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Ancient Staircase

Ancient Staircase

Ancient Staircase

Just 2,442 steps

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We will have to confess that we chickened out of making the full climb to the top, and can blame (thank) the time constraints on our schedule for that. But even if you too don’t have time to climb all 2,442 steps to the top of the Ancient Staircase, which links to the battlements that the Cambodian Army has constructed alongside the first gopura (gateway) to the temple, we thoroughly recommend making the time to at least enjoy the low numbers.

Travelfish says:
Only another 2192 to go from here...

Only another 2192 to go from here…

Working its way up the eastern side of the mountain, the stone staircase has now been paralleled by a new, beautifully constructed wooden one which leads you through the deliciously lush forest. Stunning strangler fig and silk cotton trees adorn your path, among the vines and deciduous dipterocarp that are a constant feature of forest-scenes here. Your soundtrack as you climb is birdsong. It’s really magical.

The only way is not up.

The only way is not up.

Numbers painted on to the steps helpfully tell you how far you’ve come, or how far you have to go for the pessimistic mathematicians among you.

Don't forget to breathe.

Don’t forget to breathe.

The staircase is just off the main road leading to the ticket office and Preah Vihear temple itself. It’s well sign-posted but you’ll need to use transport to get there.

Reviewed by

Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.

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