How to get to Preah Vihear, Cambodia
General Information (Share taxi/Pick-up/Motorbike):
To get into this remote province you have two possibilities, one is a packed laterite Major Road from Siem Reap via Anlong Veng, with a distance of over 200 km (completed in 2003).
The other access to Preah Vihear is from Kampong Thom via NH 64, which is about 155km South of Tbeng Meanchey. The last one is probably the easiest and fastest way to go to Tbeng Meanchey. Pick-ups go almost daily in the morning and noon to the provincial capital of Preah Vihear from Kampong Thom market ($2-4 depending if you're inside or on the back).
The comfortable share taxi is the other and faster option for $5-7. The road leading there is in horrendous condition as the logging freeze means no one has done any maintenance for a couple of years. The last 30km to Tbeng Meanchey climb some hills, which may get very nasty during the wet season with small creeks to minor rivers. You can also reach the place on a two to three days motorbike trip from Kompong Thom. Be aware of the road conditions and try to judge your personal experience on dusty, bumpy roads in the jungle.
A new other road has been constructed linking Siem Reap to Koh Ker (attraction side). From there, it's an ardous day ride on badly worn out dirt and sand tracks to Preah Vihear (famous temples).
Motorbike Info (Khampong Thom Preah Vihear):
Kompong Thom is the starting point for a real adventurous tour to the seldom-visited jungle plains of northern Cambodia. This 2-3 days motorbike ride to Preah Vihear is offered by some of the moto-taxi drivers, who will propose it to you once they spot you getting off the bus ($30-50).
With you sitting on the back of the bike, your driver will take you through peaceful villages and rice paddies, passing by friendly locals, spending a night with a local family and visiting the temples of Preah Khan Kompong Thom and Koh Ker on your way up. A part of the journey leads you along an old Angkorian road and over its ancient bridges. The ride itself is hardship, skidding over sticks and stones, through sand oceans and bamboo forests, sometimes fording small rivers. From Preah Vihear, you will head to Siem Reap via Anlong Veng, the place where Pol Pot is said to have died. It's a worth a ride, but put your motorbike skills on question before you go for it.
Land mines still remain a real danger in Preah Vihear although the temples itself and the access paths have been painstakingly cleared. Stay on the beaten trek, don't venture into any vegetation that has not been cleared recently, and heed the red warning signs, painted rocks and strings marking the limits of the demined area.