Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jan 28, 2013 6:11 PM Last Post By: billweir
Jan 17, 2013 4:01 PM
I'm after some advice about travelling to Preah Vihear from Siem Reap. We are travelling in June 2013 and as this is the start of the wet season I'm a little concerned about the roads as I have read some harrowing accounts of the journey in the wet. I had heard that there was to be some road improvements to occur in 2012, but I haven't been able to confirm if they have taken place or not. I would love to hear from someone who has recently made the journey.
Also, is it worth the trip to Preah Vihear? We are looking at an overnight stay somewhere in the area. What is the accommodation like? Any recommendations?
Jan 17, 2013 6:45 PM
Jan 17, 2013 8:52 PM
2"Also, is it worth the trip to Preah Vihear? We are looking at an overnight stay somewhere in the area. What is the accommodation like? Any recommendations?"
you might be disappointed. i went in the beginning of march, farmers were burning
off fields, clearcutting, so very hazy. no view from the top, could just barely make
out the village below. the temple itself isn't much, at least not if you've just spent a
week at angkor wat.
i stayed at the village (kor muy) at the base of the hill. there were i think 2-3 basic
guesthouses around $5/night. if you're in shape, i'd recommend walking to the temple,
rather than taking the $5 moto taxis. about 15 minutes from the guesthouses to the
base of the hill, and another hour hike to the top. (note: 37% grade!!!)
take some water and a couple packs of cigarettes and enjoy the walk. the ciggies
are to pass out to the soldiers along the way. lotsa bunkers and foxholes and
machine gun emplacements....the soldiers are bored but friendly. stop and chat.
Jan 18, 2013 2:59 AM
3I did it several years ago before all the roads were paved and during rainy season and it was challenging and butt-wrenching indeed. Now the roads re all paved and smooth and you can get up there I F they are allowing it at the time. As above stated, you can hire a moto guy for $5 to take you to the top. Crappy guesthouses for $10 or so (I bargained so git it for abit less) not very good value but you have no choice. Definitely stay the night so you can see the sunset and also the morning there, lovely ! Cool place, not overrun with tourists like the temples at Angkor...
Jan 18, 2013 5:12 AM
4I went the last time in August and it was great. Did it as a day trip; leaving very early to catch the morning light for photography. Returned late afternoon; I would not spend the night. A few photos are here: Preah Vihear
Jan 18, 2013 11:47 AM
5The road is new tarmac, the experience is amazing, more fascinating for its situation than Angkor, IMHO.
Jan 18, 2013 11:27 PM
Jan 20, 2013 3:36 AM
7I went in December. The main roads are good. Transport to the top now comes as part of the entry fee - I think you can get a moto, but we went up in a pickup truck. The road up the hill is good for the first part, but the last part is old - we were told that they stopped building because the Thais would start shooting again if they saw roadworks (but maybe they just ran out of money, who knows). Parts of the road are very steep indeed.
I believe you can't stay nearby any more, the nearest accommodation would be Sra Em. I can't speak for that, but there's good accommodation in Anlong Veng (we stayed at Sophea guesthouse, $16 with aircon).
As said above, it's no Angkor Wat, but it is quite special the way the temple gradually unfolds until you reach the top of the hill/edge of the cliff.
Jan 20, 2013 6:07 PM
Jan 21, 2013 2:04 AM
9OK I went back to my photos and I might have got the "entry fee" thing wrong - probably read it somewhere.
There's a little office where if I remember correctly they recorded passport details. In the same office we paid $5 each for transport up and down the hill. The sign on the shutter of the office reads:
Price for transportation
Pickup truck 25$ = 6 persons
Motorcycle 5$ = 1 person
Jan 21, 2013 9:34 PM
Jan 28, 2013 6:11 PM
11I thought Prasat Preah Vihear a great place to visit, and it does have a spectacular mountain ridge setting. So even if air is hazy and obscures distant views, the temple is still worth a visit. Paved roads go to within walking distance of the site. A new road goes up 3 kilometers, then there's 2 kilometers of old road that has some extremely steep sections, though it's paved. You do need a ticket, which is free, and will be checked. The ticket office arranges moto ($5) and pickup truck ($25) rides to the site; these are roundtrip. Another option is to take the now-open Ancient Staircase down--more than 2000 steps--through the forest on the east side of the temple, then there's a fairly dull walk on roads back to the ticket office unless you have arranged to be picked up. The Ancient Staircase is in bad shape, but the wooden stairs alongside are in very good condition. For accommodations, check out the five guesthouses in a row in Sra Em, one kilometer from the traffic circle on the Anlong Veng highway.
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