After only being placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List this past September,entrance prices for foreign visitors have already been increased at Sambor Prei Kuk Archaelogical Park.
The site’s temples are “unique specimens of their genre in Southeast Asia”. The site is actually home to three temple complexes:
- Prasat Sambor (ប្រាសាទសំបូរ) is considered the main temple and it dates from the 7th century. It was dedicated to one of the reincarnations of Shiva known as Gambhireshvara.
- Prasat Yeah Puon (ប្រាសាទយាយព័ន្ធ) includes 22 sanctuaries dated from the 7th century (600 – 635 AD) during the reign of Isanavarman I in dedication to Shiva.
- The last temple is occupied by the Central Sanctuary, or Prasat Boram
Visits to Sambor Prei Kuk can be done either “on-the-way” from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in a chronological way, as to witness the evolution of the archaeological styles of the Khmer Temples, or vice-versa on the way back to the capital city. A brief stop at the small Kompong Thom Museum, with its beautiful artifacts of Sambor Prei Kuk style, is a real must-see as well!