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Cambodia

Prasat Preah Vihear

When you are traveling in Cambodia this temple seems to be quite of the straight road to anywhere. To be honest it is a bit remote. But bear in mind that the temple is appointed as UNESCO world heritage, so it has a major place in history for the area, so in my humble opinion it’s worth some effort to go there.

To get there we got on board a mini-van in Siem Reap, going towards Stung Treng. Were National Highway 64 meets National Road 62 you find a group of house – it might qualify to be called a village. The mini-van stopped for a break and the driver informed us that we needed to change ride. After a short while 2 Toyota Camry’s (20-25 years old) drove up, to me the cars seemed full. But a Cambodian lady were asked to move from one car to the other, so only 2 Cambodians in the front passenger seat and a French couple in the rear seat were in the car. So my wife and I could take the other half of the back seat. The driver did manage to get our suitcases in the trunk, we had to bring our backpacks into the car. A car made for 4-5 people sped of with 7 and luggage. Every bump in the road made the suspension go fully to the bottom with high protesting sounds. But it worked all the 50 km’s to Sra’em.

The place to stay when you visit Prasat Preah Vihear is Sra’em, approximately 25 km from the temple. To go from Sra’em to the temple we hired a local taxi, going forth and back with driver waiting costs USD 25. We got off the taxi at the ticket booth, it is placed below the cliff and provide a first glance of the temple. When you have bought your tickets you must arrange transport to the summit, because the taxi cannot take you there and down again. Either you get a motorbike which costs USD 5 per person or you hire a 4×4 at USD 25. This transport goes the last 6 km to the summit, the first 2/3 of the way up could be driven in an ordinary car, but the last 1/3 requires more traction and clearance than an ordinary car can provide.

The Wiki article – linked in the top – tells fine about the temple, so please have a look there for information.

From the north end of the temple you have a view towards the Thai border, were you can see Thai troops guarding the border. Some Cambodian troops is also patrolling around Prasat Preah Vihear

As stated above you cannot stay at the temple or near proximity, the closest guest-houses and hotels are found in Sra’em. As we visited in January 2017 we could stay at the newly opened Preah Vihear Jaya Hotel. The hotel has 38 rooms in small bungalows, equipped with air-conditioning, fridge for the mini-bar, Wi-fi, good beds and bathroom for Cambodia a reasonable build quality. We chose the hotel because it had a competitive price  (USD 46 per night) and has a swimming pool. When we came back from our temple visit around 4.30 PM the area was very quiet, we do not complain when it happens. We went to the pool area, next to the restaurant, had a dip in the pool ordered a beer from the bar and did not meet any other guests. Then we changed clothe for diner and went to the restaurant, where only 1 table was set, while we had our diner and a couple of beers/drinks after the pool area was taken over by hotel staff, enjoying  both the pool and the bar, nothing noisy or wild party like, just young Cambodians having a good time. In the morning also 1 table was set. We do believe that we were the only guest at the hotel.

If the hotel has gotten more guests and have survived I can recommend it.