Takeo- Cambodia travel guide: Phnom Da resort, Phnom da Yang, Neang Khmao temple, Chiso Moutain, Tonle Bati temple, Phnom Ta Mao Zoo..
PHNOM DA RESORT
Phnom Da is the oldest historical site in Cambodia. It is the former ancient capital of Nor Kor Kouk Thlork located at Kouk Thlork commune, Angkor Borey District, Takeo province in the distance of 102 Kilometers from Phnom Penh via Districts of Sam Roung, Prey Kak Bas and Ang Kor Borey in three-hour drive. Phnom Da has 24-kilometer distance from the provincial town of Takeo; in rainy Season, it can be reached by taking two-hour boat.
The temple of Phnom Da was built on a small mountain in 6th century by the King named Rut Trak Varman reigned lastly of Nor Kor Phnom time. Mr. Mi Bri No, the French historian explained that the temple made of laterite stone. It has no wall surrounded; it faces to the North; most peaks of the temple are damaged; the sculpture of stirring of sea of milk is broken into two parts; a fronton inscripted with figure of Vishnu sleeping on Treum.
At the mountain’s valley, there are five-man-made statues expressing the style of Phnom Da, and five caves which one of them was used as the cremation place during the period 1975-1979. At 500-Meter distance, Southwest of Phnom Da temple, there is another temple made of sandstone, the temple faces to the North, has one door and five windows, and adapts to the style of India, named “Asrom Moha Ey Sey”.
It is difficult to travel to Phnom Da because the area floods; the road is damaged caused by civil war during the past two decades. Anyway, Phnom Da has considerable local and international tourists who go there for visiting and researching the famous masterpiece of Cambodian ancestors during the ancient time of Koh Kok Thlork.
After 1979, the provicial authority of Takeo has constructed a canal called “canal No 15” linking from the provincial town of Takeo to Ang Kor Bo Rey District. This making easier to be accessible, but the road segment from Ang Kor Bo Rey to Phnom Da is still difficult for travelling.
PHNOM DA YANG RESORT
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 to go there 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 because if we do not facilitate access to the mountain, tourists can not visit there 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 to visit 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, them flow it down like the above during the dry season, we expect to gain more Profit because in the dry season is convenient for travelling.
NEANG KHMAO TEMPLE
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.
Chiso- Takeo Cambodia
Located at Sla Village, Ro Vieng Commune, Sam Roung District in 62-Kilometre distance from Phnom Penh. The mountain can be accessible by the National Road No 2 via Ba Ti District and Neang Khmao temple in one-hour drive from Phnom Penh, then turning more five Kilometres from the National Road No 2 by a trail. If we drive from the provincial town of Takeo, it will take 15 minutes in 17-Kilometre distance. Chi So mountain has an ancient ruined temple; the temple is damaged, but is still better than other else in this area. On the top of the mountain, we can view the beautiful scenery of rice fields in Takeo province.
The temple of Phnom Chi So was built on the top of a 380-metre height mountain by the King, Sorayak Varman I dedicated to Brahmanism in early 11th century (1002-1050). The mountain can be climbed up by a popular western stair having 180 steps and down by a southern stair having 408 steps. Next to the top of southern stair, there is another ancient stair located in front of the temple. This ancient stair was built at the same time to the temple and linked to the temples of Sen Chhmos and Sen Ro Vang, and Tonle Oum, the lake considered as the sacred lake during the ancient time used for washing human sin in Brahmanism.
At a rock yard having 100-metre length and 80-metre width, there are many temples were built in different times. These temples are facing to the East and Northwest; most of these temples were damaged. South of the temples, there is a Buddhist temple, the new building; behind it, there are a hall of Thormak Sa Phea Kot for monks, a small worshipping place and an ancient-water tank made of concrete.
The temple of Phnom Chi So is surrounded by the first long building, each side has 60 Meters and the second long building, smaller than the first one, located at the middle where there are a main worshipping place and a wooden statue. In addition, we have seen the beautiful sculpture on fronton and Sar Sar Pich (column) of the temple.
Chi So mountain is the historical site of Takeo province, it has shown the ancient temple which is the cultural heritage, the civilization and the treasure of Cambodia as well as the beautiful natural scenery and other social achievement such as the pagoda of phnom Chi So. Phnom Chi So has considerable tourists who visit there, especially during the National, traditional and international festivals.
TONLE BATI TEMPLE
Located at Thnol Tak Sin Village, Krang Thnung Cummune, Ba Ti District, Takeo province in 35.5-kilometre distance from Phnom Penh; then turning right more two Kilometres by a trail. Tonle Bati, is a big worshipping place having two ancient temples, namely:
Ta Prum Temple: Was built in 12th century and at the beginning of 13th century (1181-1201) during the reign of the king, Jarman VII, dedicated to Brahmanism and Buddhism. The temple made of sandstone and laterite stone, surrounded by walls, and has protruding sculpture which discribes about celestrial naymth in the story of Brahmanism. In the temple, there are five compartments containing two statues of 13th century, which located in front of the figure of krud and facing to the East.
Yiey Pov Temple: Located behind Tonle Ba Ti pagoda in 100-metre distance from Ta Prum temple and has square shape 7mx7m. Yiey Pov temple made of sandstone in 12th century and facing to the East.
In addition, Tonle Ba Ti resort has the old resting place located at the bank of Tonle Ba Ti River in 200-meter distance from the temple. Now this place used by Ba Ti Tourism Company as the staying place because the company is responsible for the resort. The resort has 9.3-square hectar area, 48 resting cottages with zinc roofs, and other 40 resting cottages with leaf roofs located behind the old resting place.
Along the riverbank now, the company has organized 48-resting cottages having zinc roofs and other 40-resting cottages having leaf roofs located behind the old resting place, the company has also organized nine lavatories and some private lavatories at local residences.
The Company has charged 1,000 Riel for a motorcycle, 2,000 Riel for a car and 5,000 Riel for a resting cottage for local tourists and US$ 2 for a resting cottage for foreign tourists. The resort can attract 500-600 local tourists per week and 100 foreign tourists per week in average, but during the festival, it can attract 8,000-9,000 tourists.
Tonle Ba Ti resort has generated employment and fairly living to the nearby villagers of Thnol Tak Sin village and Tonle Ba Ti village. The company has also determined price for food sold in the resort, the price exceeding the determination is not allowed.
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 kilometres by a trail, it takes 45-minutes 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 landarea called forest-protected area; in this area, the Department of Forestry has taken 1,200-hectar landarea for planning trees and 70-hectar landarea 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 biolt 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 amd red-solid brick. Now, most of the temple is damaged. The people want to go to this temple for worshipping 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. For taking care of 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 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 on 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.
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.
Among 22 provinces in Cambodia, Takeo is the oldest province rich in historics relating to the periods of Anachak Phnom and Chenla. Takeo province has 34 ancient temples left from our ancestors that are the heritages and the soul of Cambodian people. Takeo province has six ancient temples in good form and they are relating to the history such as:
Phnom Da Temple: Was built in the 6th century and is located at Angkor Borey District.
Ba Yang Temple: was built in the 7th century and is located on the top of Ba Yang mountain in Kiri Vong District.
Neang Khmao Temple: was built in the 10th century and is located at Sam Rong District.
Phnom Chiso Temple: was built in the 11th century and is located on the top of Chi So mountain in Sam Rong District.
Phnom Ta Mao temple: was built by the king Sorayck Varman I in 11th century and is located at Ba Ti District.
Ba Ti temple: was built at the end of 12th century and at the beginning of 13th century and is located at Ba Ti district.
These, tourists and researchers usually visit Takeo province, making the province take pride in attracting foreign tourists.
OTHER INTERESTING PLACES
Classification: Historical Sites and Buildings
Location: Thnal Teaksen Village, Krang Thnong Commune, Bati District
Accessibility: 45 km (1h:8mn) From Provincial Town
Ta Prohm temple
Classification Historical Sites and Buildings
Location Thnal Teaksen Village, Krang Thnong, Bati District
Accessibility 45 km (1h:8mn) From Provincial Town
Classification Nature Wildlife and Preserves
Location Takmet Village, Prey Sloek Commune, Treang District
Accessibility 12.5 km (19mn) From Provincial Town
Chu Pol temple
Classification Historical Sites and Buildings
Location Doun Peaeng Village, Baray Commune, D0un Kae District
Accessibility 3 km (4mn) From Provincial Town
Classification Nature Wildlife and Preserves
Location Pou Village, Preah Bat Choan Chum Commune, Kiri ong District
Accessibility 44 km (1h:6mn) From Provincial Town