There is no doubt that Angkor Wat is beautiful; but if you want to get the real feel of Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider film MINUS the crowd; then Sambor Prei Kuk is the place that be.
Sambor Prei Kuk is in Kampong Thom Province. It consists of ancient ruins, which are several centuries older than Angkor Wat. This ruined complexes dates back to the Pre-Angkorian Kingdom of late 6th to 9th century.
Here you will find totally deserted temple in the middle of nowhere.
You just need to put an little extra effort to avoid just the normal Siem Reap and Phnom Penh itinerary and take a detour to Kampong Thom; and you will be rewarded with a blissful serenity with the ruins reminding the greatness of that place.
These temples have been truly lost to the jungle and the feeling of 're-discovering' them cannot be matched with anyother experience that you get in Cambodia.
The whole compound is made of three clusters classified as Group C for Central, N for North and S for South. They are enclosed in a double-walled encircling 1,000 acre in which there were 150 Hindu temples today mostly in ruins.
In the early 1970s, Sambor Prei Kuk was bombed by US aircraft in support of the Lon Nol government’s doomed fight against the Khmer Rouge. Some of the craters, ominously close to the temples, can still be seen. The area’s last land mines were cleared in 2008.
Sambor Prei Kuk today has a serene and soothing atmosphere, with the sandy trails between temples looping through shady forest, making for a pleasant stroll.
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Sambor Prei Kuk is
Several public bus companies run regular services between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and vice versa. All these buses stop in Kampong Thom town. You can then hire tuk tuk to explore this region.