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Trip Report: Moto to Preah Khan (Preah Vihear province) from Siem Reap

By Marvin

February 10, 2008 

I was there at Preah Khan last Thursday. I went with nine Khmer friends from Siem Reap on five motos. We left Siem Reap really early in the morning and made great time to Kampong Kdei. From there we took a fairly good dirt road to Khvau (took about two hours to go the 40 kms). From Khvau the road to Preah Khan was pretty miserable--it took us about 3-4 hours to go the final 40 kms. The "road" is basically an ox-cart trail that is not passable with anything but a moto. I guess the shape of the road depends on how bad the rainy season was. You do go over three ancient Angkor bridges on the way. A caveat to going that way is that there basically no villages on the stretch of the road, so if something happens to your moto, you are screwed. Prior to reaching Preah Khan, we came upon a fairly good sized Angkor style temple (I would say about five kms from the main Preah Khan site). Prasat Preah Stung, or Prasat Muok Boon (four-faced temple) is really the highlight of the visit. You can actually climb up to the tower and stand next to the face. The main area does have a person who watches the place and takes tourists around. There were some locals there--there was loud music playing from a boom box and four locals were sitting inside one of the buildings drinking beer (very strange).

From there it is about 2-3 kms to Ta Seng, which fortunately did have petrol, but little else in the way of services.

We decided to go back a slightly longer way, from Ta Seng there is a road to Stoeng (which is 30 kms south of Kampong Kdei on NH6). The first part of the road is very rough through the forrest, but it eventually gets better and there are many villages along the way.

So it ended up taking us about 16 hours to complete the trip. It did look like they were working on some sort of road from Stoeng to Ta Seng

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