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Step out of the Capital and Discover a Whole New Rural and Laid Back World at Takeo

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Phnom Penh is a budding and burgeoning capital city. She may have gone through some recent rough patches in the past, but that is all behind her and the city is growing and catching up with some of Southeast Asia’s metros. So, now that you’ve been in Cambodia’s big city, perhaps you’d like to experience something a little more Khmer in nature. That can only be done in the countryside. So, it’s off to Takeo for you.

The town lies south of the capital, but is a world away from the buzz and hustle of Phnom Penh. The quiet lakeside provincial capital is less-visited and shows little influence from the outside world, save for a few French style colonial structures here and there.

Your orientation of the countryside starts with Phnom Chisor temple. It was built in the 11th century, comprised of laterite and bricks with carved sandstone lintels. It was originally a Hindu sanctuary, and you can very well see the evidence for yourself. There are 412 steps to the top of the hill, perhaps a bit of work for some individuals, but the quality of the ruins and the amazing view of the countryside from the top make the effort well worth it.

The climb surely must have worked an appetite. Head to the provincial capital and enjoy a simple and tasty lunch as only the countryside can provide. While enjoying your meal, take a look out and observe the slow and relaxed pace of life. You’ll also notice the cute younglings lining up along the road and waving at you with their warm and friendly greeting, as only those from the Cambodian countryside can do. Head on over to the pier and take a boat from Takeo along a peaceful river to the archaeological museum of Angkor Borei and on to the temple ruins of Phnom Da.

Make a stop at Tonle Bati, a small lake where the locals like to spend their leisure time. During the weekdays, Tonle Bati sees very few visitors and the site is quiet and peaceful. On site is Tonle Bati Temple, an Angkorian-style structure that remains largely intact, with its lush green gardens enhancing the area’s soothing atmosphere even more.

Take a step out of the capital and enjoy a day out in the Takeo countryside. Before you do, why not get a firsthand account of the city with a full day experience at Phnom Penh? Experience the contrasts between the two places.

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