It was also not easy finding a vehicle. Well it was, but they'd usually charge you over US$200 for the day trip, too much if I was going alone. Some tour companies charge per head and won't give you car or van rates but the all-inclusive cost that includes lunch and your guide. Plus I couldn't find people who wanted to go really badly to share the costs with me. While I got some people interested, they'd get scared away by the rates. A Cambodian friend also told me that they got to rent a car several months ago for just US$100. So the overcharging was quite evident.
Good thing a day before my visit, a local partner offered to call a friend to get a friendly rate. And a friendly rate I got! Regular price is US$150 (contact details below). So the visit to Preah Vihear was on!
|Banteay Srei is a red sandstone Khmer temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva|
|The inner enclosure of Banteay Srei is exquisitely carved with decorative motifs that include kala (a monster symbolic of time), dvarpala (an armed protector of the temple) and devata (demi-goddess)|
Before you could visit the temple, you have to pass by the ticket office at the foot of the mountain. Entrance is free (as of posting), but you have to register with your passport and they will issue you a ticket which you will have to show at two ticket inspection areas, at the foot of the mountain and right before the temple. Despite roads being well-paved most of the way, your rented vehicle, unless it's a 4x4, will not be allowed up since it can get really steep. So you will have to hire a motorcyle taxi (US$5 per person round-trip) or a pick-up truck (US$25 round-trip) also at the ticketing office to get you up to Preah Vihear Temple.
|View of the Thai border from the Preah Vihear causeway|
Back in Siem Reap, we passed by Pre Rup Temple before calling it a day. It's one of the favorite places to catch the sunset. But unfortunately, there was none today. We left before 7 a.m. and we were back before 5 p.m., with a lot of time to spare before my evening flight back to Manila.
Phkay Prouk Sroem Restaurant
Telephone No. 012 63 83 78 / 064 677 7727
012 63 66 17 / 0888 48 88 28
So Chet (English Driver)
Mobile No. 012 331 664 / 097 77 55 743