At long last; – despite several incident free years following on from 2008 border skirmishes between Cambodia and Thailand – the UK Foreign Office has finally seen fit to declare the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site of Preah Vihear ‘safe to visit’. This (mainly) 11th century Hindu temple is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular Angkor period temples being located right on the edge of a several hundred metre cliff overlooking the plains of Northern Cambodia.
Despite the occasional bullet hole from earlier fighting the temple is in pretty good condition displaying many fine carvings and intact shrines. (On our last visit there Khmer soldiers were very keen to point out said bullet holes saying, “…look what the Thai soldeirs did!”.) If there hadn’t been several deaths we’d have been tempted to call it handbags at dawn and on both sides we can’t help but feel the main motivations were largely domestic political manouvering. (Yes, obviously that applies to most conflicts!)
Anyway great news and we can now re-instate Preah Vihear Temple as part of Beyond Angkor tour without fear of the our travellers’, and our own, insurance being voided for ignoring FCO advice!