Takeo province, bordering Vietnam to the south, is blessed with natural beauty and many historical sites. Takeo is often recognized as “the cradle of the Cambodian civilization,” and contains several significant pre-Angkorian sites.
While heading towards Takeo, make a trip to Phnom Chisor to visit a well-preserved 11th century temple from the Angkor era. The temple is built on the crest of the hill and surrounded by panoramic views of the countryside. The climb up– 503 steps– to the top may be vigorous, but the stunning view of the countryside at the end makes it truly worthwhile. This ancient temple is now an active one where Buddhists make pilgrimages on religious occasions. There are monks’ quarters and a school. Fine carvings of Hindu deities can still be seen on the towers and at the libraries, and unique carvings decorate the door of the main temple.
In Takeo, the Tonle Bati—a favourite recreational spot for the locals during leisure—is a pleasant place to stop by for a standard Khmer meal. The nearby Tonle Bati Temple is a ‘largely intact’ Angkorian-style temple with a picturesque garden. The Yeay Pov Temple, named after King Ta Prohm’s mother, is another another historical temple situated near the popular Tonle Bati Lake.
For families, a visit to the Phnom Ta Mao wild life rescue centre is an enriching trip. The centre was set up to preserve rescued rare and endangered local wildlife. Eighty hectares of the area serves as a zoo for visitors.