Tonle Bati is a popular lake and picnic area that has bamboo shacks built out over the water that people can rent out for eating and whiling away the day. It’s generally a weekend get-away spot, which means it’s nice and quiet during the week. Locals swim there, but the water does not look real inviting. There are all kinds of food and drink stands that sell everything you need for a picnic along the lake. Note that there are tours that follow you when you arrive on weekends and try to get you to go to their own place. It’s best to pass right by them and find a spot on your own. Check prices beforehand on everything – they are famous for handing you an outrageously high bill when you depart.
Phnom Da is from the Angkor era, as its style attests. It’s just a short hike from the canal and then up to the top, where there is a good view of the surrounding countryside and part of the canal network that you were just on. The temple itself is basically intact, though it is another victim of looting. The boat ride takes a little under an hour one-way and the ride from Phnom Penh a bit over an hour, so the trip is easily doable from Phnom Penh year round, as a day trip if you don’t want to spend the night in Takeo. If you ride a motorcycle down from Phnom Penh, just lock it up at the small drink stand next to the canal and fast boats in Takeo town. Buy a drink and maybe even give the drink stand lady a small tip (I gave her US$ 1) and the bike will probably be there when you return. If you take the air-con Hoh Wah Genting bus from Phnom Penh, just get off at the Independence Monument and walk or take a moto-taxi to the canal. The following sights are on the way from Phnom Penh and are easy day trips, even if you want to combine a couple of them. Distances for directions listed throughout this section are from the traffic circle near the Monivong Bridge at the south end of Phnom Penh. There are also highway mileage marker monuments along Highway 2. Complete directions are listed with each, and there is also some additional info at the end of this chapter in Coming and Going.
Phnom Chissor (Chissor Mountain)
Continuing south along Highway 2 and towards Takeo, lyou come upon hthe hilltop temple of Phnom Chilssor. You will see it from a long way off and you seem to be circling around it as you draw near the turnoff. Turn left just beyond the 52 km marker (about 47 km on your odometer from Monivong Circle), where you see a picture sing of the hilltop temple. Follow this dirt road 4.5 km to the foot of Phnom Chissor. It’s a long hike up the stairway to the top, but there are drink stands at the base and also the top. The spectacular views at the top of this huge hill make the hike up worthwhile, with the Damrei Mountains of Kampong Spue Province visible in the west, lakes dotting the entire area and rivers slicing through the glistening rice fields of the countryside. The highest point ofthebig hill has a small Buddhist temple and shrine set up with an old monk giving blessings to Cambodians that make the pilgrimage to the top. Loads of Cambodians do so on weekends just to get blessed at thisspot. He has holy water that he splashes on the faithful and they believe this spot and this guy are full of good luck, thekind that splashes in their faces. The main temple area is the 11th century Angkor era ruins on the other side of the hilltop area. It’s an interesting structure that still has a few artwork carvings and inscriptions intact, although this temple has also suffered at the hands of looters. The east side of the temple complex also offeres more magnificent views of the area.
Ta Prohm Temple
King Jayavarman VII built this Angkor era temple. The ruins have a number of interesting features about them, including a couple of bas-relief scenes of some of the more unseemly sides of ancient life. The temple has suffered much from looting and the war through the years, but is worth a visit. Just beyond Ta Prohm is a modern-day temple with some more ruins standing in front of it. It’s an attractive combination on the shore of the lake. The turnoff for Tonle Bati and Ta Prohm is just beyond the 33 km highway marker (or 28 km on your odmeter from the Monivong traffic circle). Turn right at the picture billboard of a lake area. Follow this road 1.5 km and go right at the fork. There is a sign that says “Tonle Bati Tourism Area” There is a US$ 2 fee for entering the area, but it’s free for Cambodians.
Chruos Phaork How to go: 44 km (1h:6mn) From Provincial Town. Location: Description: Nature Wildlife and Preserves, Location: Pou Village, Preah Bat Choan Chum Commune, Kiri ong District.
Chup Pol Temple
Chup Pol Temple How to go: 3 km (4mn) From Provincial Town. Location: Description: Historical Sites and Buildings, Location: Doun Peaeng Village, Baray Commun.
Museum How to go: Location: Description: In Takeo province, there is a museum located at Ang Kor Bo Rey District. The museum is just built under auspice of EU organization for keeping and displaying status and ancient objects of Phnom Da in 16th century for tourists and researchers.
Neang Khmao Temple
Neang Khmao Temple How to go: Location: Description: Located at Ro Vieng Commune, Sam Roung District in 52-Kilometre distance from Phnom Penh and 26 Kilometres from the provincial town of Takeo. This temple made of sandstone and brick abiding by the style of Thmor Koh Keo. It is located in the yard of Neang Khmao pagoda and was built by the king, Jarman IV during 10th century. Most parts of Neang Khmao temple have also been damaged.
Phnom Ba Yang Resort
Phnom Ba Yang Resort How to go: Location: Description: Located at Por Thi Rong village, Preah Bat Choan Chum commune, Kiri Vong District, Takeo province in 121-kilometers distance from Phnom Penh. The resort can be accessible by the National Road No. 2 in three-hour and 15-minute drive via the Districts of Ba Ti, Sam Rong, Daun Keo and Trang. If we drive from the provincial town of Takeo, we will take one Hour and 15 Minutes in 43-Kilometer distance. The temple of Ba Yang was built on the top of 313-metre mountain of Ba Yang in the 7th century 615-635 by the kings Mo Hen Trak Varman and Ey San Varman, the temple made of laterite stone, brick and other kind of stone. Nowadays, the temple is severely ruined, pieces of the temple spread on the ground, the top broken and the laterite fence also completely damaged. Ba Yang is the historical site, which attracts local and international tourists to visit and research about the tourist potential and the heritage masterpiece of Cambodian ancestors. But now, the road is difficult because the ancient roads are damaged and abandoned in the thick forest. Water system to Ba Yang Mountain is a main factor for developing tourism in the area. Tourists cannot visit there is we do not guide them, excepted researchers who still try to research about the Cambodian history. In kiri Vong District, there is a waterfall canal, which has 1000-meter length and six-meter width during the dry season. The waterfall canal has beautiful scenery during rainy season and gives an insight to tourists because the water falls down from the mountain’s top to the rock sounding as music concerting. In the future, if we can keep the water flowing as in rainy season, we expect to gain more Profit. It is convenient for traveling in the dry season.
Phnom Kleng How to go: 12.5 km (19mn) From Provincial Town. Location: Description: Nature Wildlife and Preserves, Location: Takmet Village, Prey Sloek Commune, Treang District.
Phnom Ta Mao (Zoo)
Located at 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. The temple made of Thmor silt mad red-solid brick. Now, most of the temples are damaged. The people want to go to this temple to worship than Ta Mao temple. In addition, Phnom Ta Mao has a big zoo in Cambodia; the zoo is under the supervision of the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and has 84 varieties of animals and birds; two kinds of them are brought from abroad. – There are 150-fourfooted animals consisting of 38 kinds. – There are 300 birds consisting of 38 kinds. – There are 30 reptiles consisting of eight kinds. All these animals are brought here by the Ministry of Agriculture and by seizing from offenders who illegally traffic in wild animals through out Cambodia. To take care these animals, we need to expend US$ 120 per day for food, and 22 staff and workers are working there. The average number of tourists visiting Phnom Ta Mao is 500-600 visitors per week; but during the festivals, there are 7,000-8,000 visitors per week. The local people of four communes around the Phnom Ta Mao are earning money from selling food to tourists. We can extend package-tour program to the above two resorts because these resorts are the popular sites for local and international tourists, and their location is near Phnom Penh. As the sites can attract many tourists, we expect to lure investors to invest in tourist facilitation and constructing the trail from the national Road No 2 to the resorts. The Department of Forestry has a project on constructing an inside trail linking from Tonle Ba Ti to Phnom Ta Mao in Six-Kilometre distance.
Yeay Pov Temple
Yeay Pov Temple How to go: 45 km (1h:8mn) From Provincial Town. Location: Description: Historical Sites and Buildings, Location: Thnal Teaksen Village, Krang Thnong Commune, Bati District.