The Beautiful Preah Vihear


All our dreams can come true, if we have the Courage to pursue them.”

Walt Disney
Preah Vihear

To be honest, my trip to Preah Vihear in 2012 was one of my amazing trips. Well, after visiting Angkor Wat in 2011 as UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cambodia, of course I wanted to go to another site that was listed also as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s Preah Vihear. But going there was not as simple as said. First, it  was the ground zero of the clash or conflict between Thailand and Cambodia. Second, Preah Vihear is a remote temple so public transportation was rare or very limited and the other hand my holiday time was also limited. Those made me having only one option to go there. I had to rent a car for visiting the temple that is located on the top of Dangrek Mountain and that’s so pricey. Third, there was very limited information about the situation, was it safe or not, how to go there, and so on. I did my research for going there, but I got so little.

Everyday I did browsing the Internet whether there was a progress on the conflict zone. Although each of the conflicted countries took a held step, the situation could not predicted. Perhaps there’s nothing happened, but who knows about it? In the morning there could be nothing happened but at noon there might be gun shots.

Well, there were so many sources as references regarding the border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia. The problem between two neighboring countries which have similar cultural roots has been going on for a long time. In a couple of years around my visit to Preah Vihear, sometimes it had heated up with several shots and attacks across the border, but sometimes their relations became better which was marked by the opening of the Thailand-Cambodia border which is located on the lower edge of Preah Vihear Temple. At the end, it seemed more often in a situation of mutual alert which was marked by the presence of armed soldiers in each area.

The unpredictable situation in Preah Vihear was not the only consideration that I needed to think seriously. If the situation was good then how did I go there in my limited holiday time? I knew that there was a bus from Siem Reap to Anlong Veng but I did not know the schedule and also after that I did not know the I could reach Preah Vihear from Anlong Veng. Could I rent a bike? or a taxi? Was it really doable? How about the road signs, was it clear or not? So many questions since I knew some part of the roads there was not fully paved. The only thing that I could think was renting a car from Siem Reap. That’s so pricey.

But after so many considerations, I had to decide that I should rent a car. It might be pricey, but I could save my time. And with a little extra price, the tour agent gave me options to Beng Mealea temple and Koh Ker temple as well which I could not reject. Yes! All three of these extraordinary remote temple destinations could be reached in 1 day! I should leave at dawn before sunrise from my hotel in Siem Reap and I would be back to the hotel at night. Perfect!

So I might have the transportation, but could I go there? The situation in Preah Vihear was still unpredictable…

Suddenly, at last minute I got the information that I could not join in an event in Phnom Penh though I had already the flight ticket. Quickly I thought of reroute to Siem Reap and it’s like a miracle, it’s done smoothly without any additional fee.

And like an insane people, I browsed again the situation at Preah Vihear, sending an email to a Philippine guy who had visited Preah Vihear two weeks before and amazingly he replied my email! He assured me that the situation was OK! I felt the Universe supported me for going to Preah Vihear. Everything was going well.

I felt so happy when the D-day came!

Early morning the guide, -he drove the car himself-, and me had been on the road going for Beng Mealea, Koh Ker and Preah Vihear. Since I explored Beng Mealea and Koh Ker too long, we arrived a little bit late at Preah Vihear. But being late there, i got another surprise from the Nature. Sunset from the temple!

Sunset at Preah Vihear
The Beautiful Carving at Preah Vihear

This post was written in response to the bi-weekly challenge from Celina’s Blog, Srei’s Notes, Cerita Riyanti, and also A Rhyme In My Heart, which is the 4th challenge of 2021 has the theme of Fulfillment, so we are encouraged ourselves to write articles weekly. If you are interested to take part in this challenge, we welcome you… and of course we will be very happy!

2 thoughts on “The Beautiful Preah Vihear

  1. Waah..rute kita kebalikan ternyata Mba.. jadi kepikiran nanti kalau bisa balik lagi (entah kapan 😁) mending Preah Vihearnya pas sunset ya.. keren banget fotonyaa..

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