Takeo is a relatively small provincial town that is easily explored by foot in less than 60 minutes. But it is well worth an overnight stay if planning to visit nearby sites like Angkor Borei and Phnom Da.
A full day's tour of these sites is easily achieved by travelling from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The road leading from Phnom Penh is in good condition and newly sealed to make the journey quite comfortable.
To the north of Takeo is an ancient Funan era canal and lily covered lake that stretches for a considerable distance. Takeo was in the past a bustling port town that moved a high volume of goods transported from Vietnam via the local canal system. However, with the improvement in roads a lot of this trade declined. Today, this town still has plenty of colonial styled villas and local government department buildings.
For the traveller on the Cambodia Package Holiday staying overnight in town, the waterfront promenade is a perfect place to relax in the early morning or late afternoon to watch the sunrise or sunset.
The welcoming climate in Cambodia makes it a perfect country to visit year-round. On average, the temperature is in the region of 28 to 36°C during the hot season (March to May), the temperature for the rainy season is 24 to 32°C (May to October) with very high humidity, while the more favourable weather is during the cool season (November to March) when the temperature is in the region of 22°C to 28°C. December and January are a great time to organize the Cambodia travel packages for those that appreciate the cooler months for exploring.
Takeo is located in the South of Cambodia and approx 3563 km² in size. It is bordered to the south with Vietnam, to the west with Kampot and Kampong Speu, and to the east and north and Kandal. This is a low lying area that consists of agricultural plantations such as rice fields, and able to attract plenty of water throughout the countryside in the wet season. Plus, this province also has the Tonle Bassac which is one of the largest rivers in Cambodia.
How to get there
There is a regular bus service departing from Phnom Penh that takes in the region of 2 to 3 hours to complete (this depends on the number of toilet stops). The cost of this journey is about 6,000 riel. The best place to exit the bus in Takeo is at the Independence Monument, which is a relatively short distance from the guesthouses and hotels. The actual bus station is further along and will require a short moto ride or a long walk to reach town. The bus route runs along national highway No2 which is nearly 77 km in length and in good condition.
Where to stay
Takeo is a very small town, yet still offers acceptable options to get a relaxing night's sleep in a hotel or family-run guesthouse on the Cambodia Adventure Tours. However, because Takeo is relatively close to Phnom Penh there aren’t a lot of tourists that actually decide to spend the night in town. For the backpacker, there are several available options to be found at Phsar Nat.
Eat and drink
Takeo has a few decent restaurants in town. Tourists can try the cookeries near the market and Independence Monument that serves a variety of basic Khmer dishes. Plus there are several restaurants leading into town on National Highway No 2.
Other choices include the Stung Takeo which is a lakeside place further out of town. This restaurant offers a choice of Khmer dishes as well as generic Asian meals, and even provides an English language menu.
Similar to most other cities in Cambodia, there is a decent sized market in Takeo, as well as several small marts. The market in Takeo Centre offers an extensive list of consumer products like meats, vegetables, fruits and fish. Most of the shops offering food and drink are relatively close to the market area.
Things to see and do
Angkor Borei Museum
The town of Angkor Borie is quite small but has a variety of archaeological dig sites and ruins which has helped to establish a little museum.
A visit to the Angkor Borei Museum can be quite interesting, especially when it is possible to view the ancient sculptures and stone inscriptions. Some of the artefacts date back to the 4th/5th century (Funan) and 8th century (Water Chenla), as well as several other pieces from late Angkorian times. Also, this museum gives the information on the latest archaeological digs that are taking place.
Because the region is relatively quiet at times and there is little to no foot traffic at the Museum it may shut; therefore it is necessary to talk to the locals who can direct you to the staff who will open the place up.
This Museum was set up with the assistance of EU funding to help display the many archaeological finds that are rich in various regions throughout Cambodia.
Phnom Da is a hilltop sanctuary and gives visitors a chance to explore a pre-Angkor temple. It is best visited on a scenic tour by boat from nearby Takeo town - although it is also an easy drive from Phnom Penh. This gives a perfect opportunity to see the local rural Cambodian countryside.
The pre-Angkor temple is in a quite ruined state but a trek to the top of the hill (nearly 1000 steps) makes it possible to view the local surroundings, including the rice fields and floodplain to Vietnam.
The path that leads to the top of the mountain can vary in relation to difficulty and fitness level with a choice of climbing the 1000 steps, hiking up a steep path, or tramping through the forest.
The ability to travel to Phnom Da on the Indochina tour packages can vary with the time of season. In the rainy season, this hilltop sanctuary is only accessible by boat, while in the dry season there is also the option to arrive by road.