From the World Heritage inscription for the Temple of Preah Vihear.
The Temple of Preah Vihear, a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases on an 800 metre long axis, is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture, in terms of plan, decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape environment.
Preah Vihear is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture. It is very ‘pure’ both in plan and in the detail of its decoration.
Authenticity, in terms of the way the buildings and their materials express well the values of the property, has been established. The attributes of the property comprise the temple complex; the integrity of the property has to a degree been compromised by the absence of part of the promontory from the perimeter of the property. The protective measures for the Temple, in terms of legal protection are adequate; the progress made in defining the parameters of the Management Plan needs to be consolidated into an approved, full Management Plan.
I can’t recommend visiting the Preah Vihear Temple until the tensions between Cambodia and Thailand cool down. Even then, the best route is to visit via Thailand, not from Cambodia, even though it technically lies in Cambodia. There are no paved roads on the Cambodian side of the border, but on the Thai side, there is very easy access and tour buses which frequent the temple.
I hope that one day there is enough development in Cambodia that visitors to Angkor in Sieam Reap will be able to easily visit Preah Vihear. Currently, it isn’t worth the effort.
View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cambodia.
View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.