I am the director of Happiness House. I would like to send the spcial thank to all of the customers that attempt or are now staying in our guest house. I promise to complete all of your need as possible as we can. I also want to tell you that our guest house is the most comfortable one in Preah Vihear Province, it is also say that it is the leading one in town. Thank you for your support. Please have a good holiday.
Preah Vihear's dusty little capital, this friendly little village is miles from nowhere but if you're going to any of the temple sites in the province you'll probably spend at least one night here. When I stayed here it was at the Happiness House and it was quite adequate. It's brand new so you won't find it in any of the guidebooks and about 100m from Post Office or Environment Office - basically a wooden shack with a couple of tables inside, and the food is fine. The road from Kompong Thom is fine as is most of the road up to Preah Vihear temple.
Preah Vihear temple
Long a contentious matter between Thailand and Cambodia as to who owns it, the temple is now firmly in the hands of Cambodia. I attended the grand opening on January 15th, 2003 and the chronicle can be read here. The temple is easily accessed from Thailand, not so easily from Cambodia. It's not too bad from Anlong Veng, but making your way up from Tbeng Menachey is a disaster. The road up to the top of the temple is a thrill if you have a big bike and know what you;re doing. If not, walk, take a moto, or hitch a ride. Admission fees apply - from Thailand it's 200 baht to the Thais and 200 again to the Cambodians. From the Cambodia side there is a $5 fee if someone bothers to ask you for it. Though accessible from Thailand this is not an international border crossing and you cannot enter/leave Cambodian and Thailand here.
Koh Ker Temple
This is a huge templex complex of possibly hundreds of large and small monuments. Many are still deep in the jungle and/or surrounded by mines. There are so many ancient structures still inaccessible that people aren't yet entirely sure of all that is buried in the forest. At present, the pyramidal structure that is the centerpiece of this tenth century capital, the pile of rubble that constitutes a temple in front of it, as well as some minor structures scattered around the area are open to visitors.. I visited Koh Ker in January 2003 and the story can be read here and returned again in January 2005. There is a reasonably good road connecting Koh Ker and Siem Reap that can be covered in two to three hours, though given the perceived exotic nature of the site, taxi drivers have been requesting sometimes ridiculous amounts of money to take tourists there. The distance is 125 km and a round-trip by car really shouldn't cost more than about $60 but prices in excess of $100 are often asked. As the road was built with private funds there is a $10 admission fee for foreigners. Siyong is the nearest village and there is a guesthouse there.
Preah Khan Temple
Not to be confused with the Preah Khan located within the Angkor Archaeological Park and but a few kilometers north of Angkor Wat, this is probably the largest temple complex built during the ancient Khmer empire. The walls enclose in area of several square kilometers. This is one remote site I still haven't managed to visit. But those who do tell me it's gotten easier in the last year or two but is still no walk in the park. Lonely Planet does a pretty good job of discussing this temple and the ordeal of getting to it. If you do make it, don't expect too much by the way of intricate carvings as this temple has been very badly looted and much of it quite recent.