Takeo Province to the south of Phnom Penh is overlooked as visitors to the Kingdom race off to the Temples of Angkor and the beaches of Sihanoukville. Travelers to Kep and Kampot also miss out on what this province rich in history has to offer. Aerial photos reveal the area around the Killing Fields was an ancient site. South of the Killing Fields located between Rt. 2 and Rt. 3 is one of the best kept ancient prasats in the country at Wat Kandal Stoung. South of this wat are a couple of sites that have been reduced to rubble. Not much remains as time and war have taken its toll. Not far is Takeo Province which extends to the Vietnam border. Temples from the 1st century through Angkor times dot the countryside in between. Takeo experience fierce fighting during the Khmer Rouge and has its share of genocidal sites. Near the Provincial Capital Takeo, Ta Mok, Pol Pots right hand man made his residence. Nearby is Prasat Chup Pol a 7th Century site. In addition to the rich history, Takeo is popular for its silk weaving. Near Phnom Tamao is a Wildlife and Bird sanctuary and an ancient Prasat on the Hill.
PRASAT ANGKOR AT WAT KANDAL STOUNG
SOUTH OF WAT KANDAL STOUNG OFF RT 2 A NEW WAT UNDER CONSTRUCTION ON AN OLD FOUNDATION AND ALL THAT REMAINS IS THE LINTEL
REMNANTS OF FIERCE FIGHTING AT A WAT ALONG THE TAKEO PROVINCE BORDER
A MONK AT WAT KANDAL STOUNG MORE THAN HAPPY TO GET ON THE BIKE AND SHOW OFF HIS NEIGHBORHOOD
Located only 30K south of Phnom Penh off of Rt. 2 is Tonle Bati. It is home to 12-13th Century Ta Phrom Temple, dedicated to Buddhism, built during Jayavarman VII. Only 100 meters away over looking Bati Lake is remnants of Prat Yiey Pauv. It is very well preserved and covered with beautiful bas-reliefs. It is an easy journey from Phnom Penh either by car, tuk tuk or moto.
TA PHROM TEMPLE INNER SANCTUARY
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEASONS
TA PHROM TEMPLE
Relief work on the inner sanctuary walls. Note the simulated window with a simulated bamboo shade.
OUTER WALLS OF TA PHROM
PREAY NOREAY LEFT AND BEAUTIFUL COLORS ON A RAINY DAY
ONE OF THE LOCALS ON THE TEMPLE GROUNDS
TWO OF ORIGINALY THREE TOWERS BUILT IN THE 10TH CENTURY UNDER JAYAVARMAN IV
NEANG KAMAL IS ABOUT 45 KILOMETERS SOUTH OF PHNOM PENH NEAR PHNOM CHISSOR
Phnom Chissor (Chi So) is about 45 K south of Phnom Penh off of Rt. 2 To access the Prasat at the top of the hill one must climb 390 steps. Prasat Chi So was built at the beginning of the 11th Century and was built by King Suryarvarman I and dedicated to Brahmanism.
Relief work above an entrance and inside the temple grounds. An amazing combination of small brick and large stone construction.
OPPOSING VIEWS. PRASAT CHI SO ON THE HILL AND 11TH CENTURY SENPOUVEANG GOPURA SITE BELOW
PHNOM CHISSOR TEMPLE AND 1000 YEAR OLD WOODEN DOORS
COOLING OFF IN THE SHADE
COWS CROSSING A RIVER ON THE PLAINS NEAR PHNOM CHISSOR BRAHMANISM LIVES ON
Angkor Borei is somewhat of a difficult area to access. It can be reached on a provincial road south of Phnom Chissor, or by boat along a long canal from Takeo in the wet season. Angkor Borei is a Funan Period Site (1st- 6th Century AD) of the ancient port of Au Keo. In town is a museum with artifacts of the period. Located south of town on adjacent hills are Prasat Phnom Da and Asram Moharosei.
A VIETNAMESE WOMAN PEDDLES THROUGH TOWN
THE DIFFERENCE IN SEASONS AT THE ONCE ANCIENT PORT OF AU KEO
Asram Moharosei made of basalt and Prasat Phnom Da built around the 6th century.
Inside the museum. Aerial photographs of the town reveal large walls that once surrounded the city.
Located on the south end of the province near the Vietnam border, Phnom Bayuang is home to 7th Century Prasat Bayuang. There are 5 prasat sites in the surrounding area. One on a nieghboring hill and valley and two on a lower hill closer to the access road of Rt. 2 On the south side of the mountain is a waterfall
A VIEW FROM ONE OF THE SURROUNDING PRASATS TO PHNOM BAYUANG PRASAT ON THE TOP OF THE PEAK
ANCIENT STAIRS ARE THE LAST ASCENT TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN AND MAIN TEMPLE SITE
THESE CARE TAKERS WERE HAPPY TO HAVE VISITORS
PRASAT BAYUANG AT THE TOP OF THE SUMMIT
A CRUDER RENDITION OF WHAT ONE WILL FIND AT SAMBOR PRE KUK NEAR KAMPONG THOM AND A PRASAT IN A VALLEY BETWEEN TWO SUMMITS
A PRASAT AT LOWER LEVELS OVER LOOKING THE FLOOD PLAIN OF TAKEO PROVINCE
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All text and photographs © 1999 - 2012 James M. Heston -Cafe California 2 Hotel - Guesthouse Phnom Penh Cambodia. Commercial or editorial usage without written permission of the copyright holder is prohibited.