On the shores of (Lake) Tonle Bati
Traveling to Kep we stopped at Tonle or Lake Bati a popular lakeside picnic area. There are dozens of bamboo platforms with thatched roofs, complete with hammocks to relax in, on the shores of the lake. Tonle, means ‘lake’ in Khmer. Tonle or Lake Bati is a very popular place for the locals to enjoy picnics. On weekends families arrive and the lake waters are alive with happy children enjoying the water. Food and drink stalls nearby sell everything they need for a picnic at Tonle Bati. Picnics and hammocks are part of the Khmer culture, a popular way to chill out and relax for Cambodians. Today was a weekday, not a soul about.
Phnom Chisor near Tonle (Lake) Bati
Our next stop was Phnom Chisor (Chisor Mountain). This was the first of the four hundred steps (412) on our itinerary. It was a comfortable walk, certainly worth it for the splendid view of the surrounding countryside and the intriguing temple ruins (note the iron roofing to protect the shrine in the main temple).
Phnom Chisor, a Hindu temple from 10th-11th century AD, built during the reign of King Suryavarman I of the Angkorian era. Two fierce-some temple guardians stand at the top of the steps. When the temple was built, the mountain was known as Sri Suryaparvata, or ‘Mountain of the Sun God’, a fitting name for such a beautiful scenic place.
Phnom Chisor, dedicated to the Hindu divinities, Shiva and Vishnu. Temple doors and lintels are of sandstone; well-preserved carvings of Shiva and Vishnu are visible. Its main construction is from laterite and bricks. A feature of Angkorian temples are stone windows carved to resemble a lathe-turned baluster, see photo below.
If you care to walk up the hill behind the temple ruins, on the right is a modern Buddhist temple with a huge reclining Buddha. Further up a Hindu Temple, the entrance guarded by two warrior guardians. A small Buddhist shrine set in a lotus pond is on the left, with friendly elephants nearby. Altogether this was an interesting site visit, and of course it was much easier on the legs going down the 412 steps.
Lunch with locals – near Tonle (Lake) Bati
Today the hotel kitchen provided packed lunches for the group, fresh baguettes with varied fillings. Baguettes are a spin-off from the French occupation of Cambodia. Baguette freshly baked everywhere, always delicious with a crispy crust. Our tour group stopped off at a roadside Cafe (very clean) to have lunch in a local atmosphere. Not many locals here at the moment. Cold soft drink or beer available from the vendor to enjoy with our lunch. We stopped earlier along the roadside to try some freshly roasted frogs – crunchy on the outside – bit like chicken on the inside!!
Travel to Tonle Bati from Phnom Penh
If you are making your own arrangements from Phnom Penh, Tonle (lake) Bati, Phnom Chisor and Temple of Ta Prohm make an ideal day excursion.
Buses leave from the Phnom Penh Sorya Transportation bus station for Takeo City every hour from 6.45am daily. Temple of Ta Prohm and Tonle Bati are 33km from Phnom Penh, Phnom Chisor is 52km. Takeo city is 78km from Phnom Penh. A large Phnom Chisor sign marks the turnoff to the Hindu Temple. Take a Motodup (motorcycle taxi) to the base of the hill. (‘dup’ is the Khmer word for carry, as in carry a passenger or goods).
- Dinkelsbuhl – Medieval fortifications
- Rothenburg – a beautiful medieval town
- Traditional homes country Cambodia
- Temple of Ta Prohm Takeo
- A Mekong cruise on the mighty Mekong River
- Killing fields – Cambodia – a chilling experience
- Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Phnom Penh Cambodia
- Lotus Blanc- Phnom Penh- Restaurant
- Artifacts – National Museum of Cambodia Phnom Penh
- Emerald Buddha Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh
- Royal Palace Throne Hall Phnom Penh
- Cambodia 2011 Phnom Penh city
- Snapshot of Cambodia Kampuchea
- Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army-challenges and discoveries
- Terracotta Army|Emperor Qin
- Romantic Road attractions Germany
- Romantic Road Frankfurt Germany
- Bavaria Germany Wurzburg – along the Romantic Road