|One of the many Gopuras of Prasat Preah Vihear|
|Along the unpaved way up to the main entrance.|
I’ve read of this temple since its award as a world heritage site but it didn’t have the pull for me to visit it until I visited Prasat Phanom Rung last year. During my visit to Prasat Phanom Rung, I’ve heard much about Prasat Preah Vihear from the locals. They reminiscent that it was once open to visitors crossing from Thailand because of the difficult and unsafe conditions to reach the temple via Cambodia. It is important to note that the area surrounding Prasat Preah Vihear on the Cambodian side are full of land mines, thanks to the Khemer Rouge.
|Thailand or Cambodia?|
Since then, I’ve made a mental note that if I ever make it to Cambodia again, I’ll attempt to visit this place which is not easy even by today’s standard. Besides that, it is an extremely costly and risky affair. The threat of land mines at remote area of Cambodia is something that will send the shiver down the spine of many people. However, when there is a will, there is a way! I finally made it to Prasat Preah Vihear today.
|You can see many men in uniform all over the place.|
According to the Lonely Planet, there is supposed to be a Monumental Stairway that leads down to the Thai border but we did not notice any. After passing through the first Gopura (pavilions), we kept hiking to the next Gopura until we reaches the end of the temple which is a big pile of rubble, waiting for restoration. Sign boards are non-existent at this temple. You either rely on Lonely Planet or a local guide or you can try to decipher your own the buildings as most Angkor Temples are built with the same design and layout, dedicated to the Hindu deity, Shiva. There aren’t much carvings or statues for appreciation either. Sad to say, it is just another simple Angkorian temple but located on a hill, yet rich with history as a pilgrimage site.
|An overrated place that you won't go a second time,|
|More ruins that badly need restoration.|