Prasat Khao Phra Wihan (Preah Vihear)
Located in Cambodia, right by Amphoe Kantharalak, some 35 kilometres from Amphoe Kantharalak, the cliff-top Khmer sanctuary once belonged to Thailand. It was enlisted as an antique architecture by the Fine Arts Department and with announcement in the Royal Gazette on October 11, 1940. After the World Court ruling on July 15, 1962, the sanctuary belongs to Cambodia until now. For more information about visiting Phear Vihear Sanctuary, call Amphoe Kantharalak at 0-4566-1422 or Ranger Unit 23 at 0-4566-1443.
Visitor to Preah Vihear Sanctuary needs to pay 200 baht each to get through Khao Phra Wihan National Park, 5 baht for border crossing (pay to Amphoe Kantharalak) and 200 baht entry fee (pay to Cambodian Government). Visiting the sanctuary requires at least an hour.
How to get there. From Si Sa Ket City, use highway y221 to Amphoe Kantharalak en route Ban Phum Saron. Tourist requires to access the sanctuary via Khao Phra Wihan National Park and pay the border crossing charge first.
About Preah Vihear.
The sanctuary is located on cliff top at 500 metres elevation which has long been considered a sacred place among various local races in the region. Sanctuary and lingam in Shaivism was established here in the 11th Century and attracted people from all around and pilgrimages from far away.
With outstanding location on mountain slope, Preah Vihear Sanctuary comprises 4 parts. The steep stair way leads to the first Gopura which is four-faced pavilion. Then, the walkway leads to the second Gopura which houses carved gable depicting ‘Churning the Sea of Milk’ which is related to royal coronation of Khmer king. The third part is called ‘Maha Monthian’. The last part, by the breath taking cliff, is the sacred inner sanctuary called “Prasat Prathan’ which houses Shivalinga. The sanctuary faces north (or Thailand) towards the up-hill entrance.