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Takeo

Takeo

Takeo Province is full of other interesting sights as well and because of the short distance and good road from Phnom Penh, all are great day trips. Some sights can be combined in a day trip. If you have a bit more time, spend an evening in Takeo town and take in all the sights. There is a pleasant little place to stay overlooking the river and lake area.
Takeo Overview
Takeo (literally means "crystal grandfather") is often referred to as “the cradle of Cambodian civilization” due to the former kingdom of Funan's successor, Water Chenla, being centered in the region. Takeo is located in the southwest part of Cambodia, 78 km from Phnom Penh City. The province borders the provinces of Kampot to the west, Kampong Speu to the northwest and Kandal to the northeast and Vietnam to the south. The provincial capital, recently known as the Daun Kaev Town (formerly called Takeo).
Takeo History
Takeo province is often referred to as the cradle of Cambodian civilisation Takeo province has several important pre-Angkorian sites built between the 5th and the 8th century. The provincial capital, Takeo town is an easygoing place that possesses a fair amount of natural and manmade beauty. The natural beauty is in the Scenic River and lake area that faces a pleasant town parkway. The low-lying area seems to include much of the surrounding province area, which is probably why a kingdom that once had its heart here was referred to as Water Chenla. There seems to be water everywhere in the surrounding countryside during the rainy season.
 
The man-made beauty mostly comes from a series of canals and waterways that were cut through the surrounding countryside, many a very long time ago, connecting towns, villages, rivers and Vietnam. Nearby Angkor Borei town (connected by water to Takeo town) may have been the heart of the Funan Empire, which is called the Cradle of Khmer Civilization by Cambodians. Much older than Angkor, the Funan empire had its heyday between the 1st and 6th centuries and stretched across a vast area, from South Vietnam through Thailand, down through Malaysia and into Indonesia. Bold, silver and silks were traded in abundance in the kingdom, or, as some say, the series of fiefdoms.
 
Although Cambodians claim Funan was created by Khmers, neighbouring Vietnam argues that they were the people of origin. Archaeologists from the University of Hawaii of the USA have made research trips to Angkor Borei in an attempt to piece together the history and story, and story, as well as relics, of the Funan period. In an odd recent twist, Reuters News Service reported in early November 1999 that locals saw the research team digging up ancient relics and figured the stuff must be valuable, so they started digging and looting objects from the area. Fortunately, the Cambodian government seems to be moving in on the problem quickly to try to save what they can of this important piece of Khmer heritage.
 
That was not the first time the locals have created problems in the piecing together of ancient history. Much of what did remain in the form of ancient ruins in Angkor Borei was destroyed not too long ago in the modern past. The officials that runs the museum that's dedicated to the history of the Funan empire told me that much of what was still standing from this period (from parts of ancient walls to partial structures) was thought to be useless by locals and was bulldozed and razed to make way for more useful modern day structures! Talk about having a bad track record. Fortunately artifacts and history have been put together in the museum.
Takeo climate and best time to visit
The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
 
Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April. General information about the provincial climate:- Cool season: November- March (22-28c)
- Hot season: March- May (28c -36c)
- Rainy season: May - October (24-32c, with humidity up to 90%.)
Takeo Transportation
Buses
Phnom Penh and Takeo province are linked by the National Highway No 2, which remains in reasonable condition with a few potholes to slow the velocity down. Now very easy, you can book Bus Ticket or Private Taxi before your arrival through online.
 
Share Taxis/Moto
The price from PP by share taxi is around 6000riel, by minibus around 3000riel. Travellers continuing by road to Kampot should take a moto (5000riel) for the 13km journey Angk Tasaom and then arrange a seat in a minibus or share taxi (5000riel) on to Kampot. For 1000 riel you can get anywhere in town. The daily rate is US$ 5 plus fuel for distant sights. 
 
Motorbike Info
Phnom Penh and Takeo province are linked by the National Highway No 2, which remains in reasonable condition with a few potholes to slow the velocity down. This is a maximum 2 hours ride for merit skilled motorbikers. If your motorcycle has a mechanic problem, head back to Phnom Penh, as it's only an hour away. Call your rental outfit in Phnom Penh (always carry theft rental agreement) and they will come down to perform motorcycle surgery or haul the bike back to Phnom Penh.
Things to do and see in Takeo
Phnom Da - Takeo
Phnom Da is located in Prek Ta Phor village, Kork Thalork commune, Angkor Borei district, about 24 kilometers east of Takeo provincial town by water canal or about 102 kilometers south of Phnom Penh by the road. This part of the country is flooded six months of the year, during the rainy
season, and dry the rest of the year.Phnom Da is a cultural, historical site that has been renovated to provide visitors a place to relax or research Cambodian history. The scenery is beautiful all year. In the rainy season, there is a vast water basin that produces lush, green rice paddies during the dry season.
 
Phnom Da temple was built on the top of a small hill in 6th century by King Rutravarman, who reigned during the Norkor Phnom period, according to the French historian Mibreno. The temple is 12 meters square and 18 meters high. It was constructed of laterite, brick and sandstone. A Brahman temple, it faces north towards Norkor Kork Thalork, which was the capital of Nokor Phnom at the time the temple was built. There is no rampart.
 
The temple's peak is damaged, and a sculpture depicting the story of Churning of the Ocean of Milk(Cambodian calls Ko Samutra Teuk Dos) has been broken into two parts. A lintel illustrates the figure of sleeping Vishnu. There are false doors on three sides and a real door that opens on the north side.
 
In the flank of the hill are five man-made caves that reflect the style of Phnom Da, which is similar to India style. In each cave, there is a Shiva lingam and Uma yoni, objects that Brahmans worship. During the Pol Pot regime, between 1975 and 1979, the caves were used as cremation places by the Khmer Rouge.

Phnom Ba Yong
Phnom Bayang is located in Por Rorng village, Preah Bat Choan Chum commune, Kirivong district, about 43 kilometers south of Takeo provincial town or about 121 kilometers south of Phnom Penh. From Phnom Penh, take National Road 2 via Bati, Sam Rong, Daun Keo and Trang districts.
 
Bayang temple was built between AD 615 and 635 by King Pavavarman II on the top of Phnom Bayong, a 313-meterhigh mountain. Its diameter is 13 meters by 9 meters and it is 12 meters high. Constructed of laterite, brick and other stones, it is heavily damaged. Pieces of the temple litter the
ground; the roof has collapsed, and the laterite rampart has been damaged.Bayang temple is a historical site that attracts both foreigners and Cambodians doing research about their ancestors. The road to the mountain, however, is old and difficult to access in the thick forest. The temple is reachable by climbing 390 steps. In addition to Bayang, there are four other temples on the mountain-Preah Kor temple, North Kanang temple, East Kanang temple and Kampoul Kanang temple. All are for Brahman worship and contain a Silva lingam.

Phnom Ta Mao (Zoo)
Phnom Ta Mao (Zoo) is located in Tro Pang Sap village, Tro Pang Sap commune, Ba Ti District, Takeo province. Phnom Tamao can be accessible by the National Road No 2 in 40-kilometre distance from Phnom Penh. Then turning right more five kilometers by a trail, it takes 45-minute drive from Phnom Penh. Phnom Ta Mao is a varied site consisting of temples, mountain, nature and a big zoo in Cambodia. Phnom Ta Mao has 2,500-hectar land area called forest-protected area; in this area, the Department of Forestry has taken 1,200-hectar land area for planning trees and 70-hectar land area for organizing zoo.
 
The 70-hectar landarea consisting of five mountains namely: Phnom Ta Mao, Phnom Thmor Dos, Phnom Phdan Poan, Phnom Chhoy and Phnom Bang. Among the five mountains, two mountains have ancient temples are: - Ta Mao Temple (is located at Phnom Ta Mao): was built in 11th century during the reign of the king, Soryak Varman I dedicated to Brahmanism, the temple made of Thmor silt and red-solid brick, located on the peak of 30-meter mountain of Ta Mao, near Ta Mao pagoda. Now, the temple is damaged and is almost unrecognizable. - Thmor Dos Temple (is located at Phnom Thmor Dos): The temple is located on a 35-meter mountain of Thmor Dos, Northwest of Ta Mao temple and was built in 11th century.

Phnom Chiso (Chiso Mountain)
Phnom Chiso is a historical site located in Sia village, Rovieng commune, Samrong district, about 62 kilometers south of Phnom Penh or 27 kilometers north of Takeo provincial town. To reach the site, take National Road 2 to Bati district and Neang Khmao temple. Turn right at the sign for the site and head down the dirt trial for 5 more kilometers. Phnom Chiso is 13O-meter-high mountain.
 
Phnom Chiso temple was built in the early 11th century by King Suryavarman I (AD 1002-1050), who practiced Brahmanism. Constructed of sandstone and other stones, it is 60 meters long and 50 meters wide and sits atop a mountain. The temple is surrounded by two galleries. The first gallery is 60 meters long on each side. The second, smaller gallery, is in the middle, where there is the main worship place with two doors and a wooden statue. There are beautiful sculptures on the lintel and the pillars.
 
Phnom Chiso Pagoda was built in 1917, destroyed by war during the 1970s and rebuilt in 1979. Behind it is a hall called Thammasaphea, kof and a worship place. There is an ancient water tank made of concrete. People usually climb the staircase on the west side of the mountain, which has 390 steps and descend by the south side staircase, which has 408 steps. Another set of stairs in front of the temple links the temple to Sen Chhmos temple, Sen Phouvang temple and Tonie Om, a lake considered sacred by Brahmans and used for washing away sins. A large rock yard nearby about 100 meters long and 80 meters was once the site of several other temples, but only parts of these temples remain standing.

Takeo Travel Tips
As it is quite common in Cambodia even small cities, such as Takeo have at least one bigger market (some small marts too). So you may also find a market in Takeo centre, which is a busy area with local shops dealing the local daily consumer products, like fish, fruits, vegetables, meats and packed products (also a lot from Vietnam). Most of the food and drink shops are surrounding the market.
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