Phnom Chissor

Continuing south along Highway 2 and towards Takeo, you come upon the hilltop temple of Phnom Chilssor. You will see it from a long way off and you seem to be circling around it as you draw near the turnoff. Turn left just beyond the 52 km marker (about 47 km on your odometer from Monivong Circle), where you see a picture sing of the hilltop temple. Follow this dirt road 4.5 km to the foot of Phnom Chissor. It’s a long hike up the stairway to the top, but there are drink stands at the base and also the top. The spectacular views at the top of this huge hill make the hike up worthwhile, with the Damrei Mountains of Kampong Spue Province visible in the west, lakes dotting the entire area and rivers slicing through the glistening rice fields of the countryside. The highest point of the big hill has a small Buddhist temple and shrine set up with an old monk giving blessings to Cambodians that make the pilgrimage to the top. Loads of Cambodians do so on weekends just to get blessed at this spot. He has holy water that he splashes on the faithful and they believe this spot and this guy are full of good luck, the kind that splashes in their faces. The main temple area is the 11th century Angkor era ruins on the other side of the hilltop area. It’s an interesting structure that still has a few artwork carvings and inscriptions intact, although this temple has also suffered at the hands of looters. The east side of the temple complex also offeres more magnificent views of the area.

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