Preah Vihear is a province of Cambodia with area of 13,788 square kilometers, and has divided into seven districts and one municipality. It borders the provinces of Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap to the west, Kampong Thom to the south and Stung Treng to the east. Its northern boundary forms part of Cambodia’s international border with Thailand and Laos. Its capital is Preah Vihear.
Preah Vihear Province (ខេត្តព្រះវិហារ) is home to three of Cambodia’s most impressive Angkorian legacies. Stunningly perched on a promontory high in the Dangrek Mountains, Prasat Preah Vihear became Cambodia’s second Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008, sparking an armed stand-off with Thailand. Further south are the lonely, jungle-engulfed temples of Preah Khan – totally isolated and imbued with secret-world atmosphere. More accessible is 10th-century capital Hoh Ker, which is day-tripping distance from Siem Reap.
Preah Vihear Province is genuine ‘outback’ Cambodia and remains desperately poor – partly because many areas were under Khmer Rouge control until 1998, and partly because until recently its transport infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. The needs of the Cambodian army in its confrontation with Thailand have expedited dramatic road upgrades in the province, making travel more straightforward, although public transport is still in short supply on some routes.