- George Moore
Chau Srei Vibol in Cambodia is a small charming temple on top of a hill which hardly sees any visitors - very few non-locals have heard of it, and it is set just far enough away from the main tourist routes.
The central sanctuary has not been restored and is in a ruinous state but this is one of the main attractions of the site. Originally the temple would have consisted of at least two laterite walls divided by a moat, the central sanctuary, and a library to the East. Nowadays the outer wall is not visible and only the some parts and the gopuras of the inner wall remain - still enclosing a large area of shaded forest around the central temple. The sanctuary is on top of a hill and a modern Buddhist wat has been constructed nearby.
A dense forest surrounds the temple and the trees will provide you with a much needed cool shade in the heat of the day. As with some of the other Siem Reap temples further afield , the calm and peacefulness of Chau Srei Vibol and its beautiful surroundings make this spot perfect for a day out trip - and one of our countryside walks ends here, either with a picnic lunch or an end of day drink.
Access to Chau Srei Vibol is quite difficult due to the condition of the road but a local guide can assist you getting there. You can reach the temple via NH6, passing through the Roluos group and turning left at Rokar Kampot. Chau Srei Vibol is on the dirt road between Phnom Bok and Roluos at about 8 kilometers north. There is a monastic complex at the base of the hill. You can ask your driver to wait here and approach the temple from the north as the path has been cleared.
Walk around the laterite wall until you reach the Western entrance. You will notice that despite the ruinous state of the gates the carved lintels on some of them are in quite good condition. There is a set of a steep steps on the west entrance that will take you to the top of the hill where the central sanctuary is. Some of the temple galleries have collapsed and there are big stone blocks spread over the floor of the temple. You can spot some stone lion statues among the piles. One of the Chau Srei Vibol highlights is the enormous tree that has grown out of the sanctuary building.
Peerless service standards and local positioning have made us the tour operator of choice by international luxury travel groups and discerning independent travellers to Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Southeast Asia.