Takeo in Cambodia is usually known as the cradle of Cambodian civilization. It preserves the significant pre-Angkorian ruins constructed between the 5th century and the 8th century. If you appreciate the pre-Angkorian history and remnants in a spectacular land, it’s a very good idea to travel to Takeo.
Takeo in Cambodia
Takeo (means “Crytal Grandfather”) is a province in the southwest of Cambodia. The province shares its borders with Kampot to the west, Kandal to the north and the east, and Kampong Speu to the northwest. Also, it has the international border with Vietnam to the south. At present, its provincial town is Doun Kaev (formerly named Takeo) which is small, primitive, and beautiful. With the close distance from Phnom Penh, the little town of Takeo is frequently visited by both locals and guests. When getting to this land, you can expect to see water almost everywhere, especially during the rainy season. Another highlight of Takeo refers to the pre-Angkorian history protected in the local museum and withstanding the ravages of time. The museum is where to preserve lots of artifacts and history of the pre-Angkorian time for the curious travelers to learn. What’s more, the overnight stay at Takeo town lets you experience the real local life and culture.
What to See in Takeo
Situated in Sia Village, around 27km to the north of Takeo provincial town and 62km south of Phnom Penh, the attraction of Phnom Chiso is a historical temple on the 130m high mountain. The temple was erected in the early 11th century, and its builder was King Suryavarman I who followed Brahmanism. Remarkably, the construction was made of sandstone and other kinds of stones. On top of the mountain, this religious, historical venue offers the authentic resources for you to learn about an old construction of Brahmanism and fantastic view. At first sight, you will be interested in the marvelous sculptures on the lintel and pillars. Sightseeing a masterpiece of history in Phnom Chiso!
Neang Khmao Temple
Located in Rovieng Commune, around 52m south of Phnom Penh, the Wat Neang Khmao is a highlight built in the 10th century by King Jayavarman IV who practiced Brahmanism. In an original design, this religious complex included three temples, but only two remain, and are heavily damaged for various reasons over time. Nonetheless, this Wat is still a popular tourist attraction in Takeo due to its irreplaceable historical and legendary values. According to the local folktale, Neang Khmao was a temple of the Black Virgin as it used to be the haven to Kali – the Dark Goddess of Destruction. The 10th-century Wat was made of sandstone and brick which was similar to the style of Thmor Koh Keo.
Chup Pol Temple
Chup Pol Temple (or Chu Pol Temple) is a fascinating place of interest in Doun Peaeng Village, around 3km from Takeo town. Here, you find a structure which authentically reflects the historical and cultural traits of the province. It is a revered, touristy spot that the explorers should not miss in the pristine Takeo. The temple is set in a wild setting, with the historical architecture and sacred religious belief. Most visitors are keen on touching the antique building, take pictures of the exceptional sculptures inside the temple, and witness how the local people do homage in this consecrated venue.
Naturally nestled in Pou Village, around 44km from the lovely Takeo town, the wildlife conservation area of Chruos Phaork is a valuable magnet attracting the nature lovers to Takeo. Nature and wildlife in this area offer the serene and spectacular landscape throughout the year. From the massive scenery of the wild forest to the adorable foliage, every corner of this attraction is photogenic and ideal enough for excellent photography. While the flowers are colorful and diverse, the songs of the jungle make a delightful adventure. There are lots of things to expect in Chruos Phaork such as rare insects, bird species, exceptional plants, etc. Be friendly to nature here and cherish the balanced bio-diversity!
Include Angkor Borie to a list of places to see in Takeo will never be wrong! The interesting town owns some archaeological ruins and artifacts from the Funan era (4-5th century) and Water Chenla era (8th century) plus the later Angkorian era. Visiting the town brings you the antique horizon in which lots of old buildings are left by history. You might find it inspiring to discover each archaeological site, and come directly to the little museum in the town. Much to explore and expect to gain out of Angkor Borie!
Wat Phnom Khliang
Another fascinating wat to visit in Takeo is Wat Phnom Khliang, a Buddhist pagoda erected in 1753. The site is located in Prey Slek commune, around 12km south of the provincial town. Besides being a religious venue for the Buddhists to gather, this landmark is a natural and cultural attraction. Here, you see lots of local people taking oaths and praying to learn about some aspects of their religious and cultural life. Historically speaking, this place used to serve as a hospital during the Khmer Rouge regime. With the relaxing atmosphere, this pagoda grows to be a favorite shelter for people to calm down, and rest. You can also notice the 30m high mountain in the area. The top of the mountain has a magical granite stone from which water flows all season. Just look for something enchanting in this revered site!
How to Get to Takeo in Cambodia
Traveling by road is the most popular way to reach Takeo with the options of THE bus, share taxi, and motorcycle. Saying that you travel to Takeo from Phnom Penh, it’s very easy to find a good bus which runs this route. As usual, the bus leaves from Central Market in Phnom Penh to run for a distance of 77km in 2 hours to reach the destination. You should look for the air-con buses, and comfortably enjoy a scenic route with some nice sides of attraction on the way.
The share taxi might be more suitable for those who want to save time. Simply take a reliable taxi to get there at an agreeable price. And if you’re confident in your motorbike driving skill, then experience the 2-hour drive from Phnom Penh to Takeo, for instance. The skilled drivers usually prefer this flexible demeanor.
When to Visit Takeo
The “cradle of Cambodian civilization” shares the typical tropical climate of the country which is warm and humid most of the time.
- June – October: This is a rainy period, characterizing an average temperature of 24-32 Celsius degrees and lots of rain. As the rain might ruin your outdoor exploration unexpectedly, the rainy months might discourage some guests. Know that the two last months of the rainy time often drive countryside roads to be impassable!
- November – February: This is a cool period, featuring an average temperature of 22-28 Celsius degree. The lowest one can drop as low as 16 Celsius degrees at night while December and January are the coolest months. Ensure you have a warm blanket at night in Takeo!
- March – May: This is a hot period, and also the ideal time to visit Takeo. The temperature of 28-30 Celsius degree might take some sweat, but compatible for the outdoor activities and discovery of the local highlights.