How to Reach and Explore the Preah Ko Temple, Cambodia
Preah Ko, meaning “Sacred Bull”, is one of the oldest and most impressive temples in the world. Located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, this ancient temple site provides visitors with a unique blend of historical and spiritual significance.
Arrive at Siem Reap via bus, air, car or boat
To explore the Preah Ko temple, you’ll first need to get to Siem Reap. From within Cambodia or when coming from other major Asian cities like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, the most affordable and convenient way of traveling to Siem Reap is via bus. If you have an extra budget and time is an important factor, flying into Siem Reap International Airport is another option. You can also rent a car or take a boat ride from Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital).
Take a tuk-tuk or taxi from the city center to Phnom Bakheng and Preah Ko Temple
After arriving in Siem Reap, the best way to get from the city center to Phnom Bakheng and Preah Ko Temple is to take a tuk-tuk or taxi. The journey is approximately 15-20 minutes from downtown Siem Reap, depending on traffic. Upon reaching the destination, you will find many vendors selling souvenirs, snacks and drinks outside the official Preah Ko Temple ticket office located at the entrance of Phnom Bakheng.
Purchase tickets for entry into the temple complex
Before entering the complex, visitors must purchase a ticket from the gate. Tickets are sold for both regular access and special sunrise/sunset viewings of the temple and are available from 9am-6pm, daily. Prices vary depending on whether you want to visit in the morning or evening (when it’s less crowded) but expect to pay, there are fees for non Khmer visitors. Visitors are strongly encouraged to book tickets online in advance as queues can be long during traditional holiday periods.
Equip yourself with a camera, sun protection, and insect repellent before beginning your exploration
When exploring Preah Ko Temple, it’s important to come prepared! Make sure you bring a good digital camera or phone with a powerful lens for taking pictures of the beautiful carvings and sculptures. Pack multiple hats and sunglasses, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent, to protect yourself from the sun and pesky bugs. Avoid wearing bright colors or patterns as this can attract attention from Cambodian monkeys in the area which might cause a nuisance.
Visit each of the four distinct temple structures surrounding Preah Ko – Angkor Wat Akasaka, Lolei Mountain, Eastern Mebon Tower and Western Mebon Tower – in any order you wish!
Start your journey through Preah Ko by starting at the iconic Angkor Wat Akasaka. Here you will marvel at its intricate carvings, statues and towers that form a stunning three-story building dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. After taking in this incredible site, head to Lolei Mountain where you’ll admire a series of seven wells that have been carved into the hillside. Next, explore each tower of Eastern Mebon Tower and Western Mebon Tower as they face east and west respectively towards Kbal Spean Stream. Finally, wind down with an awe-inspiring view of Preah Ko Temple set against its tranquil backdrop.