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Howard Banwell | profile | all galleries >> Laos >> Wat Preah Vihear -- Cambodia tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Luang Prabang | Khouang Xi Falls | Pak Ou Caves | Vientiane | The Bolovens Plateau | Champassak and Wat Phou | Wat Preah Vihear -- Cambodia | Faces of Laos

Wat Preah Vihear -- Cambodia

If you would like to read my full Laos travel blog click
on this link
and start at "Our Introduction to Luang Prabang"


Via the new Mekong bridge at Pakse you are soon in Thailand. A couple of hours drive southwest brings you to the Khmer border from where you walk (no passports required) into Cambodia to the grounds of Wat Preah Vihear, or Prasat Khao Phra Wiharn in Thai. Perched on a precipitous hilltop with a commanding view of its surroundings, the earliest structures here pre-date Angkor Wat by 100 years. The history of the temple is somewhat unclear, but it is thought to have been largely constructed in the reign of Suryavarman I (1002-50), with significant additions by Suryavarman II (1113-50). Due to its location on the Cambodian/Thai border, ownership of the area was disputed until 1967, when the ICJ ruled that it belonged to Cambodia which was soon after plunged into civil war. The temple opened briefly to the public in 1992, only to be occupied by the Khmer Rouge as one of their last strongholds against the Hun Sen government. It opened again from the Thai side at the end of 1998.
Naga carving
Naga carving
Pavilion ruins
Pavilion ruins
Pavilion ruins
Pavilion ruins
Pavilion ruins
Pavilion ruins
My umbrella girl
My umbrella girl
Main pavilion
Main pavilion
After the rain
After the rain
Inside the main temple
Inside the main temple
Heavily ruined main temple
Heavily ruined main temple
Main temple
Main temple
View down to Cambodian plains
View down to Cambodian plains
Old Kmer Rouge artillery
Old Kmer Rouge artillery
Guides & Umbrella Kids
"Guides & Umbrella Kids"