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All reviews the cliff ticket office siem reap four wheel drive world heritage site road trip staying overnight well worth the effort thailand border soldiers truck motorbike conflict driver temple tourists
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Reviewed 20 May 2014

I visited the Preah Vihear Temple during a trip to a few weeks ago during a trip around the eponymous province.

My visit took a unconventional route. I took a wrong turn and ended walking through the army encampment at the bottom of the grand staircase. Fortunately the officers that I met were congenial and after sharing of cigarettes and beverages, became quite friendly. Having a view sympathetic to Cambodian ownership of the region (fairly easy) and understanding the hardship of jungle warfare (more difficult to pull off) was helpful.

During my climb to the top, I did not see any tourists and I had the place more or less to myself. After admiring the view from the cliff top, I made my way to the central temple. The actual temple structure is a ruin (bit like Beng Melea) but the sanctuary remained intact. There I saw something that really made my visit. A large party of locals sudden appeared and took part in some ceremony with the monks. Very mysterious, romantic and poignant at the same time.

I will forgo a detailed description of the site other than to say that it is in poor condition and what remains, in my view, is not that amazing. If you happen to be nearby, then certainly take the time. However if you are in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, then I do not think it would be worth the time and effort. Perhaps spending the extra time in Koh Ker might be a better investment.

I should reiterate that although there is no entrance fee, a passport is needed to register at the base. Also it costs $25 to hire a 4WD from the base to the temple.

Date of experience: May 2014
1  Thank E150A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

It's the most expensive day tour on the list- USD$82 per pax for a 4wheel drive over 3hrs and up the mountain to get to preah vihear temple. But it's definitely worth the time and money! We spent one full day for the trip and this sky temple has become my favourite place in Siem Reap.

We saw more monks and locals, than foreign tourists, at this place. There were also many unexpected sights like the Cambodian army spying the Thais through binoculars and if you venture further into their camp site you will see with their guns and underground bunkers etc.

When you reach the top of the temple, immerse in the view from the cliff.. it is beyond words :)

Date of experience: May 2014
1  Thank wallflower69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Our trip to Preah Vihear was amazing! Especially our tour guide Mr. San (012 788 354) turned it into a very smooth and enjoyable experience. The ride to the border is fairly long, like 3 hours, and the scene is odd at times - you experience a mix of military personnel, monks and local visitors - and it all makes one curious to discover every corner of the temple site. The ornaments of the Hindu temple, which is devoted to deity Shiva, are great to view and you see for instance the Churning of the Ocean of Milk. I highly recommend a tour guide like Mr. San who is very knowledgable to explain each every level. Surely you will enjoy the stunning views from the top towards Thailand's Surin state and Cambodia's Preah Vihear province. An expperience not to be missed! For more info check Mr. San's webpage too http://www.angkor-temple-guides.com/Home.aspx

Date of experience: May 2014
3  Thank Pani_Brodova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014 via mobile

Prior to my trip to Cambodia, I read about this temple and I told myself that I must not miss it. The tour fee of around $135 is too much since I was travelling alone. I made an arrangement with Kouch, the nephew's owner at Bun Kao Guesthouse for $80 for a moto ride. Still a lot of money but it was worth it. For a solo female traveller, I also had to consider my safety. I will surely come back here. It's a long, tiring trip but it was worth it - the temple, the views were SPECTACULAR!

1  Thank tish0301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Preah Vihear Temple is one of the best situated temples in Cambodia. Get there before it's a major tourist attraction.

It's easy to hire a car and driver in Siem Reap and it's manageable for a day trip (prices vary from $120 through to $160 for a day trip and you can add an additional $25 to $40 for an overnighter) We chose to stay overnight and go past Koakan temple on our way back. There are several guest houses in Preah Vihear village and a hotel in the outskirts, prices are average around $10pp for a double and $15 for single, more $$ at the hotel. There are several restaurants near the guest houses for food.

The current situation with Thailand is good since the recent court ruling deciding that Cambodia should have the temple in keeping with the rest of the UNESCO sites, but there is still a large police/army presence, which does not distract from the temple or setting. The tickets for this temple are still free but there is a cost for the ride up the hill (1 person on a moto $5 or up to 6 in a 4x4 for $25). The only way around this is to walk up the hill........2hr+ walk.

The temple is in 3 stages with the final building perched on the apex of the mountain with stunning 360* views.

Well worth the trip. So grab some friends and go for it, you will not be disappointed.

Date of experience: May 2014
1  Thank 823jacquia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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