Phnom Da Travel Guide

The temple mountain of Phnom Da is a popular tourist attraction in the Cambodian south. It sits in Takeo Province to the south of Phnom Penh and features two hills with five artificial caves that are today used a Buddhist shrines.

Originally built as Hindu shrines, these caves were also used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The foundations of the temple date from the 6th century (pre-Angkorian) and were rebuilt in the 11th century. The temple was an impressive 60 feet high with a lower laterite section and an upper of red brick.

It featured stunning bas-relief naga, the finest of which now reside in museums in nearby Angkor Borei, the capital Phnom Penh, as well as in Paris. Nearby to the northeast is a so-called floating boulder from where views over to Vietnam can be afforded. It sits precariously on three points.

There is also another temple on a smaller hillock, that of Asram Moha Russei, which is a restored sandstone Hindu sanctuary about half as high as the main temple. The caves each contain symbols of Shiva worship and were reputed to have been used as cremation sites during the reign of Pol Pot.

In brief

What is it? A temple mountain near the pre-Angkorian Khmer capital of Angkor Borei, which was built by king Rutravarma.
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily.

Entrance fee: US$2.


Where: two miles south of the town of Angkor Borei in Takeo Province.

How to get there: you can walk or cycle from Angkor Borei, which itself is accessible from Takeo by boat or road. Bus run between Takeo and Phnom Penh, taking 3 hours.