Sambor Prei Kuk

Sambor Prei Kuk is a very interesting site in which consists a collection of remains of some of the earliest Angkorian era temples which can be found in the province of Kampong Thom, 35km out of the main town, and about 120km in total from Siem Reap. There are 3 principal groups within the site as a whole - the Prasat Sambor (North Group) , Prasat Tao (Central Group), and Prasat Yeay Poeun (South Group). Each individual group houses some very impressive temple ruins throughout, depicting pre-Angkorian art, and this will most likely figure as one of the most impressive Cambodia tourist attractions for the true temple enthusiast who will certainly be in their element here, and with any luck, have the place to themselves. The temples hail back to the

  • Chenla era of the 7th century and at this site is what remains of the Chenla capital, then Isanapura. Within each walled group are prasats in a varying state of decay, which focus around one main temple in the center. On each are carvings which also differ dramatically in terms of preservation and legibility. These carvings and temple designs are strikingly similar to many of the designs for the successive Angkor Temples, and the Khmer artwork desplayed here is in the most part an absolute pretext for generations to come. However, a particular construction technique used which distinguishes the historical period from the Angkorian era is the use of an octagonal form for many of the prasats. The three groups of Sambor Prei Kuk are as follows:

    Prasat Sambor - This group in the north comprises 14 temples in the main compound, with a main temple in the center. The temples are constructed of limestone and brick predominantly, all contain carvings, and as well as the traditional Khmer style of artwork and carving, influences from India can also be seen. Sandstone lotus petal carvings can be seen on the main tower as can the octagonal construction style.

    Prasat Tao - This group is located in the center, and comprises 6 temples around 1 main temple. The 'Tao' in its name means 'lion' in Khmer language, and it refers to the lions which guard the entrance to the main temple of the group - 2 at each of the 4 entrances.

  • Sambor-Prei-Kuk in Cambodia

    Sambor Prei Kuk temple in Cambodia

    Prasat Yeay Poeun - All the temples are located in the forest, but this southern group is much more hidden. As well as the fact that not many tourists make it to these temples, alone in the jungle you will feel like you are the first to discover these remarkable buildings.

    How much does a visit cost?

    To see all the site you will have to pay an entrance fee of US3.

    When should I go, and how long do I need?

    Anytime is good to visit. Early morning shows the temples in their best light. The journey from Siem Reap is a fairly long one, so we'd recommend organising accommodation near the site the day before.


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