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Visit Preah Vihear: 7 fascinating things to do and see

It borders the provinces of Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap to the west, Kampong Thom to the south, and Stung Treng to the east. Its northern boundary forms part of Cambodia’s international border with Thailand and Laos. Its capital is Preah Vihear. This is one of the nine provinces that are part of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve.

If you are planning a trip to Preah Vihear, here is some information you need to know. Things to do, the best weather, hotel options, food and drinks will be the things to prepare if you want to have the most perfect and memorable trip.

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Visit Preah Vihear: 7 fascinating things to do and see

The best weather to visit Preah Vihear

Top 7 Things to do and see

  • Preah Vihear Temple
  • Preah Khan Kompong Svay
  • Phnom Tbeng Meanchey
  • Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Preah Vihear Bird Watching Site
  • Explore Local Markets
  • Visit Local Villages

The best hotels in Preah Vihear

The popular restaurants in Preah Vihear

How to get to Preah Vihear


The best weather in Preah Vihear

According to our experience, the best weather to visit Preah Vihear and enjoy a comfortable and pleasant experience is during the cool and dry season, which typically spans from November to February.

Cool Temperatures: The cool season in Preah Vihear brings milder temperatures, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Daytime temperatures typically range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F), while nights can be cooler.

Dry Weather: This period sees significantly less rainfall, which means you’re less likely to encounter heavy rain showers that can disrupt outdoor plans. The dry weather allows you to explore historical sites and natural attractions without the worry of getting soaked.

Clear Skies: With lower humidity and less cloud cover, you can expect clearer skies, which is ideal for taking photographs and enjoying scenic vistas, particularly when visiting temples like Preah Vihear Temple.

Comfortable Outdoor Activities: Whether you’re exploring temples, hiking in national parks, or engaging in outdoor adventures, the cool and dry season provides optimal conditions for these activities.

Festivals and Celebrations: Some traditional Cambodian festivals, such as the Water Festival (Bon Om Touk) in November, often coincide with this season. It can be a great opportunity to witness local culture and festivities.

While the cold and dry season is the most popular time to visit Preah Vihear, it is also peak tourist season, thus famous places may be more crowded. I think accommodations and tour plans may need to be made months in advance.

Alternatively, if you prefer quieter surroundings and are ready to bear some rain, you may travel between October and March, when the weather is changing between rainy and dry seasons. However, be prepared for some weather unpredictability during these months. If possible, avoid the wet season (June to October), as severe rains might cause flooded roads and limited access to specific places.

Top 7 Things to do and see

Preah Vihear Temple

This ancient temple complex is the province’s principal attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is perched on a cliff in the Dangrek Mountains and offers stunning vistas as well as beautiful Khmer architecture. The main temple is used for the high-ranking supreme divinities, this mighty group of buildings is considered as the center of the whole temple complex. It’s a great chance to explore the courtyards, galleries, and beautiful bas-reliefs illustrating Hindu mythology at the temple.

Preah Viheah temple

Preah Khan Kompong Svay

Another impressive temple complex, Preah Khan Kompong Svay is one of the largest temple complexes in Cambodia. It’s known for its grandeur and mysterious atmosphere. The layout of the temple is unique compared to the other sites in Angkor as it is oriented northeast. It has been proposed that the temple is aligned with the rising sun during the summer solstice. The site is less visited than Angkor Wat, making it a peaceful and captivating experience.

Phnom Tbeng Meanchey

This hill offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and is a popular spot for watching the sunrise or sunset. It’s an easy hike and provides an excellent vantage point for photography. Phnom Tbeng Meanchey is in the category of the Waterfall, Mountain, and Natural tourism site. Things to do, as well as the attractions of Phnom Tbeng Meanchey for you such as Swimming, Viewing the sunset, Camping, Visiting the pagoda, Having a picnic, and more. For the trip to the location of Phnom Tbeng Meanchey, you may need to walk but not cross the river or take a boat. 

Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary

The Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest protected area in Cambodia and was set aside to protect the critically endangered, possibly extinct Kouprey. Let’s explore the biodiversity of Preah Vihear by visiting this wildlife sanctuary. You can spot various species of animals and birds while trekking through the lush forests and grasslands. It’s an excellent destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.

Preah Vihear Bird Watching Site

Preah Vihear is a haven for bird enthusiasts. If you’re a bird lover, this site is a must-visit. The province is home to a wide variety of bird species, and you can take guided bird-watching tours to observe them in their natural habitat. Thus, visit the Preah Vihear Bird Watching Site to observe numerous bird species in their natural habitat. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and camera.

Explore Local Markets

Explore the bustling markets of Preah Vihear to sample authentic Cambodian street food and shop for unique souvenirs. The vibrant markets offer a glimpse into daily life, and you can shop for unique souvenirs and sample delicious Cambodian street food. It’s a great way to connect with the local culture. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting markets in Preah Vihear.

Visit Local Villages

Experience the rural life of Cambodia by visiting local villages in the province. You can interact with the friendly locals, learn about their traditions, and witness their way of life in the countryside. Interact with them, learn about their traditions, and immerse yourself in the culture. To experience the rural life of Cambodia, consider taking a village tour in Preah Vihear.

The best hotels in Preah Vihear

Koh Ker Hotel

Koh Ker Hotel is the best location to visit the temples of northern Cambodia in Preah Vihear Province, mainly Preah Vihear Temple and Koh Ker Temples. It has an exceptional location just 3 km from the archaeological area of Koh Ker, the ancient Cambodian Capital of Chok Gargyar, famous for its pyramid dedicated to Shiva in the Royal Palace and for its many forgotten temples. With full amenities and a convenient location, this is a perfect choice for your trip.

The Heng Sokchamroeun Guest House

Conveniently situated in the Anlong Veaeng part of Cheom Ksan (Preah Vihear), The Heng Sokchamroeun Guest House puts you close to attractions and interesting dining options. This 5-star property is packed with in-house facilities to improve the quality and joy of your stay. It provides a great place for travelers to relax after a busy day. When guests have some time on their hands they can make use of the onsite facilities. Visitors to Choam Ksan will find that the Heng Sokchamroeun Guest House is a fantastic accommodation choice.

Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel

Set in a prime location of Cheom Ksan (Preah Vihear), Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. Both business travelers and tourists can enjoy the hotel’s facilities and services. Safety deposit boxes, meeting facilities, smoking areas, room service, and airport transfer are just some of the facilities on offer. Guestrooms are fitted with all the amenities you need for a good night’s sleep. Take a break from a long day and make use of the garden and outdoor pool. Convenience and comfort make Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel the perfect choice for your stay in Cheom Ksan (Preah Vihear).

The popular restaurants in Preah Vihear

Lemy’s Restaurant

Lemy’s a very typical Cambodian restaurant with a wonderful family feel, and excellent food. It is 250 meters north of the town roundabout on the right-hand side. The service can be a little slow, as they are very popular and fill up quickly in the early evening. Besides, they offer a huge menu of typical Cambodian food, with plenty of soups, noodles, stir-fries, and more. The beef clay pot was so good the customers couldn’t get enough of it. Prices range from $1.50 to $4 per dish.

Oeng Kong Huy Guesthouse & Restaurant

Oeng Kong Huy is a bit more expensive and luxurious than Lemy. If you are a person who likes privacy, you may like this position more. You’ll easily see this place on the road west out of Sra Aem, part of a row of motels about a kilometer from the roundabout. The food here is very similar to Lemy’s and just as delicious. However, locals also tend to recommend Oeng Kong Huy to foreign guests, Because a lot of locals think that foreigners won’t (can’t) eat Cambodian food. Meanwhile, this restaurant also sells some Western dishes such as burgers. Breakfast prices range from $2 to $2.50, including a $2 omelet, Stir-fried noodles with chicken, beef, or pork cost $3.50.

Sra Aem Boutique Hotel

They have an extensive menu of Khmer and Western dishes, including salads, pizza, pasta, and steaks, with prices ranging from $4.50 for a beef burger, to $18.50 for a tenderloin steak. They also do a Western breakfast for $6. There is a full bar here, with a wide range of cocktails plus a pool table to help while away the evenings.

How to get to Preah Vihear

Getting to Preah Vihear, Cambodia, primarily depends on your starting point and mode of transportation. Preah Vihear Province is located in the northern part of Cambodia, near the Thai border. The main attraction in the province is Preah Vihear Temple, which is situated atop a cliff in the Dangrek Mountains.

Phnom Penh to Preah Vihear

  • By Air: The nearest airport to Preah Vihear is Siem Reap International Airport. You can fly to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh and then take a taxi or bus to Preah Vihear. The distance from Siem Reap to Preah Vihear is approximately 230 kilometers, and the journey takes around 3-4 hours by road.
  • By Bus: Several bus companies operate daily services from Phnom Penh to Preah Vihear. The bus journey can take 8-10 hours, depending on road conditions and stops along the way.
    Siem Reap to Preah Vihear

If you’re already in Siem Reap, you can take a bus or hire a taxi to Preah Vihear. The road journey from Siem Reap to Preah Vihear usually takes around 3-4 hours.

Poipet (Thai Border) to Preah Vihear

If you’re coming from Thailand, you can cross the border at Poipet (Aranyaprathet on the Thai side) into Cambodia. From Poipet, you can take a taxi or bus to Preah Vihear, which is approximately 150 kilometers away.

Local Transportation
Once you arrive in Preah Vihear town or near the temple, you can use tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis, or rental bicycles to explore the area and visit Preah Vihear Temple.



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