Sambor Prei Kuk
Constructed: Early 7th century C.E.
King: Isanavarman I
Location: about 120 km southeast of Siem Reap, in Kampong Thom Province
Less touristed, off the beaten tracks temple area
Hundereds of temple towers in the forest (nickname "Bagaan of Cambodia")
Pre-Angkorian Temples overgrown by trees
Sambor Prei Kuk is the most significant conglomeration of pre-Angkorian temples.
It was constructed during the period when the Khmer kingdom of Zhenla was at its apex and controlled much of the area, more than 150 years before the rise of Angkor.
There are three main temple complexes:
Preak Tor ("Lion Temple")
Preah Yeay Poun
In addition to these main complexes, there are a number of minor ruins.
The main temple complexes are walled, containing a number of prasats (towers) in differing states of ruin.
Some of the carvings on the lintels, columns and pilasters are in pretty good shape, displaying the unique Sambor Prei Kuk style.
The ruins are set in semi-cleared jungle and are largely untouristed.
A quick tour of the main temples takes a little bit more than one hour.
As most of the temples face east, the morning hours present the best photographic light.
There is a good dirt road to the ruins from Kampong Thom and some small refreshment stands at the complex.
National Road 6 from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap passes through Kampong Thom city and the ruins are about 35 km outside the city.
It's about a 50 minute drive one way from Kampong Thom City.
We offer an exclusive daytour to the ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk. The tour starts and ends in Siem Reap, making the visit very easy and comfortable.