After Siem Reap, Preah Vihear Province is home to more major temple sights. T'beng Meanchy the capital of the province is a good home base for getting out to the sites. T'beng Meanchey is normally accessed via Kampong Thom. The Big 4 sites in the province are Ko Ker (we put this site on a separate page) Prasat Bakan (also known as Preah Khan), Preah Vihear, and Neak Buos. On this page we worked our way north.
Prasat Bakan is usually acessed along Route 66 from Siem Reap as this scenic route from Beng Malea crosses ancient bridges. Prasat Bakan is one of 3 sites in the Kingdom that has the "Mok Boun" four headed tower. Bayon in Angkor Thom and Banteay Chmar in Banteay Meanchey are the others. It can be reached from the road between T'ben Meanchey and Kampong Thom, however during rainy season a river cuts of acessibility.
"MOK BOUN" THIS TEMPLE SITS EAST OF THE MAIN SITE OUTSIDE OF THE TEMPLE WALLS
FARM GIRL ALONG THE WAY NOTE THE DEMINING MARKERS ON THIS HEAVILY MINED AREA
ELEVEN KILOMEERS WEST OF KUAU, THIS BRIDGE IS A TRANQUIL SPOT IN THE JUNGLE
"MOK BOUN" BEING OVERTAKEN BY THE JUNGLE
THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO PRASAT BAKAN
SECONDARY ENTRANCE TO THE MAIN TEMPLE
THE MAIN SITE AT PRASAT BAKAN
DUE TO IT'S ISOLATED LOCATION PRAST BAKAN HAS BEEN RAVAGED BY LOOTERS WHO WORK UNDISTURBED
BATHING BY THE BRIDGE NEAR KUAU
KRAUPONG CHUUK AND PREAH LIEN DAMREI SOH JUST OFF THE ROAD BETWEEN KAMPONG THOM AND T'BENG MEANCHEY
This temple sits just inside Cambodia on the northern border with Thailand. Though it was determined it is Cambodia's by a UN Court in 1962, it has been used politically on many occasions. Since 2008 through 2011 Thailand has used the temple to create nationalism to try to unify the Red and Yellow Shirts. Consequently the temple has been damaged by fighting and many people needlessly lost their lives during the dispute. This Temple should be promoted not only by Cambodia, but Thailand as well so that both countries can benefit from the rich history on both sides of the border.
VILLAGERS NEAR PREAH VIHEAR
STUNNING VIEWS INTO CAMBODIA FROM PREAH VIHEAR
ENTRANCE TO PREAH VIHEAR
Neak Buos (Cambodian say Neck Bo) is a major site located 118K north of T'beng Meanchey and just north east of the town of Choam Ksan. It is not an easy temple to get to as trails fork and you can find yourself back tracking. GPS coordinates on our GPS page. The temple sits at the base of the mountain range that borders Thailand and Cambodia. The area surrounding the temple is heavily mined so stick to the marked paths. Entering into the temple you will come across some ruins outside of the main temple grounds. The Temple is surrounded by a deteriorating wall and like Prasat Bakan it too has fallen victim to looters and vandals. The different architecture ie brick and stone indicate this site has had a long history.
OFF TO THE MARKET IN CHOAM KSAN
THE ENTRANCE TO THE MAIN SITE AND A PRASAT WITHIN THE TEMPLE WALLS
DESTRUCTION BY POOR LOOTING ATTEMPTS HAS RENDERED THIS PIECE USELESS FOR ALL
CRUDE TOOLS USED FOR LOOTING AND THE DETROYED LINTEL AT THE MAIN PRASAT
NOT EVEN LOOTING BUT RATHER VANDALISM
LATHED STONES IN A WINDOW AT THE TEMPLE OUTSIDE OF THE MAIN SITE AND REMANTS OF A STOLEN STATUE
NEAK BUOS ONE OF THE LARGEST BRICK PRASATS OUTSIDE OF SIEM REAP
THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO NEAK BUOS
THE AM MARKET RUSH IN CHOAM KSAN
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All text and photographs © 1999 - 2012 James M. Heston -Cafe California 2 Hotel - Guesthouse Phnom Penh Cambodia. Commercial or editorial usage without written permission of the copyright holder is prohibited.