Angkor Not: A Photo Journey To Preah Vihear Temple
Written by Jaillan Yehia
The huge unspoiled Cambodian temple complex at Preah Vihear has long been the scene of animosity and fighting between Thai and Cambodian forces, but happily for those seeking an unspoiled temple experience it’s currently safe to visit.
And due to the contentious history of this site there’s just a tiny sprinkling of tourists here even today, making it a hugely contrasting experience to the craziness of the temples at Angkor Wat.
Preah Vihear Temple may be a UNESCO World Heritage site just like Angkor Wat but Cambodia’s most controversial temple a 4 hour drive by mini van directly North of Siem Reap offers up a very different scene to its tourist mecca counterpart.
Rocking up to the ticket booth clutching the required passport photocopy with barely another tourist around there are no cameras to take your photo to prevent you selling the ticket on as you’ll find at Angkor.
You then have the choice of moto or pick-up truck to enjoy a breezy ride up the mountain to the clifftop temple site and the only other traffic you’ll encounter is the odd monk on a the back of a moto or a unit of soldiers, still charged with protecting the temple.
Flags are flying as high as the feelings at the site, as Cambodian soldiers continue to occupy the area where fighting has regularly taken place, but it does feel safe for tourists – and exploring far away from the madding crowds at Angkor is a delight.
The real highlight though is being perched up on high ground and on a clear day you can see three countries from this spot: Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.
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