Twenty-five kilometres from Takeo lies the pre-Angkorian site of ANGKOR BOREI. The site can be reached year-round by boat, an interesting journey through wetlands which are home to a variety of water birds, with all types of boats coming and going. The fine local museum is the main reason to come here, but you may also want to explore the excavated Funan-era archeological sites.

This pleasantly leafy town sits on the banks of the Prek Angkor, a tributary of the Bassac. The town is well known to scholars as the site where the earliest-known example of written Khmer was discovered, and archeological excavations here have identified many features of the town that once stood on the site, including a moat 22m wide, a section of high brick wall and numerous extensive water tanks. Unfortunately, there is now little to see apart from the finds in the museum.

Boats pull up on the riverside near the bridge, just downstream from which, on the same side of the river, a white colonial building surrounded by a large garden houses Angkor Borei’s well-managed museum, with a diverse collection of ceramics, beads, stone statues, carved pediments from the Funanese era and a photographic exhibition of the excavations. Some stylish sculptures of Vishnu and Shiva line the walls, but the eight-armed Vishnu surrounded by an arc is a reproduction. One of the highlights is a pediment removed from Phnom Da showing Vishnu reclining on a dragon. Aerial photos show clearly the extent of the old settlement and identify many of the features being excavated.