Tonle (Lake) Bati – Hindu Temple – Phnom Chisor

On the shores of (Lake) Tonle  Bati

Tonli Bati (Lake Bati) Picnic shelters & hammocks on the shores of Tonli Bati

Tonle  (Lake) Bati  Picnic shelters & hammocks on the shores of 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.

Cambodia-panoramic view-from Chisor Mountain - Temple of Phnom Chisor

Cambodia-panoramic view-from Chisor Mountain – Temple of Phnom Chisor

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- MainTemple, Takeo

Phnom Chisor- Main Temple. A day trip Tonle (lake) Bati &  Phnom Chisor

Phnom Chisor, a Hindu temple from 10-11th 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- Warrior Guardians as you ascend the steps to the temple ruins

Phnom Chisor- Warrior Guardians as you climb the steps to the temple ruins

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.

Tonle Bati - Phnom Chisor- Side walls of temple gallery

Tonle (Lake) Bati – Phnom Chisor- Side walls of temple gallery – stone windows

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.

Cambodia Reclining Buddha

Phnom Chisor – reclining Buddha- Tonle (lake) Bati

Lunch with locals – near Tonle (Lake) Bati

Today the hotel kitchen provided packed lunches for the group, fresh baguette with varied fillings. Baguette 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!!

Roadside-Cafe for-lunch - Tonle Bate

Roadside-Cafe for-lunch – Tonle (Lake) Bati

TonliBati RoastedFrog

Freshly roasted frogs

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.

Bus Transport

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).

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  1. The reclining Buddha looks amazing! Cambodia is indeed filled with magnificent history and its culture is very interesting. What can’t I find an elephant in the post? 🙂

    • I really loved my trip through Cambodia. A beautiful country and beautiful people, so much to see. The elephant was just one too many photos perhaps. Perhaps I’ll put it in flicker? Thanks for your comments.

  2. dear Lyn,I am nishigandh chavan.
    I found your blog very interesting. keep posting.
    Very nice photos.

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