Prasat Preah Vihear Travel Guide

Prasat Preah Vihear offers arguably the most spectacular views of all Cambodia’s ancient Khmer temples. Perched along a high cliff along the Thai-Cambodian border, the temple looks across the fertile plains of Thailand for dozens of miles.

The Sanctuary is reached via two successive courtyards and is the heart of the temple complex. The five gorupas must each be passed through to reach the Sanctuary.

Prasat Preah Vihear was used as a spiritual haven for successive Khmer kings so it contains a fascinating diversity of styles and decorative elements. Such is its importance that UNESCO made it a World Heritage site in 2008. However, recent disputes between Thailand and Cambodia over ownership of the temple complex have created military tension at the site, which was closed to the public in 2008.

The temple can be reached both on the Thai and the Cambodian sides of the border, but visitors will need to check if the site has been reopened to tourists. From Thailand, the town of Si Sa Ket is the closest destination, while on the Cambodian side it is best reached via Tbeng Meanchey.

Getting There & Away

From the Cambodian side, the temple can be reached via Tbeng Meanchey as well as from Siem Reap. From Thailand, head to the town of Si Sa Ket, where shuttles will take you up the escarpment. The nearest airport is at Siem Reap, but it only handles a few regional flights. International travelers can fly into Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, several hours to the south.