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Full-Day Preah Vihear, Koh Ker and Beng Mealea Private Tour
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Ways to Experience Preah Vihear Temple
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Reviewed 23 July 2014

From Siem Reap this is a full day excursion (around 3 hours each way plus time spent at the site) but really worthwhile. We hired a driver through our hotel which worked out at about $55 each for the day plus $5 each to be driven up to the mountain on a moto or $25 a car. This site, right on the Thai border, is surrounded by an "army base" as both Thailand and Cambodia claim it. Over the years there have been several altercations between the two forces and the Thai border at this point is closed. The Thai and Cambodian troops watch one another constantly. You walk past the trenches, observation points and fixed gun emplacements before getting to the Monumental Stairway. the beginning of the site. Before starting the steps, walk about 200 metres along the path towards the Thai border and you'll come to a shelter with a table and chairs. This is actually manned by the Thais who staked a claim literally metres into Cambodia. We drank tea with the Thai troops under the watchful eyes of the Cambodians. Very surreal experience. It was just like a mini DMZ. The temple site itself stretches about 800 from the base of the steps and there are three distinct areas. Each spot bears specific significance to the Khmers (and obviously the Thais as well) and they change dollars beforehand into a mass of 100 riel notes to pass out as offerings and gifts to locals as they progress through the site. Once you reach the top you get the most magnificent view of Cambodia & Thailand stretching out in the valley below. A couple of things to remember. When you arrive at the starting point, as well as the $5 to get up to the site, you will also need passport ID. You will also be encouraged to buy cigarettes to give to the soldiers and lollies to give to the children. It is a small investment that is much appreciated. I can't speak highly enough of my day at Preah Vihear - definitely a highlight of the trip.

Date of experience: July 2014
4  Thank Kevin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 16 July 2014

Magnificent view from the 5th level! The dropoff is not fenced and there is no barrier of any sort, so please be sure of your footing, as it is an 800 meter drop. Having seen many, many temples prior to Preah Vihear, it's not the best, although some parts and carvings are well preserved.

I went with San Park, who has grotten good reviews by other travellers, and I was also happy with him. It turned out that two other people has booked him for the same day, so I ended up paying only USD 55, + 5 for the motoride up to the entrance to the Temple.
If you take a car, it's USD 25, but there's really no need, as the road is absolutely fine asphalt all the way,but for about 10 meters or something like that. The moto waits for you, so it's USD 5 / return.

Bring your passport, otherwise they will not allow you to buy a ticket. I don't recall the price.
You can buy food and water up at the entrance area.

Date of experience: July 2014
11  Thank BKKsoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Preah Vihearr is about a 3hr drive from Siem Reap and well worth the effort to get there. The drive is very pleasant as you pass through some gorgeous countryside on the way. We went with San Park who is a very safe driver, reliable, knowledgeable, has a good sense of humour and speaks good English. He can be contacted on: sanpark.angkor@googlemail.com. I would highly recommend him.

Take your passport with you as there is no charge for foreigners (at the moment anyhow) to visit the temple. The return cost to go up to the temple is either $5 each on the back of the moto or $25 per group per ute. We were so glad we took the ute option as it allowed us to take wonderful photos as we wound up (and later down) the hill. I think on the back of a bike I would have been hanging on for dear life!

You are also encouraged (by the driver of the ute) to buy a carton of cigarettes to hand out to the army guards on the way up the hill. This is a very strange thing to do but we decided to go with the flow and the soldiers were very friendly as they collected them.

We spent 2 hours at the temple. I am not a huge historic temple person but this one is well worth the visit. Make sure you go to the very last level as just past this there is a brilliant view out into the valley and Thailand. The temple is spread over several levels and is long and narrow (nearly 800mtrs long). There are also quite a few lovely shady spots to sit down and have a cool drink (sold by several vendors there) if you need.

Date of experience: July 2014
13  Thank Gina H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 8 July 2014

I received a personal guided tour from San over the course of 2 days to several temples. He was always on time and his car was very clean. He was very laid back and offered to take us anywhere we wanted. He went above and beyond what I expected in a tour guide. San's customer service was spectacular and he showed us many things that most tourists probably never see. He has great knowledge of Siem Riep.

I would highly recommend contacting San for a tour of Siem Riep and all of the temples. Thanks San!

Date of experience: May 2014
4  Thank Ahmed R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 5 July 2014

The temple located on teh border between Cambodia and Thailand was a dispute between this countries for long time. In 2013 the UN decided that it's on the territory of Cambodia, If you want to visit it from Siem Reap you need to leave the city NLT 06 AM because it's a drive from +/- 4,5 hours, Privat car cost you araund 120 US$. With bus +/- 50 US$ but the last 30 minutes you need to take a private car or motobike (price: ?). To go up to the hill you can choose between motobike (10 US) or 4x4 car (25 US$ for the car). If you have time you can bombine this trip with a visit to Koh Ker and Bang Maleah on the way back but than you need to stay overnight. For the most courageous among us: there is a panoramic vieuw but it's +/- 2.200 steps uphill.

Date of experience: June 2014
Thank Novak R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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