Preah Vihear province means “Sacred Sanctuary” in Khmer and is named after the sacred Prasat Preah Vihear temple. It’s located right on the border of Thailand and Laos to the North, as well as the spectacular Dangrek Mountain Ranges.
This remote and heavily forested province is gaining popularity as it becomes more accessible and is home to some of the best examples or Angkorian architecture in Cambodia. Once only the most intrepid adventure dared make the trip to Preah Vihear, but it’s now much safer and ready to captivate nature and history loving visitors.
Cool season – November- March (22-28c)
Hot season – March-May (27c -35c)
Rainy season – May – October (24-32c)
Sometimes the rainy season can cause accessibility problems due to the road conditions. It’s always best to ask for local advice before making the journey to the more remote regions.
Preah Vihear province is home to some of the most culturally significant temples in Cambodia including UNESCO World Heritage-listed Prasat Preah Vihear and Koh Ker. Construction for Prasat Preah Vihear began in the year 893 and took over 300 years to complete.
Over the centuries the borders of neighbouring countries have changed, and for a time Thailand claimed ownership of Preah Vihear, however, the International Court of Justice awarded ownership to Cambodia in 1959 and again in 1962.
Things to Do
Prasat Preah Vihear
The breathtaking Preah Vihear temple is dedicated to Shiva and sits on top of Chuor Phnom Dangrek, 550 metres above ground level. The temple complex is made up of walkways and staircases spanning over 800 metres and has a strong presence, looming over the Cambodian lowlands right on the Thai border.
The design is one of the best examples of Angkorian architecture and its location is of cultural importance, having been painstakingly adapted to the surrounding natural environment while serving key religious purposes. Prasat Preah Vihear has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Koh Ker is an ancient city and another significant archaeological site. Around 120km from Siem Reap, it was originally known by the ancient name of Linga Pura meaning “The City of Lingams”. One of forty temples and reservoirs built by Khmer King Jayavarman IV, the temple was constructed in the middle of the capital and is well known due to its pyramid-like structure.
Other temples of interest in Preah Vihear province include Preah Khan and Preah Domrei. The Preah Nimith Waterfall is also worth a visit, located right near the Lao border and rich in natural forest.