Sambor Prei Kuk
Lonely Planet review
Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia's most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments, encompasses more than 100 mainly brick temples scattered through the forest, among them some of the oldest structures in the country. Originally called Isanapura, Sambor Prei Kuk was the capital of Chenla during the reign of the early-7th-century King Isanavarman and continued to be an important learning centre during the Angkorian era.
The main temple area consists of three complexes, each enclosed by the remains of two concentric walls. Their basic layout - a central tower surrounded by shrines, ponds and gates - may have served as an inspiration for the architects of Angkor five centuries later.
In the early 1970s, Sambor Prei Kuk was bombed by US aircraft in support of the Lon Nol government's doomed fight against the Khmer Rouge. Some of the craters can still be seen.