Prasat Preah Vihear Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by davidjo
  • fantastic view over Cambodian Plains
    fantastic view over Cambodian Plains
    by davidjo
  • Things to Do
    by davidjo

Prasat Preah Vihear Things to Do


    The temple is nothing like the temples at Angkor Wat that are in very good condition although they are about the same age. Preah Vihear was constructed between the 9th and 12th centuries by King Suryavarman 1 & Suryavarman II on top of a 525 m cliff in the Dangrek mountains which overlooks the rice fields in the plains, and is possibly in the most...


    On the top of the structure you will come across the temple building which is very impressive as it sits at the top of the 525 m cliff and offers wonderful views over the plains of Cambodia. During the six century Khmer reign this was the most impressive temple that was constructed, and it sits on a north/south axis instead of the normal...

  • 2004 - Door and Lintel at Level 2

    From architecture such as this, you can see that Preah Vihear was a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva. The earliest surviving parts of the temple date from the Koh Ker period in the early 10th century, when the Khmer Empire's capital was at the city of that name.

  • 2004 - Rest of East Side Level 3 Temple

    Note the bunker built under the temple. 2004 was during the time that Thailand occupied the site, so the bunker was probably from the Khmer Rouge days.


    I don't know if the bunkers are still there but this photo was taken in 1992. The soldiers did not want their photograph taken.


    By Gopura 2, the second pavilion you will find a water cistern if you head a few meters to your left. This is how the temple got its water supply


    Admire the stone lions that are placed on the roof doorways of the first Gopura.NOTEA gopura is an entrance pavilion


    From the Nagaraj Courtyard climb up the staircase to the first Gropura and you will notice the seven headed snakes are on the stairheads. The heads and tails of the nagas look like ordinary snakes and the head portion of the naga on the west side is made from one piece of stone.


    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.


Prasat Preah Vihear Transportation


    Prasat Preah Vihear OR Khao Phra Viharn as it is known in Thai is easier reached from Thailand as the roads are paved all the way to the entrance of the temple. You must reach Si Sa Ket then catch a bus to Kantharalak and from there catch a sawngtheaw to the ruins.NOTE-August 2014 At the moment you cannot enter from Thailand but check with the Thai...

  • 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...


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.

  • Prasat Preah Vihear Hotels

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Prasat Preah Vihear Warnings and Dangers


    As there have been a few skirmishes between the Thai and Cambodian troops due to a land dispute the ruins are closed now and again. Since 2009 it has not been possible to cross the border, and in 2010 the border was sealed of completely with razor wire. There have been 41 deaths during the border disputes in April 2009, February and May 2011. Check...

  • 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.


Prasat Preah Vihear Tourist Traps

  • the price to get in

    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 General

  • 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...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

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