was moved to Phnom Penh.