Takeo / Cambodia

Takeo (also: Ta Kaeo) is a capital town as well as a province in southeast Cambodia. Takeo town, a small place, is not extending 50.000 inhabitants.

When visiting Takeo town one will see that there is not much to do except a town stroll. It’s a small place without any significant attractions. Though, it can be a pretty nice place to spend a time just because it represents Cambodian town life without much tourism, it’s relatively quiet for there is not too much traffic and the climate is fine in the rainy season, because there is almost always a refreshing breeze coming from the neighbouring lake. There is plenty of accomodation of good quality in all price categories in town.
An old, colonial-style house in Takeo by Asienreisender

Takeo is remarkable for at least two things. First it’s bordering the lower Mekong River system; it’s in fact part of the Mekong delta. In the rainy season the lower Mekong River can not drain the amount of water what is coming down from the middle and upper Mekong and it’s tributaries. The water overfloods wide areas of plains who are passable in the dry season. It’s even ‘pushing’ the water streamupwards into the Tonle Sap River and filling Southeast Asia’s great lake, the Tonle Sap Lake, with a great amount of water. Takeo is bordering a seasonal lake which extends the Bassac River and has therefore a lakeside with a small pier. After the rainy season the lake shrinks and is changing into a cultural landscape coined by rice paddies and hundreds of canals. The canal net has a tradition which dates back up to almost 2.000 years.

Takeo town itself is a quiet place without much activities. As I heared, there are many by the authorities so called ‘illegal people’, factually migrants, from Vietnam living here. Not all of them are Vietnamese people; until the 18th century nowadays south Vietnam was part of Cambodia. Saigon had the Khmer name ‘Prei Nokor’ in former times. Still many Khmer people are living in the Mekong delta area of south Vietnam, and ‘border hopping’ without papers is common. Due to the proximity to Vietnam, what is bordering Takeo, the old tensions between the Khmer and the Vietnamese are more intense here than elsewhere.


This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Taeko’. Read here the whole article on Takeo.

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