31.01.2013 - 31.01.2013
on kkhopper's travel map.
Our taxi driver picked us up at 6 for a three-hour drive from Siem Reap to Preah Vihear temple on the Thai border. Because Mr. Sok Sen is a very sedate driver, we traveled at a maximum speed of 35 mph and arrived at the temple site four hours later. The last leg of the trip, straight up the cliffside, required riding in a pick-up and tossing packages of cigarettes to the many soldiers standing guard. Preah Vihear, built between the 9th and 10th centuries, is at the top of a tall cliff in a string of five buildings leading to the edge of the cliff. From the top, we could have seen much of northwestern Cambodia if the smoke from burning brush hadn't been so thick. Two members of the Patrimony Police, one wearing thick woolen gloves in spite of the 90 degree heat, led us through the five successive temples, relating the ancient Hindu legends shown in the carvings along the way.