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Preah Vihear Koh Ker Beng Melea 1D
Tour Duration: day tour.
Tour Operates: all year round / on demand.
Number of Pax: upon the size of your private party (private tour only).
Tour Price: available upon request.

Pick-up location: available upon request.
- a hotel in Siem Reap.
- upon arrival in Siem Reap airport.
- upon arrival in Siem Reap bus station.
- upon arrival in boat pier in Chong Kneah floating village.
- any residences in Siem Reap.
Pick-up time: available upon request.

Drop-off at your available location:
- a hotel in Siem Reap.
- Siem Reap airport.
- Siem Reap bus station.
- pier for speed boat in Chong Kneah, Tonle Sap Great Lake.
- any residences in Siem Reap.
Drop-off time: available upon request.
Note: please bring your passport along with you to visit this Preah Vihear templetemple.

Preah Vihear Temple
 
is situated atop cliff in the Preah Vihear province of northern Cambodia (180 kilometers from Angkor Wat) and on the border of Kantharalak district (amphoe) in Sisaket province of eastern Thailand. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over ownership, a majority of the International Court of Justice in The Hague awarded the temple to Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-centuries-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles. Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north-south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Construction of the first temple on the site began in the early 9th century; both then and in the following centuries it was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva in his manifestations as the mountain gods Sikharesvara and Bhadresvara. The earliest surviving parts of the temple, however, date from the Koh Ker period in the early 10th century, when the empire's capital was at the city of that name.

Today, elements of the Banteay Srei style of the late 10th century can be seen, but most of the temple was constructed during the reigns of the Khmer kings Suryavarman I (1002 -1050) and Suryavarman II (1113 -1150). An inscription found at the temple provides a detailed account of Suryavarman II studying sacred rituals, celebrating religious festivals and making gifts, including white parasols, golden bowls and elephants, to his spiritual advisor, the aged Brahman Divakarapandita. The Brahman himself took an interest in the temple, according to the inscription, donating to it a golden statue of a dancing Shiva. In the wake of the decline of Hinduism in the region the site was converted to use by Buddhists.

TOUR BEGINS
In the morning, you will be met and welcomed by our English speaking guide, then transfer onward for an excursion to Preah Vihear temple. It takes about 3 hours each way.
First, we drive a road through Banteay Srei temple which you may want to stop and view. This is an optional stop and can be done in about 20 minutes (you would need to have a one-day-Angkor pass of USD20 per pax from ticket boot near Angkor Wat to visit Banteay Srei temple).
Next, we continue to Kbal Spean Mountain and also visit Anlong Veng, the former strong hold of Khmer Rouge. Then follow the road to Sa Am, the last residence of the former Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot. Lastly we will visit Preah Vihear, a UNESCO site not to be missed. The road is now fully paved and safe to drive.  Enjoy the scenic landscape and simple lives along the way.
We will take a leisurely walk to the top of the mountain where the temple site is located.

Lunch at local restaurant on top of Preah Vihear Mountain or in Sa Am town.

KOH KER - continue driving to Koh Ker, is a former capital of the Khmer Kingdom, pre-dating Angkor, and is home to many spectacular 10th century temples. A brief interruption: the exception took place in 928AD when, for reasons that remain unclear, there was a disruption in the royal succession. King Jayavarman IV moved the capital 100 km from Angkor north to Koh Ker, where it remained for 20 years. When the capital returned to Angkor, it centered not at Phnom Bakheng as it had before, but further east at the new state-temple of Pre Rup (961AD).

Overview of Koh Ker - the temple complex at Koh Ker, northeast of Siem Reap, represents the remnants of the capital of the Khmer Empire from 928AD to 944AD, a very unique period in the Age of Angkor. From the time to Khmer capital was first moved to the Angkor area in the late 9thcentury, it would remain there for almost 500 years, with one brief interruption. Just a few decades after the establishment at Angkor, there was a disruption in the royal succession for reasons that remain a matter of academic debate. What is known is that in 928AD King Jayavaraman IV, possibly a usurper to the throne, created a new capital 100km away at Koh Ker, either moving the capital city from Angkor or creating a rival capital. Obviously, a king of much wealth and power, he raised an impressive royal city at Koh Ker of Brahmanic monuments, temples and prasats, surrounding a huge baray (water reservoir) Rahal. 

Jayavaraman IV reigned at Koh Ker for 20 years before he died in 941AD. His son Hashavarman II would remain at Koh Ker for another 3 years before returning the capital to the Angkor area. The monuments of Koh Ker are now on a road loop around the baray past the most important temples. The premier ruin of complex is prasat Thom, and imposing 7 tiered pyramid and temple complex. Best photographed in the morning and offering a bird’s eye view from the top. As your expert guide move round the loop, there are several nicely preserved ruins sit just off the road, impressive prasats and small temple complexes. There are lingas still in place in some monuments such as Prasat Balang and Prasat Thneng. For the enthusiast, there are also dozens of other, more remote ruins in the area.

BARAYS
Several huge barays (water reservoirs) were constructed during the Angkorian era. Take a look at the temple map to get a feel for their enormity. For example, the Western Baray measures 8km x 2.3km. The barays seemed to have served not only an agricultural function but political and religious roles as well. The Barays irrigated the rice fields were symbols of the king’s power, and represented the sacred waters that surrounded Mr. Meru of Hindu mythology. Some writers have gone so far as to argue that the barays were wholly political/religious structures not used for any agricultural function, but this is a controversial theory.

BENG MELEA - then drive to Beng Melea. Sprawling jungle temple covering over one square kilometer, the temple is largely overrun by vegetation and very lightly touristed, giving it an adventours, ‘lost temple’ feel. Photographers: trees growing from the broken towers and galleries offer some of the best ‘tree in temple’ shots aside from Ta Prohm. Constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style under the same king that built Angkor Wat, Beng Melea preceded and may have served as a prototype of sorts for Angkor Wat. Though there are some lintel and doorway carving, there are no bas-relief and the carvings are comparatively sparse. When the temple was active, the walls may have been covered, painted or had frescos. In its time, Beng Melea was at the crossroads of several major highways that ran to Angkor, Koh Ker, Preah Vihear (in northern Cambodia) and northern Vietnam. Beng Melea is located 63 km east of town. The road is now in good condition and the trip from Siem Reap takes 1-2 hours. Graded dirt road with occasional flooding in the rainy season.

Return to Siem Reap in late afternoon, then it's time for shopping at the Artisans d'Angkor, where you can observe young Cambodians being trained in the making of traditional crafts.

Return and drop off at your available location:

- a hotel in Siem Reap.
- Siem Reap airport.
- Siem Reap bus station.
- pier for speed boat in Chong Kneah, Tonle Sap Great Lake.
- any residences in Siem Reap.
TOUR ENDS

DETAILED PRICE 
- Guide fee + transportation fee = (upon request).

INCLUSIVE
- Tours and transfers as mentioned in itinerary by private luxury air-condition vehicles.
- Local English speaking guides.

EXCLUSIVE
- Not need a tickit but you only need to show your passport to visit this Preah Vihear temple.
- Koh Ker entrance fee USD10 per pax.
- Beng Melea entrance fee USD5 per pax.
- Accommodation, please contact us!
- Meals as mentioned in itinerary.
- Visa fees $30 (issued on arrival, please bring 1 photo passport size to visit your Cambodia visa), but it is free for Asian nation travelers.
- Drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips and expenditure of a personal nature.
- Personal travel insurance.
- Any services not mentioned in itinerary.

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