Sambor Prei Kuk
Kompong Thom, Cambodia
Sambor Prei Kuk Kompong Thom Reviews
Older but less impressive than Angkor Oct 30, 2005
Sambor Prei Kuk is a recommended place to visit if you haven't seen Angkor yet and are travelling by road from Kompong Cham or Kompong Thom to Siem Reap. If you have already seen Angkor, you've probably got temple fatigue already and these ruins will not make much of an impression. If you haven't they will be another fine tension builder for Angkor and a nice attraction while travelling northwards. Below is part of my travel journal describing our visit to Sambor Prei Kuk.
Sambor Prei Kuk, the remains of a 7th century temple complex. These pre-Angkorian structures are some of the oldest buildings in the country and were all dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva (in several different forms) and were part of the old Chenla empire. They were located in a remote piece of forests which gave them a real peaceful and serene atmosphere.
There were three main groups of buildings (Prasat Sambor, Prasat Tao and Prasat Yeay Peau) we visited, while Sam, our guide explained their backgrounds. All of these groups were basically a number of towerlike edifices build of brick with an opening in the roof that made them feel like chimneys when you were inside. Some of the highlights of this visit included the tower with the lion (Tao) statues, the entrance of Prasat Yeay Peau, overgrown by a big tree and several of the mural carvings.
Another thing worth mentioning are the children. When we got out of the bus we were surrounded by a huge group of kids, all selling scarves. Even though we told them that we would buy something when we got back to the bus they kept following us around. This resulted in a rather hilarious scene. Imagine a group of tourists walking through a forest with a horde of grasshoppers fleeing in front of them and a horde or kids trailing behind them. Before long we noticed that every kid had picked a person in the group and sticked with this person. I was amazed about their English skills and they even acted as little guides, telling us what was up next and pointing out holes created by American bombs. As you can imagine I bought one of the scarves before getting back in the bus.
Part of the Cambodia 2005 travel blog
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