Chau Srei Vibol Travel Guide

The extensive 11th century Baphuon-style ruins of this remote temple are located to the northeast of Siem Reap on an isolated forested hilltop in the grounds of a modern wat.

The complex is only accessible by motorbike or bicycle due to the deteriorated dirt tracks and rickety bridges of its approach roads. Rarely visited except for monks building a vihara, the solitary silence of the lost temple is mostly undisturbed.

After negotiating twists, turns, potholes, floods and other obstacles, including the last remnant of the Angkorean road between Beng Mealea and Angkor Thom, a broken-down sandstone bridge with crumbling Naga balustrades, visitors arrive at the foot of a hill and the laterite outer walls and gopura of Chau Srie Vibol. A short climb, through trees and over piles of rubble, leads to the ruined temple area.

Sandstone blocks lie everywhere, the remains of most of the buildings, but three major and impressive structures still stand, the sanctuary and two libraries. Decorative carvings in the Hindu style cover the doorways and lintels, and at the eastern entrance gate on the outer wall are two stone lions and several outbuildings.

In brief

What is it? A remote, ruined and romantic 11th century temple.

Entrance hours: dawn to dusk, daily.

Entrance fee: none.


Where: in the countryside between Roluos and Phnom Bok.

How to get there: by motorbike or bicycle. Turn east from the dirt road between Roluos and Phnom Bok onto a deteriorated track. Drive (carefully) over wooden bridges and the ancient stone bridge and through tiny hamlets, asking directions at junctions if possible. The nearest airport is in close by Siem Reap.