Prasat Preah Vihear Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by davidjo
  • fantastic view over Cambodian Plains
    fantastic view over Cambodian Plains
    by davidjo
  • constructed for the 20th century troops
    constructed for the 20th century troops
    by davidjo

Prasat Preah Vihear Things to Do


    I visited this place back in 1992 but approached it from the Thai side, but i am sure that the site still offers a wonderful view over the plains of Cambodia. Phra Viharn (Thai) or Prasat Preah Vihear (Cambodian) is an old Hindu Temple constructed during the Khymer Dynasty and sits on top of a 500m cliff offering one of the best views in the...

  • Visit Khao Phra Wihan

    This is part of the Khao Phra Wihan National park that covers 130 squre kilometers.Within the national park are many waterfalls,rock pools and rock carvings and the Prasit Don Tuan as well as some amazing viewpoints.Near the temple there are pleanty of shops ,souveniers and kids running around with postcards here so buy some early to get some peace...

  • 2004 - Back of Level 2 Temple

    The picture is looking north from the Level 3 Temple along the causeway back to the Level 2 Temple. It is hard not to get a vendor in the scene when you take pictures of the temples. They are basically everywhere.

  • 2004 - Front of Level 1 Temple

    If you walk around the right hand side, there are red stakes and a sign by The Halo Trust warning you not to walk in the field since there are still landmines in that area.

  • 2004 - Gate Into Cambodia

    You pass through this gate to enter Cambodia from Thailand at Preah Vihear. Normally you need a visa but not here. Just need to pay 200 baht to Thailand to leave and 200 baht to Cambodia to enter. At least they don't charge you to go back.

  • 2004 - Back of Level 3 Temple

    View from the top of the Level 4 stairs of the back of the Level 3 Temple and the causeway in between. Even with a 447 meter elevation change in ~1 km, the whole hill was not a hard climb since you stop to look around often.

  • 2004 - Where to Start at Preah Vihear

    Once you get past the border gate, you just follow the path, go past some outdoor shops, and arrive at this entrance to the four levels of temples (Khopuras). There are 162 steps over the 76 meters from the entrance up to the first level. The total distance up to the fourth level is around one kilometer, basically north to south. Lawee is in the...

  • 2004 - View from the Top

    Poei Tadi, or the cliff's edge, is on the back side of the Level 4 Temple. The elevation is 657 meters above sea level. You can see Cambodia 447 meters (almost 1500 feet) below. Laithong lives in the village at the crossroads you can barely see in the center background. She walks to Preah Vihear and back everyday.

  • 2004 - Khmer Reservoir at the Bottom of...

    This is Sa Srong or the large reservoir. It is 17 x 38 meters in size. Most Khmer sites seem to have a reservoir. Guess it had been dry at Preah Vihear. This one was pretty empty. It is believed that people bathed here before joining ceremonies.

  • 2004 - Quarry Almost at the Top

    On the southwest side of the Level 4 Temple, you can see where they quarried some of the stones for the temples . Many stones in the temples have small, regularly-spaced holes in them. They were not quarried on the hill. They were quarried below and carried up by elephants.

  • 2004 - Walkway Around the Courtyard

    This walkway is on the west (right hand) side of the Level 4 courtyard. It also had a door which allowed exit to the west.

  • 2004 - Looking Into the Level 4 Temple

    There were many rooms at Level 4, including two small Banalai or libraries, where scriptures were formerly stored.

  • 2004 - Front of Level 4 Temple

    The Level 4 Temple is near the top of the hill. Wait until you see the view from the cliff (Poei Tadi) on the other side.

  • 2004 - Front of Level 3 Temple

    When you get up the stairs, it is much bigger than it looks in this view. It has probably the largest land area of the four levels. The third level temple is the biggest and most complete Khopura.

  • 2004 - Front of Level 2 Temple

    The Level 2 Temple had holes where water collected. There were minnows in some of them. They are actually holes for posts for the marquee that used to be there.

  • 2004 - The Approach to the Level 2...

    This is Thang Dam Noen, the first pillared causeway. It is 275 meters long. You can see our small group. Lawee and Laithong are on the left. Lucky and the photographer are on the right.

  • 2004 - Courtyard in Level 4 Temple

    This is just the right hand side of the courtyard. As you can see in this and many other pictures, the site is mostly unrestored. That is one of the things that makes it special. Actually Lawee's father had a vendor's stand just to the left of this picture. You can also see the courtyard side of the walkway (see the next tip).

  • 2004 - Artillery Piece at Level 3

    Next to the bunker under the Level 3 Temple there was an old artillery piece. A relic of not so long ago and unhappier times. This position did command the valley back toward Thailand.


Prasat Preah Vihear Transportation

  • 2004 - Walk to Preah Vihear from...

    You must park near the building in the background and walk to Cambodia. It is about 0.5 km to the border.

  • 2004 - Preah Vihear Via Ubon

    One way to get to Preah Vihear is to stay in Ubon Ratchathani and hire a driver to take you there. I highly recommend Mr. Piboon. He knows the Ubon area well, is punctual, and is an excellent driver. If you book him through the hotel, it is 1500 baht per day plus gasoline (500 baht). However, he told us if you call him directly (09-2814094), it is...

  • 2004 - This Way to Preah Vihear

    Walk along this road to Cambodia and Preah Vihear. You do have to pay both sets of border guards 200 baht each. The temple is up the hill in the background and to the left.


Prasat Preah Vihear Local Customs

  • 2004 - Homemade Electric Guitar

    This guy was playing his homemade electric guitar just below some of the Thai border bunkers. You would not believe how good this instrument sounded. He may not have been able to see but he created wonderful sounds. I am not sure we made merit by giving him a donation. It was our pleasure to hear him play.

  • 2004 - Edibile Berries

    We are resting under a tree at Level 4 that has small edibile green berries. Laithong picked some for us. It seemed to be common practice among all the children.

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Prasat Preah Vihear Warnings and Dangers

  • 2004 - Watch Your Step!

    There are many steps up to the four temple levels. They are steep and uneven from use and weathering. In some places, sandbags were used to fill in gaps but those are falling apart now also. It is even harder coming down. Everything is relative though. The kids there run up and down the stairs like mountain goats.The picture shows part of the 162...

  • 2004 - There Are Still Mines

    These red stakes at the Level 1 Temple warn visitors that there are landmines on the other side. Just stay on the temple side and you will be fine.

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Prasat Preah Vihear Tourist Traps

  • by georges63 Updated May 18, 2005

    when you come with your own transport first you pay to enter the park, second you pay to depart Thailand, third you pay at Cambodian side the enter Prea Viharn, so the Thais make the most money of it

    Unique Suggestions: there is no other way thnan to pay all those fee's if you want to get there

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Prasat Preah Vihear Favorites

  • 2004 - Information Booth

    Near the parking lot on the Thai side, some students had a project to run an information booth. I guess not many tall farangs make it there. They wanted to take a picture with me. BTW, there are also public restrooms near this parking lot. It is ~0.5 km walk to the Cambodian border from here.

  • 2004 - My Guides at Preah Vihear

    There are several children and adults that will show you around Preah Vihear. Their first language is Khmer but they will know some Thai and English. Laithong and Lawee were selling postcards and accompanied us all the way up, showing us the easier places to walk. The young fellow (I did not catch his name) was a photographer who joined us at the...

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