Has anybody been to Prasat Preah Vihear recently from the Cambodian side? We're planning to check out NW Cambodia and Preah Vihear in early July and are wondering about the best route and conditions during the wet season. The plan is to travel to Tbeng Meanchey and continue from there to Anlong Veng and onwards to Thailand, but is it then better to visit Preah Vihear from TB or AV?
About 3 weeks ago I heard it was closed again and then just last week the troops on both sides had a minor skirmish again. You never know when it will be open or closed.
#4 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
I was there in late January, this year. There had been fighting between the troops the day before, and there were some shooting two days after I was there, but it was still open. There were no foreign tourists there though, except me. But many Cambodians visiting.
I rented a car with driver from Siem Reap and drove via Anlong Veng.
I am not 100% certain, but I think the border to Thailand was closed at the time I was there.
#5 mrparanoid has been a member since 2/6/2008. Posts: 35
By the way.. Even if there should be shootings between the troops around the time you are there, it's usually not AT the temple. It's way down in the valley so it shouldn't be a problem. Just ask the locals at the hotel or at the place you book the bus/driver as they will know from day to day if there has been skirmishes at the temple. It's on the local news.
And another tip. Buy a carton or two of cigarettes and hand out to the soldiers you pass as you go through the military camp and also to the guys guarding the main temple. They will be very grateful. Noodles are appreciated as well. You can buy cartons of 50 in Anlong Veng. Very cheap.. It doesn't cost you much, but the soldiers are payed close to nothing and it means a lot to them.
It's not necessary of course, but it's a nice gesture and they will be all smiles.
There is also a guide there. A military guy who speaks decent English. He is there specifically to show tourists around. He will not ask for money afterwards, but it would be decent to give him $3-5 if he shows you around the whole temple area. He knows a lot about the history of the temple.
One more thing.. I almost forgot. When you get close to the temple, people will approach your car asking if you want to rent a pick-up truck to drive you up to the temple. It costs about $20. It's the safe way to go up. If you say no there will be motordops available to drive you up when you reach the base of the mountain. Depending on your weight, it might be wiser to take the pick-up truck, as the bikes have problems driving up the extremely steep road with a driver and a slightly heavy tourist. On my trip up I saw several bikes struggle, and they were only carrying Khmers. The pick-up truck will drive you up and wait for you until you get back from the temple and then drive you down. Don't pay him until you get back down ;)
#7 mrparanoid has been a member since 2/6/2008. Posts: 35
It's safe, and the road reach there,it was good and cost with taxi around $200-$220 not sure.
#8 Munfasa has been a member since 8/5/2010. Posts: 10
I booked through New Riverside and payed something like $120-130 total if I remember correctly. 2 people. Brand new car. Very comfortable. We left the hotel around 06.00 in the morning. He drove fast as lightning and we made it to the base of the mountain in a little over 3 hours!
The pick-up truck that takes you up to the top costs $25, if you should choose a motorbike I think they cost about $10. Makes no sense to take motorbikes if you are 2 or more in my opinion.
I was qouted up to $250 (per person!!) by some of the foreign run companies. And though that included a tour with guide, etc. I thought that was way too much.
For the $120-130 I payed, I also had a stop in Anlong Veng for some breakfast and shopping, and whe went to see Ta Mok's house and Pol Pot's grave on the way back. Then stopped off at a very nice, brand new restaurant for lunch at the opposite side of the road from where Pol Pot's grave was. I think this place will develop into a tourist area with time. It wasn't that long ago when there were still old broken down tanks in the dusty, bumpy road up to the deserted area around Pol Pot's grave. Now it's like a small city already.
#9 mrparanoid has been a member since 2/6/2008. Posts: 35