Welcome to Koh Kong

Koh Kong

Koh Kong is the most southwestern province of Cambodia. It is one of the biggest provinces in the whole country with a long undeveloped coastline and a mountainous, forested and largely inaccessible interior, which embraces part of the Cardamom Mountains, the biggest coherent rainforest of Southeast Asia. Its tourist attractions include abundant wildlife; big waterfalls and casinos on the border to Thailand, while an Export Processing Zone and new port facilities are being developed for international trade.
The province is an increasingly popular gateway to Cambodia from Hat Lek in southern Thailand, in part of the reasonably direct access to the port and beach resort town of Sihanoukville. While this was previously a gruelling journey by boat and pickup on rough bumpy roads using small ferries at river crossings, the donation by the Thai government of new road infrastructure is improving access greatly.

The name means " Kòng Island Province". Its capital is Krong Koh Kong, which is located in the West of the province right next to the Thai border. The city is surrounded with a large forested area connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries. It's generally a quiet town, but there are many reasons to stay in Koh Kong for more than one night such as the nearby islands, rivers, tours into the nature and the buzzing nightlife. The people of Koh Kong speak mainly Khmer, and most speak some Thai as well. You can also find many Chinese and Vietnamese speakers as well as a lot of broken English.
Your stay here will be economical as lodging, food and transportation is relatively cheap here. Please make this place a stop on your travels through S.E. Asia and you won't be disappointed.


Koh Kong province is 11,160 square kilometres big. It’s located in the West of the country and is bordering to the North with Pursat, to the East and South with the Gulf of Thailand and to the West with Kampot and Sihanoukville. The province consists mainly of a huge coherent mountain range, the Cardamom Mountains. Covered with lush deep rainforest it’s the biggest successional forested region in whole Southeast Asia, which is almost not populated but by some small tribes. There are quite a lot of creeks and rivers running to the see, Stoeng Kaoh Pa and Stoeng Me Toek are the biggest ones.
You won’t find the typical Cambodian plain wet areas, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations, except from some river benches near the see. The highest point in the province is 1210m.


The current population in this province is about 207,474 people or 1,45% of the country’s total population (14,363,519 person in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 107,499 male and 99,975 female. The population density is therefore 18,6 people per square kilometre.


The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.

Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.

General information about the provincial climate:

- Cool season: November- March (17-27c)
- Hot season: March- May (29c -38c)
- Rainy season: May - October (27-35c, with humidity up to 90%.)


The economy of Koh Kong, in spite of recent progress of border development, although rapidly increasing, is low compared with most neighbouring countries. The main domestic activity on which most rural households depend is agriculture and its related sub-sectors. Manufacturing output is varied but is not very extensive and is mostly conducted on a small-scale and informal basis. The service sector is heavily concentrated in trading activities and catering-related services.

How to get there

Border Crossing:
Koh Kong (Cambodia) /Hat Lek (Thai):
Open from 7:00 -17:00.

By Bus and Taxi:
It is always travelled by backpackers; there are many comfortable means of getting to Bangkok and Phnom Penh via Koh Kong.

Bangkok to Phnom Penh:
1.) Take a bus to Trat.
2.) Take a Songthaw to Klong Yai, takes 2 hours
3.) Change to another Songthaw to Hat Lek, about 30 min. Then cross the border. You can get the Cambodian 1-month arrival visa on the border. $20 or 1000 Bath. The visa application form requires 1 passport photo.

4.) Take a moto to Koh Kong
5.) Express boat to Sihanoukville, departure 8:00am
To catch up with the Express Boat in a same day, you have to leave Trat very early in the morning. Or take the minibus.

6.) In Sihanoukville, take a moto from the port to the bus station. If you want to travel to PP in a same day, you have to hurry to go to the bus station. You have to ask for the moto fee before, otherwise you are asked to pay a higher fee.

7.) Take a bus to PP, around 4 hours.
It is possible to travel from Koh Kong to PP in a day.

Note: Moto and boat fees have to negotiate before you enter them for travelling.

From Phnom Penh to Bangkok
Bus: Capitol Bus departure 7:30 am

Bus + Boat:
1.) Take a bus from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. To catch up the boat in the same day, you have to take an early bus at 7:30.

2.) Take a moto from the bus station to the boat pier. Make sure you bargain for the moto fee.

3.) Take an express boat from Sihanoukville to Koh Kong. Departure: 12:00 noon. If you want to take the boat in a same day, it is not sure to get the seat as what you want but you can sit on the roof. Travel time around 3.5 hrs,

4.) From Koh Kong to the Border: take a moto driver.

5.) Cross the border. The border is closed at 17:00.

6.) Take a Songthaw to Klong Yai, travel time around 30 min.

7.) Change songthaw to Trat, around 2 hours.

8.) From Trat to Bangkok, there is also a night bus departure.

If the boat arrived later than 16:00, you have to take a risk not to be able to cross the border. In case the border is closed once you got there, you have 3 choices.

1) Stay at Eingdoy Hotel, 500m before the border, tel. 039-588109, room rate is around 10 – 15USD per night with TV, Pool Bar.

2) A small Guest House in the village nearby, 1.5 km from the border. Experience the local home stay; room rate is around 5 – 8 USD per night.

3) Go back to Koh Kong town by moto or boat for only 1USD per person.

Share Taxis:
You can also make the way from Phnom Penh to Koh Kong town in a share taxi. The departure is early in the morning around 7am opposite of the central bus station, where there are lots of minibuses and taxis waiting for customers. The ride will probably take around 8-10h depending on the season you’re travelling. The price is negotiable between $14-20.

Motorbike Info:
If you would like to experience a very nice, but kind of rough route through a remote area of Cambodia, than it’s that tour you’ll have to go for. You need to take the National Highway No 4 from Phnom Penh in direction of Sihanoukville. After heading on the Highway for around 180km you’ll pass a small town called Kampong Seila, from which it is a couple of kilometres more to come to a T-junction. Now turning right you’re entering the Minor Road No 48. It’s a narrow road badly paved with laterite, which makes an adventure out of your trip. You should be well experienced to manage this bumpy, creek-crossing road during the wet season without tasting the ground. As the road led through a breathtaking countryside you’ll reach Koh Kong after approx. 140km. Be sure that the early bird catches the worm so don’t go to late as you want to manage the whole trip within one day.

Where to eat

Koh Kong offers many small restaurants and places to eat. There is especially two we would recommend: Otto's Restaurant, rooms and meeting place & the Foreigner Food Restaurant (But don't order any beef meal here, only Otto's can be trusted). It seems the larger restaurants have just cookbook cutouts for their menus with no prices listed. You will be charged according to what you look like. Don’t wonder if some of the restaurant owners are sometimes quite impolite; just pass them over if possible. The best budget meals are the stalls in and around Psar Leu.

Baan Peakmai:
That’s a Thai-style garden restaurant, which is the most alluring one among the few remaining opportunities. They have a huge menu including more than 35 vegetarian choices and a range of fresh seafood.

Set on the breezy veranda of the guesthouse, this Western-style restaurant makes a convenient stop for a quick breakfast before taking a boat to Sihanoukville. The dinner includes Thai food, several hearty vegetarian choices and a selection of central European dishes, including for example one of the best bratwurst Cambodia has to offer.

Heng Heng Restaurant:
This is quite a popular Khmer restaurant for tasty Chinese and Cambodian breakfast of noodle soup and “Bobor” (rice porridge), but it lacks the atmosphere to warrant a good stop for a dinner.

Samras Angkor Restaurant:
If you are eager to go for Cambodian dishes, that’s the place to pop in. They serve lots of fine Cambodian dishes here. Coming from Thailand you might try the famous Lok Lak or Fish Amok. If you’re to easily to distract by some loud karaoke music, it’s not your place though.

Where to stay


There are only five hotels here and the rest are guesthouses. The guesthouses are simple and basic rooms, some have Asian style (squat) bathrooms inside the room and the average price is 5 – 8 USD for fan and 8 – 15 USD with air-con. Some guesthouses have no-bathroom rooms for 4 USD per room and night.

Note: The first time you get here, the motorcycle taxis will try to overcharge you. The real rate is 2000 Riel or 20 Baht per ride.
Bopha Koh Kong Hotel *
Koh Kong International Resort Club (L) * Safari World is now open!
Koh Pich Hotel *
Phou Mint Koh Kong Hotel *
Rasmey Makara Hotel *


Cheap Charlies Guesthouse
Juliana Guest House
Khounchhang Hotel
Koh Kong Hotel Koh Lap Chai Den Hotel
Nokor Reach Koh Kong Hotel
Otto's Restaurant Rooms & Meeting Place
Pai Lin Guest House
Penh Cheth Guest House
Ponl Eupreah Chan Penh Vong Guesthouse
Poy Sian Guesthouse
Sovann Angkor Guesthouse

Bopha Koh Kong Hotel: (tel: 011/741040)
This hotel is easily to find, because its just two blocks east of the Sihanoukville boat pier located. It has its own restaurant and rooms at different rates.
Single Room: ground floor, air-con, fridge, Sat TV, $8 usd
Single Room: 3rd floor, air-con, fridge, Sat TV, $10
Double Room: air-con, fridge, Sat TV, $13 usd
VIP Room: air-con, fridge, Sat TV, hot water & sitting area, $25 usd

Koh Pich Hotel: (tel: 035/936113)
You may like this hotel, because it is up to international standards. Hotel, restaurant, nightclub, Karaoke & meeting hall for 60.
VIP Room: air-con, cable TV, fridge, $15 usd
Twin Room: cable TV, air-con, $15 usd
Queen Room: cable TV, air-con, $10 usd
Fan Room: bathroom inside, $5

Phou Mint Koh Kong Hotel: (tel: 011/948255)
Located on the river between the Sihanoukville boat pier and the Koh Kong Bridge, this is a new hotel with a beautiful view of the river.
1st Floor: air-con, fridge & TV, $10 usd; fan fridge & TV $6 usd; fan & TV, only $5 usd
2nd Floor: air-con, TV hot water & tub, $15 usd; air-con & TV $12 usd

Rasmey Makara Hotel: (tel: 035/936058)
This is a European standard hotel located south east of the traffic circle. Downstairs rooms are $10 usd with air-con, TV and bath. A single room cost $8, the double room cost $10 and the VIP room is at $13. The rooms have air-con, fridge, TV and Western style bathroom. The whole complex is very modern with garden area and sitting area, massage and Karoke are available on the grounds. The restaurant is known for tasty seafood and live music from 6 pm to 12 midnight.

Cheap Charlies Guesthouse: (tel: 016/853450)
There is no place to have a cheaper accommodation in town, 50baht per pax. The rooms are really basic and seem to some people as small cells with shared bathroom. Anyway the friendly family will make you feel like home. This place is also a good source for traveller info. A small restaurant is included serving tasty Western and Asian dishes.

Otto’s: (tel: 093/6211)
Otto's restaurant, rooms & meeting place has rooms for: Single room 80 baht, Double room 100 baht & large double room for 120 baht. TV is available for an extra fee. Otto's has good food, is a place to relax and is a central meeting place for friends both old and young. The food and drinks come at fair prices. River and island tours by boat can be arranged. Note: Otto's is open, it seems a few unscrupulous m/c taxi drivers are saying Otto's is closed because he does not pay them a commissions.

Pai Lin Guest House: (tel: 015/836570)
Pai Lin Guesthouse is located south east of the traffic circle. The rates are 100 Baht for a fan room and 200 Baht for a room with air-con. Bathroom is inside the room.


Most of the products are imported from Thailand, except vegetables, fruits and some local foods. There are a couple of clothing shops across the street from the eastern side of the market selling clothes from Thailand as well. Some small shops along the road on the southern side of the market stay open until 10pm.

Where to see

Cham Yeam Resort

Cham Yeam Resort is located in Mondul Seima district, about 10 kilometers northwest of Koh Kong provincial town, near the Cambodian-Thai international border. Cham Yeam is a semi-natural site developed 1997 by Neak Oknha Li Yong Phat. He name it Koh Kong International Resort. Today it attracts many tourists, especially Thais.
Cham Yeam Resort is one of the most beautiful resorts in Cambodia because it have five-star hotels, guest houses, several casinos and international zoo, Koh Kong Safari World. Cham Yeam Beach features beautiful coconut trees.
The Cham Yeam border checkpoint is open from 8am until 5pm and from 10pm to 11pm to accommodate the import and export of goods.

Kbal Chhay E91 Waterfall

Nature and Wildlife Reserve near Nengkok Village, Bakclong Commune, Mundol Seyma District, 24km (2h:15mn) from the Provincial Town.

Kbal Chhay or Koh Por

Kbal Chhay waterfall is located in Mondul Seima district, about 16 kilometers north of Koh Kong provincial town. Kbal Chhay or Koh Por is a natural site along a high mountain range and forest. To reach Koh Por, visitors travel along a stream amid beautiful scenery.

Kbal Chhay gets its water from the Pursat stream. The waterfall is 10 meters high and 8 meters wide during the rainy season. In dry season there is less water, so locals and tourists visit the site and relax under the big rocks that resemble a cave.

Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall

Nature and Wildlife Reserve near Neng Kok Village, Bakclong Commune, Mundol Seyma District, 22km (15mn) from the Provincial Town.

Khun Chhang Khun Phen

Khun Chhang Khun Phen stupa sits on a rock in the middle of the sea tributary, about 1 kilometer from the provincial town. The stupa is 4 meters high and made of concrete. Because the site is small-only 40 square meters, including the stupa-it can accommodate only 10 to 15 visitors at a time. The stupa is about 1 kilometer from the provincial town. Koh Kong residents worship there and often visit the site on national holidays and traditional festivals.

Khun Chhang Khun Phen is related to a Khmer legend. Once upon a time, there was villager's daughter named Thim, who was loved by a man named Khun Chhang. Khun Chhang was bold-headed and not very handsome, but his family was rich.

Thim, however, did not love Khun Chhang, they became engaged and Khun Chhang married her. She later betrayed her husband to love a commander named Khun Phen. When Khun Chhang learned of his wife's affair, he complained to the King. The King decided to cut Thim's body into two parts. After Thim died, Khun Chhang buried her at the same place where she was killed. Because he wanted her to be reincarnated, Khun Chhang put up a soul flag pole on the east bank of the stream, facing where Thim was buried. Then he built a stupa in memory of their love. Later, the west bank of the stream was named Chetdey (a stupa) village, and the east bank was named Dangtung (a flage pole) village.

Koh Moul Resort (Koh Kong Krau)

Koh Moul, the biggest island in Cambodia, is 22 kilometers long and 7 kilometers wide. The island is located in Koh Kong district, about 24 kilometers south of Koh Kong provincial town. Koh Moul is 350 meters above sea level. The island has many hills and is rich in natural scenery.

Koh Kong Krav has more than 10 waterfalls that range from 6 to 25 meters in height. Koh Moul features 6 beautiful beaches, known as Deum Dong Beach 1 to 6, that range from 3,000 to 5,000 meters long. All have beautiful white sand and limpid water. The water surrounding the island are full of black and white dolphines that appear along the beach from 9 to 10:30 in the morning and 5 to 7:30 in the evening.

Koh Sdech

Koh Sdech is located in Kirisakor district, about 81 kilometers south of Koh Kong provincial town. It attracts visitors from Sihanoukville and Sre Ambil district.

Koh Sdech features a long beach, and the sea is filled with a variety of fish. The site is excellent for snorkeling or scuba diving, as the water is clear, and an array of coral can be seen growing at the bottom of the sea.

According to legend, there once was a king who commanded an army on the island. Because there was no fresh water, the king searched everywhere to find some. At last he found a rock near the sea. Thinking the rock might contain water, the king drew his sword and split open the rock, releasing an endless flow of water that local people still use today.

Lam Da Beach

Recreational area with parks and beaches at Lam Da Village, Koh Kapi Commune, Koh Kong District 20km (1h:45mn) from the Provincial Town.

Prek Chik O'srey Sranash

Nature and Wildlife Reserve o­n road 48, Chhmarbak Village, Bakclong Commune, Smach Mean Chey District, 6km (10min) from the Provincial Town.

Sner Beach

Recreational area: parks and beaches. Road 48, Dong Tung Commune, Smachmean chey District. 17km(25mn) From Provincial Town.

Ta Tai Waterfall

Ta Tai waterfall is a semi-natural site located in Ta Tai village, Ta Tai commune, Smach Meanchey district, about 20 kilometers east of Koh Kong provincial town along National Road 48. There are 84 families living in this area. They earn their living by fishing and hunting.

The waterfall has two stages. The first stage is 5 to 6 meters high; the second stage is 12 to 15 meters high. Ta Tai waterfall was developed as a model site in Koh Kong to attract local and foreign tourists.

Ta Tai waterfall is also known as Ta Eysei waterfall. According to legend, a man named Ta Tai and his son went to the waterfall to fish because the waterfall was the joining point between fresh water and salt water. There was a storm and the resulting floods carried away Ta Tai's son. Four or five days later, however, the boy was found at the same spot from where he disappeared. When Ta Tai questioned his son, the boy said: "There is someone who took me to a secret place, where he turned into a vampire and wanted to kill me. But suddenly Ta Eysei (a hermit) appeared to save me and took me back." After hearing the story, Ta Tai and his wife believed that their son was saved by Ta Eysei or Neak Sachang (another mane of hermit). Ever since then, the Waterfall has been called Ta Eysei Waterfall or Ta Tai Waterfall.

Veal Achaut Waterfall

Nature and Wildlife Reserve o­n road 48, Dong Tung Commune, Smachmean chey District. 45km (1h) from the Provincial Town.


Welcome to Takeo


Takeo province is often referred to as “the cradle of Cambodian civilisation” Takeo province has several important pre-Angkorian sites built between the 5th and the 8th century. The provincial capital, Takeo town is an easygoing place that possesses a fair amount of natural and manmade beauty. The natural beauty is in the Scenic River and lake area that faces a pleasant town parkway. The low-lying area seems to include much of the surrounding province area, which is probably why a kingdom that once had its heart here was referred to as Water Chenla. There seems to be water everywhere in the surrounding countryside during the rainy season.

The man-made beauty mostly comes from a series of canals and waterways that were cut through the surrounding countryside, many a very long time ago, connecting towns, villages, rivers and Vietnam. Nearby Angkor Borei town (connected by water to Takeo town) may have been the heart of the Funan Empire, which is called the “Cradle of Khmer Civilization” by Cambodians. Much older than Angkor, the Funan empire had its heyday between the 1st and 6th centuries and stretched across a vast area, from South Vietnam through Thailand, down through Malaysia and into Indonesia. Bold, silver and silks were traded in abundance in the kingdom, or, as some say, the series of fiefdoms.

Although Cambodians claim Funan was created by Khmers, neighbouring Vietnam argues that they were the people of origin. Archaeologists from the University of Hawaii of the USA have made research trips to Angkor Borei in an attempt to piece together the history and story, and story, as well as relics, of the Funan period. In an odd recent twist, Reuters News Service reported in early November 1999 that locals saw the research team digging up ancient relics and figured the stuff must be valuable, so they started digging and looting objects from the area. Fortunately, the Cambodian government seems to be moving in on the problem quickly to try to save what they can of this important piece of Khmer heritage.

That was not the first time the locals have created problems in the piecing together of ancient history. Much of what did remain in the form of ancient ruins in Angkor Borei was destroyed not too long ago in the modern past. The officials that runs the museum that’s dedicated to the history of the Funan empire told me that much of what was still standing from this period (from parts of ancient walls to partial structures) was thought to be useless by locals and was bulldozed and razed to make way for more “useful” modern day structures! Talk about having a bad track record. Fortunately artifacts and history have been put together in the museum.
Takeo Province is full of other interesting sights as well and because of the short distance and good road from Phnom Penh, all are great day trips. Some sights can be combined in a day trip. If you have a bit more time, spend an evening in Takeo town and take in all the sights. There is a pleasant little place to stay overlooking the river and lake area.


Takeo province is 3,563 square kilometres big. It’s located in the South of the country bordering to the North and East with Kandal, to the West with Kampong Speu and Kampot and to the South with Vietnam. The low-lying area seems to include much of the surrounding province area, which is probably why a kingdom that once had its heart here was referred to as Water Chenla. There seems to be water everywhere in the surrounding countryside during the rainy season.

Therefore the province consists of the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The province also features one of the biggest rivers of the country (symbolizing the provincial border to the East), the Tonle Bassac (also known as the “Red River”).


The current population in this province is about 924,758 people or 6.4% of the country’s total population (14,363,519 person in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 445,000 male and 479,758 female. The population density is therefore 259.5 people per square kilometre.


The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.

Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.

General information about the provincial climate:

- Cool season: November- March (22-28c)
- Hot season: March- May (28c -36c)
- Rainy season: May - October (24-32c, with humidity up to 90%.)


Takeo’s economy consists basically of agricultural farming, fishery, rice and fruit cropping. Especially the rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors.

How to get there

Phnom Penh and Takeo province are linked by the National Highway No 2, which remains in reasonable condition with a few potholes to slow the velocity down. Hour Lean and PPPT bus companies both run air-con buses between Phnom Penh and Takeo (6000riel, 2hours, 77km). They leave from the Central Station just southwest from the Central Market in PP. Leaving of to PP from Takeo you may find the buses in front of the Phsar Leu. Both buses have to pass Tonlé Bati and Phnom Chisor, both interesting sides of attraction.

Share Taxis/Moto:
The price from PP by share taxi is around 6000riel, by minibus around 3000riel. Travellers continuing by road to Kampot should take a moto (5000riel) for the 13km journey Angk Tasaom and then arrange a seat in a minibus or share taxi (5000riel) on to Kampot.
For 1000 riel you can get anywhere in town. The daily rate is US$ 5 plus fuel for distant sights.

Motorbike Info:
Phnom Penh and Takeo province are linked by the National Highway No 2, which remains in reasonable condition with a few potholes to slow the velocity down. This is a maximum 2 hours ride for merit skilled motorbikers.
If your motorcycle has a mechanic problem, head back to Phnom Penh, as it’s only an hour away. Call your rental outfit in Phnom Penh (always carry theft rental agreement) and they will come down to perform motorcycle surgery or haul the bike back to Phnom Penh.

Where to eat

There are a couple of decent Khmer food restaurants near the waterfront, after the canal that heads to Vietnam, Angkor Borei and Phnom Da. You may also find plenty of cookeries in the area around the Independence Monument. By night this is the place to snack on Cambodian desserts or enjoy a “tukalok” (fruitshake). And as for the night scene, there just isn’t much going on in Takeo town –your best bet is to take it easy and remember that Phnom Penh is only an hour away.

Apsara Restaurant:
This is an alternative spot for a good Cambodian meal during the dry season, when this part of the town is less stinky than the area near the water. It has an English menu and some tasty soups are a worth a recommendation.

Restaurant Stung Takeo:
This place is built on stilts, as the whole area becomes a giant lake during the wet season. The restaurant overlooks the canal to Angkor Borei, and it’s one of the most popular lunch stops in town. It’s a good place to tuck into some Khmer food before making a trip to Angkor Borei and Phnom Da.

Doun Keo Restaurant:
This place is one of the first restaurants that you encounter as you enter Takeo from Phnom Penh. It’s a friendly simple place, which feature rather decent Khmer and Chinese food.

Where to stay

There are some reasonable options to get your head on a bed in Takeo, although the proximity of Phnom Penh means that few travellers actually spend a night here. Backpacker options could also be found at the empty Phsar Nat (also overlooking).

Mittapheap Hotel: (tel: 032/931205)
This hotel might be an option for those who have a particular attraction to Cambodian Independence Monuments, as this one overlooks Takeo’s. There is good cheap food nearby, a fortune. Don’t be put of by the old house at the front, s the owners have added a new wing in a leafy green garden at the back, with the smartest air-con rooms in town. Prices range from $5-10.

Angkor Borei Guesthouse: (tel: 032/931340)
That’s a friendly family-run place, which has a bewildering array of rooms available and all at the same price. Some of them are bigger, some are smaller, some have TV and air-con, some don’t, but in the interest of equality everyone pays the same. Have a look before, than choose.

Boeung Takeo Guesthouse: (tel: 032/931306)
This is likely the best place in town, overlooking the lake. All rooms are essentially the same (bath, fan, TV), but for $10 you can get an air-con breeze. Ask for a room with a view, as it won’t be more expensive. Prices from $5-10.

Phnom Sonlong Guesthouse: (tel: 032/931404)
This guesthouse is right next door to the Angkor Borei and offers more or less the same array and equipment as the Ankor Borei, but is a little less in the price. Some rooms have only one bed, check it out before. Some of the staffs speak good English.


As it is quite common in Cambodia even small cities, such as Takeo have at least one bigger market (some small marts too). So you may also find a market in Takeo centre, which is a busy area with local shops dealing the local daily consumer products, like fish, fruits, vegetables, meats and packed products (also a lot from Vietnam). Most of the food and drink shops are surrounding the market.

Where to see

Angkor Borie

Angkor Borie is a town in the area of several ruins and archaeological digs. The area contains artifacts dating from the Funan (4th/5th century) and Water Chenla (8th century) as well as the later Angkorian period. The prasat ruins on top of nearby Phnom Da are 11th century Angkorian. There is a smalll museum in the town.

Chruos Phaork

Chruos Phaork is located in Pou Village, Preah Bat Choan Chum Commune, Kiri ong District 44 kilometers (1h:6mn) from Provincial Town. It is the Nature Wildlife and Preserves.

Chup Pol Temple

Chup Pol Temple is located in Doun Peaeng Village, Baray Commune, Doun Kae District, about 3 kilometers (4mn) from Provincial Town. It is the Historical Sites and Buildings.


Museum is located in Takeo province, there is a museum located at Ang Kor Bo Rey District. The museum is just built under auspice of EU organization for keeping and displaying status and ancient objects of Phnom Da in 6th century for tourists and researchers.

Neang Khmao Temple

Neang Khmao temple is located in Rovieng commune, Samrong district, off National Road 2, about 27 kilometers north of Takeo provincial town or about 52 kilometers south of Phnom Penh. This temple is inside Wat Neang Khmao.

Constructed of sandstone and brick in the style of Koh Ker, the temple was built by King Jayavarman IV (AD 921-941) in the 10th century for the worship of Brahmanism. The site originally consisted of three temples built side by side, however, only two are still standing, and both are heavily damaged.

Phnom Ba Yong

Phnom Bayang is located in Por Rorng village, Preah Bat Choan Chum commune, Kirivong district, about 43 kilometers south of Takeo provincial town or about 121 kilometers south of Phnom Penh. From Phnom Penh, take National Road 2 via Bati, Sam Rong, Daun Keo and Trang districts.

Bayang temple was built between AD 615 and 635 by King Pavavarman II on the top of Phnom Bayong, a 313-meterhigh mountain. Its diameter is 13 meters by 9 meters and it is 12 meters high. Constructed of laterite, brick and other stones, it is heavily damaged. Pieces of the temple litter the
ground; the roof has collapsed, and the laterite rampart has been damaged.

Bayang temple is a historical site that attracts both foreigners and Cambodians doing research about their ancestors. The road to the mountain, however, is old and difficult to access in the thick forest. The temple is reachable by climbing 390 steps. In addition to Bayang, there are four other temples on the mountain-Preah Kor temple, North Kanang temple, East Kanang temple and Kampoul Kanang temple. All are for Brahman worship and contain a Silva lingam.

Visitors to the site will come to understand how Cambodian history and culture was influenced by the outside world. Because without access to the mountain, however, the only people who will visit the site are researchers studying Cambodian history.

In Kirivong District, there is a stream, Pha Oak, which flows 1,000 meters from its source to where people congregate to swim or bathe. The stream is 6 meters wide during the rainy season and 2 meters wide during the dry season. The sound of the water falling from the mountaintop is almost musical, and the scenery is beautiful.

Phnom Chiso (Chiso Mountain)

Phnom Chiso is a historical site located in Sia village, Rovieng commune, Samrong district, about 62 kilometers south of Phnom Penh or 27 kilometers north of Takeo provincial town. To reach the site, take National Road 2 to Bati district and Neang Khmao temple. Turn right at the sign for the site and head down the dirt trial for 5 more kilometers. Phnom Chiso is 13O-meter-high mountain.

Phnom Chiso temple was built in the early 11th century by King Suryavarman I (AD 1002-1050), who practiced Brahmanism. Constructed of sandstone and other stones, it is 60 meters long and 50 meters wide and sits atop a mountain. The temple is surrounded by two galleries. The first gallery is 60 meters long on each side. The second, smaller gallery, is in the middle, where there is the main worship place with two doors and a wooden statue. There are beautiful sculptures on the lintel and the pillars.

Phnom Chiso Pagoda was built in 1917, destroyed by war during the 1970s and rebuilt in 1979. Behind it is a hall called Thammasaphea, kof and a worship place. There is an ancient water tank made of concrete. People usually climb the staircase on the west side of the mountain, which has 390 steps and descend by the south side staircase, which has 408 steps. Another set of stairs in front of the temple links the temple to Sen Chhmos temple, Sen Phouvang temple and Tonie Om, a lake considered sacred by Brahmans and used for washing away sins. A large rock yard nearby about 100 meters long and 80 meters was once the site of several other temples, but only parts of these temples remain standing.

In addition, there is a mountain cave, Vimean Chan, located about 150 meters south of the temple. It is a quiet place for Brahmans or ascetics to meditate. During the Americans' war with Vietnam, the site was bombed, dislodging several large rocks that block the entrance to the cave today.
Hun Sen Phnom Chiso Agricultural and Tourist site is located in Samrong, Bati and Prey Kabas districts. It includes a 513 hectare paddy rice field of dry rice, a 1,386 hectares field of wet rice and three water basins - Thnos Ta Kong, Tuol Lork and Sen Pea Ream.
Phnom Chiso is very popular with visitors, especially during festivals, when it is very crowded. The top of the mountain affords visitors a panoramic view of Takeo Province rice paddies stretching for kilometers.

Phnom Da

Phnom Da is located in Prek Ta Phor village, Kork Thalork commune, Angkor Borei district, about 24 kilometers east of Takeo provincial town by water canal or about 102 kilometers south of Phnom Penh by the road. This part of the country is flooded six months of the year, during the rainy
season, and dry the rest of the year.

Phnom Da is a cultural, historical site that has been renovated to provide visitors a place to relax or research Cambodian history. The scenery is beautiful all year. In the rainy season, there is a vast water basin that produces lush, green rice paddies during the dry season.

Phnom Da temple was built on the top of a small hill in 6th century by King Rutravarman, who reigned during the Norkor Phnom period, according to the French historian Mibreno. The temple is 12 meters square and 18 meters high. It was constructed of laterite, brick and sandstone. A Brahman temple, it faces north towards Norkor Kork Thalork, which was the capital of Nokor Phnom at the time the temple was built. There is no rampart.

The temple's peak is damaged, and a sculpture depicting the story of Churning of the Ocean of Milk(Cambodian calls Ko Samutra Teuk Dos) has been broken into two parts. A lintel illustrates the figure of sleeping Vishnu. There are false doors on three sides and a real door that opens on the north side.

In the flank of the hill are five man-made caves that reflect the style of Phnom Da, which is similar to India style. In each cave, there is a Shiva lingam and Uma yoni, objects that Brahmans worship. During the Pol Pot regime, between 1975 and 1979, the caves were used as cremation places by the Khmer Rouge.

About 300 meters southwest of the temple is another smaller temple known as Asrom Moha Eysei. Built at the end of the 6th century in Zhenla Period, during the reign of King Pavavarman I, the temple has five windows and two doors. It is 5.5 meters square and 7 meters high, it is built in the
Indian style and features a double wall of basalt that faces north.

In 1992, a number of clergymen and nuns built a pagoda south of the hill. It is called Phnom Da pagoda.

Nearly three decades of war have left the road from Phnom Chiso to Angkor Borei district in poor condition; during the rainy season, flooding makes it impassable. Nevertheless, the site attracts foreign tourists and many Cambodians interested in researching Cambodian history during the Koh
Kork Thlork Period.

After 1979, the Takeo provincial authority constructed a canal, Canal 15, which links Takeo provincial town to Angkor Borei district. This has made access easier since the road between Angkor Borei and Phnom Da is still difficult to travel, especially during the rainy season, when it floods.

Phnom Ta Mao (Zoo)

Phnom Ta Mao (Zoo) is located in Tro Pang Sap village, Tro Pang Sap commune, Ba Ti District, Takeo province. Phnom Tamao can be accessible by the National Road No 2 in 40-kilometre distance from Phnom Penh. Then turning right more five kilometers by a trail, it takes 45-minute drive from Phnom Penh. Phnom Ta Mao is a varied site consisting of temples, mountain, nature and a big zoo in Cambodia. Phnom Ta Mao has 2,500-hectar land area called forest-protected area; in this area, the Department of Forestry has taken 1,200-hectar land area for planning trees and 70-hectar land area for organizing zoo. The 70-hectar landarea consisting of five mountains namely: Phnom Ta Mao, Phnom Thmor Dos, Phnom Phdan Poan, Phnom Chhoy and Phnom Bang. Among the five mountains, two mountains have ancient temples are: - Ta Mao Temple (is located at Phnom Ta Mao): was built in 11th century during the reign of the king, Soryak Varman I dedicated to Brahmanism, the temple made of Thmor silt and red-solid brick, located on the peak of 30-meter mountain of Ta Mao, near Ta Mao pagoda. Now, the temple is damaged and is almost unrecognizable. - Thmor Dos Temple (is located at Phnom Thmor Dos): The temple is located on a 35-meter mountain of Thmor Dos, Northwest of Ta Mao temple and was built in 11th century. The temple made of Thmor silt mad red-solid brick. Now, most of the temples are damaged. The people want to go to this temple to worship than Ta Mao temple. In addition, Phnom Ta Mao has a big zoo in Cambodia; the zoo is under the supervision of the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and has 84 varieties of animals and birds; two kinds of them are brought from abroad. - There are 150-fourfooted animals consisting of 38 kinds. - There are 300 birds consisting of 38 kinds. - There are 30 reptiles consisting of eight kinds. All these animals are brought here by the Ministry of Agriculture and by seizing from offenders who illegally traffic in wild animals through out Cambodia. To take care these animals, we need to expend US$ 120 per day for food, and 22 staff and workers are working there. The average number of tourists visiting Phnom Ta Mao is 500-600 visitors per week; but during the festivals, there are 7,000-8,000 visitors per week. The local people of four communes around the Phnom Ta Mao are earning money from selling food to tourists. We can extend package-tour program to the above two resorts because these resorts are the popular sites for local and international tourists, and their location is near Phnom Penh. As the sites can attract many tourists, we expect to lure investors to invest in tourist facilitation and constructing the trail from the national Road No 2 to the resorts. The Department of Forestry has a project on constructing an inside trail linking from Tonle Ba Ti to Phnom Ta Mao in Six-Kilometre distance.

Phnom Ta Moa

Phnom Ta Mao is located in Tropiang Sap Villag, Tropiang Sap commune, Bati district, about 40 kilometers south of Phnom Penh, off National Road No. 2. Turn right at the sign and travel another 5 kilometers down a dirt trail. The site features mountains, the biggest national zoo and ancient temples. There are five mountains at this site - Phnom Tamao, Phnom Thma Dos, Phnom Pdaov Pun, Phnom Chhoy and Phnom Bang. The entire site covers 2,500 hectares, most of it is the protected forest area. The Ministry of Agriculture's Department of Foresty has taken over 1,200 hectares for planting trees and the zoo.
Phnom Ta Mao National Zoo covers 70 hectares and is under the supervision of the department. It features 84 varieties of birds, quadrupeds and reptiles. The animals, which include alligators, elephants, lions, tigers and bears, were collected by the Ministry of Agriculture. Some were recovered from people illegally trafficking wildlife in Cambodia.
The two ancient temples of Phnom Tamao are:
  • Tamao Temple (Phnom Tamao)
Tamao temple was built in 11th century, during the reign of King Suryavarman I and Udayadityavarman II (AD 1050 - 1066) as a place for Brahmans to worship. Tamao Temple was made of silt stone and red solid brick, but is now nearly unrecognizable. The temple is located near Tamao pagoda on the top of Phnom Tamao, which is about 30 meters high.
  • Thma Dos Temple (Phnom Thma Dos)

Thma Dos Temple is nothwest of Phnom Tamao on the 35 meter-high Phnom Thma Dos. The temple was built in the 11th century and is constructed of silt stone and red solid brick. Much of the temple is 7.5 meters squar and 13 meters high. Its design is adapted from Khliang style. This temple is more popular with visitors than Tamao temple.

Ta Prohm Temple

This temple, adapted from Bayon Style, was built during the late 12th and early 13th centuries, during the reign of King Jayavarman VII (AD 1181 - 1120) as a place of worship for Brahmans and Buddhists.
The temple is 42 meters long, 36 meters wide and 11 meters high. Today the temple body, the gallery, the wal, the gopura (gateway) and the moat surrounding the temple are heavily damaged. The temple was constructed of brick and laterite and devided into many rooms. The outsite wall is decorated with bas-reliefs illustrating the Brahman story about the celestial nymph. Insite the temple are five rooms and a 13th century Buddha statue that faces east.

Tonle Bati

Tonle Bati is a popular lake and picnic area that has bamboo shacks built out over the water that people can rent out for eating and whiling away the day. It’s generally a weekend get-away spot, which means it’s nice and quiet during the week. Locals swim there, but the water does not look real inviting.

There are all kinds of food and drink stands that sell everything you need for a picnic along the lake. Note that there are tours that follow you when you arrive on weekends and try to get you to go to their own place. It’s best to pass right by them and find a spot on your own. Check prices beforehand on everything – they are famous for handing you an outrageously high bill when you depart.
Tonle Bati is a place of worship and features two ancient temples, Ta Promh and Yeay Peov, and a pagoda, Wat Tonle Bati, which was built in 1576.

Wat Phnom Khliang

Wat Phnom Khliang, a Buddhist pagoda built in 1753, is a natural cultural site located in Prey Slek commune, Trang district, about 12 kilometers south of Takeo provincial town near National Road 2. It is a popular place for taking oaths and praying. During the Khmer Rouge regime it was used as a hospital. The red gravel at the foot of the mountain was dug to repair and construct a nearby trail. The entire site covers 11 hectares, Phnom Kliang is the middle. The hill is 30 meters high, and at the top is a new pagoda built in 1992 sponsored by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The site attracts mostly local visitor who are superstitious and who are looking for a nice place to relax. At the top of the mountain is a granite stone from which water flows all year. Local people believe that the stone is magical.

Yeay Pov Temple

Yeay Pov temple is behind Wat Tonle Bati, about 100 meters from Ta Prohm temple. Constructed of sandstone in the 12 century, it is 7 meters square and faces east.
Apart from the temple is a house on the bank of Tonle Bati, about 200 meters from the temple, that once was used by the royal family during holidays. Today this place houses the offices of Bati Tourism Company, which controls the 9.3 hectare site. The company has erected 48 resting cottages with zinc roofs and another 40 cottages with leaf roofs along the riverside. The company has also built nine restrooms, and other restrooms are available at local people's residences.
In additional, there is also a natural lake that is 7,000 meters long. During the dry season, the lake is 1,000 meters wide and 1 to 2.5 meters deep. During the rainy season, it swells to 1, 500 meters wide and is about 4 meters deep.
There is a fee to enter the site. The cost for cambodian is 1,000 riel (USD0.25) for motobikes and 2,000 riel (USD0.50) for cars. The fee for resting cottages is 5,000 riel (USD1.25) per cottage. Foreigners are charged USD2 per person. Food can be purchased at the site.
The site is very popular, attracting 500 to 600 Cambodians and 100 foreign visiter per week. During holidays and festivals, the number of visitors can reach 9,000 per week. The site also provide employment opportunities and a good living for the people of the nearby Thnal Teaksin and Tonle Bati villages.

Welcome to Svay Rieng

Svay Rieng

Svay (pronounced Swai) Rieng is on of the smallest and sleepiest Cambodian provinces that just happen to have one of the country’s busiest highways running straight through - National Highway No 1, which links Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam just after you cross the Mekong River by way of the Neak Loeung Ferry. It is also one of the poorest provinces of Cambodia due to the poor quality of the land. Most of the provincial population eke out a subsistence living based on farming and fishing.
Svay Rieng is the provincial capital, a sleepy town just 43 km from the Bavet border crossing. This is a fairly prosperous place as a result of the border trade traffic, business people and travellers passing trough. The town is a very friendly place and makes for a pleasant overnight stop whether coming from or going to Vietnam.
Svay Rieng town is situated near the Waiko River and its vast, scenic marshlands, the result of a wide stretch of the river drying up significantly over the years. It’s a pleasant setting and one that can be enjoyed at several different spots along the river and marsh. A bridge over the Waiko, not far from the main part of town, bears a plaque that states prime minister Hun Sen donated the bridge.
During the long Vietnam War, American forces believed that this was the place, where Vietnamese communists had their intelligence headquarter. For sure there were undoubtedly a lot of Vietnamese communists hiding especially in the South of Cambodia during much of the war, but there wasn’t a strategic centre like the Pentagon here. In 1969 the Americans began unauthorised bombing in this area and in 1970 joined with South Vietnamese forces for a big ground assault.


Svay Rieng is a small low land province with 2,966 square kilometres. Majority of land is arable land and it is under Mekong water half a year. It’s located in the Southeast of the country bordering Kampong Cham to the North, Prey Veng to the West and Vietnam to the East and South. The Southeast of the province occupies a jut of land sticking into Vietnam, so the Southeast of the province is literally surrounded from Vietnam. The province consists generally of the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The land state is due to the American carpet bombing a real pity – no forests and cratered countryside are the results. The province also features two of the biggest rivers of the country (actually they symbolize the provincial borders) the Tonle Bassac and the mighty Mekong.


The current population in this province is about 550,466 people or 3.8% of the country’s total population (14,363,519 person in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 261,318 male and 289,148 female. The population density is therefore 185.6 people per square kilometre.


The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.

Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.

General information about the provincial climate:

- Cool season: November- March (24-32c)
- Hot season: March- May (28c -36c)
- Rainy season: May - October (24-32c, with humidity up to 90%.)


Svay Rieng’s economy consists basically of agricultural farming, fishery, rice and fruit cropping and some garment factories producing for international markets. Due to its location next to Vietnam there is some trade evolving in recent years. Especially the rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors.
The Svay Rieng Market is the place to change money. There are plenty of the telltale glass cases of the moneychangers along the front, as well as inside the market area. They readily change dollars, riel and the Vietnamese dong.

How to get there

Share Taxis/Bus:
Share taxis leave Phnom Penh from the Chbah Ampeau taxi park to head to Svay Rieng. The fare from Phnom Penh to Svay Rieng is 8,000riel. Grab an extra space for a bit more comfort (costs you more). Hour Lean Bus Company operates a daily direct connection from PP to Svay Rieng (cost $2, 3 hour ride).
If you come from the Bavet border crossing with Vietnam it might be a little bit difficult to find a taxi, as most of them prefer the more lucrative option of taking foreigners all the way to Phnom Penh. Try to find a taxi with other travellers and to stuff yourself for a 1-hour trip into the taxi ($1-2).

Motorbike Info:
Phnom Penh to Svay Rieng:
This trip is a fairly easy lone for motorcycles, as you can easily skirt the potholes that slow down the cars. Keep those eyes open, though, as the share taxis that ply this stretch from Phnom Penh to the Vietnam border all seem to be trying for the Cambodian Land Highway Speed Award. They do fly and they don’t let a little thing like a motorcycle hinder their flight.

Where to eat

There are some cheap food stalls around Phsar Svay Rieng for those, who want a faster and budget feed. Snack stalls are opening at late afternoon till the night along the river.
The following three restaurants are just east of Monument Circle and quite close to each other. They are all open throughout the day, starting at the crack of dawn with Chinese noodle soup and omelettes with French bread. All have signs and menus in English, and pleasant staff.

Svay Rieng Restaurant:
It’s a pleasant, small restaurant with Khmer and Chinese food.

Pich Restaurant:
This doublewide restaurant is very popular with the locals. They have some Western food as well as the usual Khmer and Chinese fare.

Rasmey Nimol Restaurant:
This corner restaurant catches a breeze better than the other two. They also serve up good food.

Serei Pheap Thmai Retaurant:
This is the one with the deck overlooking the water mentioned earlier. They have good food and the staff can speak English.

Boeng Meas Restaurant:
This nice little wooden restaurant is built on stilts near the riverside and is considered to be one of the best in town. All Khmer favourites are clearly listed on the proper English menu and the service is swift.

Where to stay

Tonlay Waiko Hotel: (tel: 044/945718)
This is the biggest hotel on side just 300m off the town including a restaurant and a nightclub. It was renovated in 1999 and now remains the best option in town. As the National Police Chief owns it, you can feel totally save. They offer quite spacious rooms with attached Western bathroom, satellite TV and video, air-con and fridge for about $10-25.

Santepheap Hotel: (tel: 011/682760)
This is one of the nicest guesthouses in town even if its room’s look quite used (old). The staffs are very friendly and eager to help in any way. They have rooms downstairs without windows and upstairs with one. The rate is $4 without bath and $5 including bath.

Vimean Monorom: (tel: 044/945817)
This is a fairly new place with rooms that feature two beds and a Western bath. The rooms are US$ 10 with a fan or US$ 15 with a/c. Going there you might have the impression of an old Soviet exterior.

The Three Guesthouses:
All on different sides of the same corner, these guesthouses have more than the location in common. They all have fairly well cleaned rooms and are US$ 4 a night without a fan, US$ 5 with.


As it is quite common in Cambodia even small cities, such as Svay Rieng have at least one bigger market. You may also find a market in Svay Rieng centre (Phsar Svay Rieng), which is a very busy area with local shops dealing the local daily consumer products, like fish, fruits, vegetables, meats and packed products (a lot from Vietnam). Most of the food and drink shops are surrounding the market.

Where to see

Bavet International Border

Located 48 kilometers from Svay Rieng provincial town is the international border with Vietname. The Bavet checkpoint is the main international border crossing for people traveling between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City.
Bavet's main attractions are two casinos that are within short walking distance of the border. This casinos are very popular with foreigners crossing the border. There is also a market, Psar Nat, where goods are transferred between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Brasoth Center

Brasoth Center is located in Prasout Commune, Svay Teab district, about 1.5 km (10mn) from Provincial Town. Operation of Sporting Facilities.

Prey Ba Sak

Prey Ba Sake Located in Svay Rieng District at the Southeast of the provincial town in the distance of 8.5 kilometres from the provincial town. The area of Prey Ba Sak has 84 square meters and borders river of Vag Ko at the North and the East, village of local people at the west and the South.
The resort of Prey Ba Sak can provide income to the state and attracts local visitors to spend their visit and pleasure there. So, the resort is trending to develop for local visitors in Svay Rieng province due to their tradition, and for international tourists due to the real Cambodian culture and civilization. Prey Ba Sak located on the hill, the former place of ancient temple, which was completely damaged by war. Nowadays, in order to change this place to be the attractive site for local and international tourists, the provincial tourist office should initially rearrange the place and statues for local visitors to worship during festival days or their travel. Prey Ba Sak is the place, which has the most complex forest among others in Svay Rieng province.