Preah Vihear - Full Day
Today’s tour will begin at 07:30. Depart early from Siem Reap for the 3-4 hour drive to Preah Vihear Province. Enjoy the views of the countryside and scenes of rural life in the early morning hours. Stop en route for a short visit to Trapaeng Prasat Temple which offers an excellent view of the Preah Vihear Mountain.
Reach the foot of Preah Vihear Mountain and transfer to a local pick-up truck for the next section of the journey. The rugged road makes for an exciting drive and showcases the remoteness of this area.
The adventurous trip is worth it. The ruins of Preah Vihear stretch nearly 500 metres in length. It has not yet been restored so it retains a unique feeling of history and wonder. The exact history of the temple is not known but it is believed to have been built during King Suryavarman I (1002-105). Despite its age, the beautiful Hindu carvings and lintels are remarkably well preserved. Explore the hilltop monument, admiring the building as well as the stunning views of the Cambodian and Thai countryside. It is not hard to see why UNESCO named Preah Vihear a World Heritage Site. Before returning to the base of the mountain, enjoy a picnic lunch in this scenic spot.
Having experienced Cambodia’s ancient past, it is time to take a closer look at more recent history. Stop in the town of Anlong Veng which played an important role in the brutal Khmer Rouge era. The remote area was used as hiding place for the leaders of the regime. Visit the last residences of Ta Mok, so-called ‘Brother Number 5’ and Pol Pot. Although there is little to see, just being in the presence of the sites brings chills to the spine. The guide may also share some of his or her personal stories of that horrible era in Cambodian history.
Wrap up the Preah Vihear tour with a drive back to Siem Reap, returning to modern day Cambodia with a new understanding of the country’s chequered history. (L)
Lunch is included.
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