Photo: On the way to Angkor Borei.

Angkor Borei

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Looking at the dusty little town of Angkor Borei today it may be hard to believe that you are looking at one of the birthplaces of Khmer civilisation, but Angkor Borei served as the late Funanese capital from the fourth to sixth centuries.





The earlier coastal ports, rich on trade between India and China, were dominated by ethnic Malay people so the gradual migration inland, culminating at Angkor, represented both a geographical and ethnic change. (Malays are traditionally seafaring and Khmers inland inhabitants.)

En route to Angkor Borei. Photo taken in or around Angkor Borei, Takeo, Cambodia by Mark Ord.

En route to Angkor Borei. Photo: Mark Ord

The site of Angkor Borei (the name means ancient city), strategically placed on the lip of the low ridge where the southern Delta meets the slightly raised Khmer Plateau, shows signs of earlier habitation, but is now generally accepted to be the late Funan capital of Vyadhapura. (Some historians do locate it farther north near Ba Phnom in Prey Veng province but ruins there are far less extensive and it makes little geographical sense.)

A large walled settlement has been identified under Angkor Borei, though unfortunately with a boom in border trade with nearby Vietnam much of the remains have long since been bulldozed to make way for new development. Being much closer to the border and now with better road links to Phnom Penh, the modern town of Angkor Borei has these days grown as a trading port at the expense of Takeo province’s capital Daunkeo (commonly known as Takeo), and so you’ll see far more riverside hustle and bustle here.

The recently renovated little museum Photo taken in or around Angkor Borei, Takeo, Cambodia by Mark Ord.

The recently renovated little museum Photo: Mark Ord

There’s little to do in the town these days other than use your imagination, but happily a small museum has been set up to display some of the remarkable relics that were salvaged from looters and construction sites. The exhibition is very limited but has seen a clean-up and dusting since we last visited, and most items come with English ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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How to get there
Angkor Borei is 30 kilometres by boat from Takeo and is combined with Phnom Da for a $35 trip. Angkor Borei (and then Phnom Da) can be reached by an all-weather road but that’s via Phnom Chisor, so it means a 140 kilometre round trip from Takeo.

Angkor Borei
30 kilometres by boat from Takeo
Open Mon – Sat 08:00-11:00, 14:00-17:00
Admission: $1 for foreigners

Location map for Angkor Borei

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