Phnom Bayong is a hill with a temple atop it in Takeo Province right down in the south of Cambodia and provides remarkable views over both the Cambodian and Vietnamese countryside. The temple is a thousand feet up and comes at the end of an interesting climb.

This place is somewhat off the beaten path and not as touristy as you may think, while the mountain takes about three hours to climb. It is especially popular with those passing between Cambodia and Vietnam on the Phnom Den-Tinh Bien border and is best done in the morning when it’s cool. It is also nice during a sunset.

The Chenla temple at the summit of Phnom Bayong hails from the 7th century and features interesting carvings. There is even a bas relief on display in a Paris museum. The site was originally surrounded by walls, which partially remain, and still attracts pilgrims.

Also near to Phnom Bayong and worth a look is Phnom Tchea Tapech, an ancient temple with a large Buddha image atop it that is also located on a mountain. Kirivong Waterfall is also in the region and is a nice walk and good for a swim.

In brief

What is it? A 1,000 foot tall hill with a temple atop in the south of Cambodia.

Opening hours: 24 hours, daily.

Entrance fees: free.


Where: located about five miles from the Phnom Den–Tinh Bien border crossing (between Cambodia and Vietnam).

How to get there: buses run regularly from the provincial capital of Takeo to the border at Phnom Den, and the hill is a stop-off after about 20 miles (1 hour). It is then a 3-hour climb. Takeo can be accessed by bus from Phnom Penh in 3 hours.