Unique Asia Travel & Tours
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Tonle Bati with Ta Prohm in Ta Keo

Lake Tonle Bati is located 30 km to the south of Phnom Phen, an Angkorian temple close to the lake is called Ta Prohm, not to be confused with Angkor's famous jungle temple of the same name in Siem Reap Province. But Ta Prohm at Tonle Bati, in Takeo Province, is from the same period, and a smaller version of a jungle temple.  
 
Ta Prohm at Takeo was built about 1200 by Angkor's famous king Jayavarman VII. That Mahayana Buddhist period in Cambodia's history of art is called Bayon style. Like Ta Prohm in Angkor, the Ta Prohm temple at Tonle Bati was a sanctuary for Hindu deities at the same time. The site had been a Hindu place of worship already since the sixth century, in the pre-Angkorian Phnom-Da period, belonging to the maritime "empire" called Funan.
 
The temple structure is mainly constructed of brick and laterite. The inner (first) enclosure of Ta Prohm in Takeo Province is 42 m long and 36 m wide. The wall was decorated with bas-reliefs illustrating Hindu myths, some of them are on the ground in front of the temple.
 
There are five rooms inside the temple proper. Each room contains a Lingam indicating Shivaworship. In the main sanctuary an original 13th century Buddha statue faces east. A sandstone carving depicting a reclining Buddha in situ above the main door of the sanctum.
 
The sparse remains of the contemporary Yeay Peau temple can be seen only 200 m north of Ta Prohm. The temple, also spelled "Prasat Yiey Pauv" or "Yey Peo", is said to be named after the king's mother or a female protecting spirit. A Theravada Buddhist pagoda, called Wat Tonle Bati, was built in 1576.

Tonle Bati lake and Ta Prohm temple

The nearby lake called Tonle Bati is a popular weekend destination and fishing spot for the local population and city residents from Phnom Penh. The large picnic area at the southern shore of Tonle Bati has bamboo shacks on stilts, built picturesquely out over the water in the shallows of the lake. They can be rented for a picnic. Or meals will be brought to you. A popular local delicacy is frog. There are also restaurants and shops and drink stands opened daily, but Tonle Bati is crowded only on weekends and public holidays.
 
You can also visit a silk weaving village near Tonle Bati. A day excursion to Tonle Bati can be combined with visits of the 10th century Prasat Neang Khmao, the temple of the Black Virgin, and of Phnom Chisor, another Angkorian temple, which is located spectacularly on top of an isolated mound.

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