Koh Ker was the Capital of the Khmer Empire for a very brief period from the year 928 to 944 AD. In this short time; some very spectacular buildings and immense sculptures were constructed. Left to the jungle for nearly a millennium and mostly un-restored; this great archaeological site has been rarely visited until very recently.
The ancient Khmer city is in a distant jungle location with up to a hundred ruined temples including a huge stepped pyramid; the largest in the region. More ancient temples are being found in the jungle; so there is a true sense of discovery here. Many of the temples were built in brick using a mortar made from tree sap. It is quite remarkable how well they have stood up to the test of time
Koh Ker is not the easiest temple to get to as involves an early start and a long journey to get there. There are no public transport or tourist facilities; other than makeshift tables near the police camp at the entrance to Prasat Thom. This remote area has no towns and only a small village in cleared forest nearby. There is a village Sra Yong a few kilometres away. There is a new guest house which has recently opened.
The Entry fee is $10 payable at the booth near the entrance to Beng Mealea Temple 60kms to the south west. If you are heading from Tbeang Meanchey and Preah Vihear there is no means if getting a ticket … Yet but no doubt a facility will be set up in the not too distant future.
There is no transport around the area so you will have to use the car/4wd or Motor bike that took you there.
There are temples in abundance , most are brick built and all are in a picturesque state of ruin with many being overgrown. Prasat Thom is the largest structure here, it is a 7 stepped pyramid approx 40metres high the views from the top encompass a lonely landscape of forest with the distant Dangrek Mountains on the Thai Border to the north and the Koulen Mountain Range 70kms to the south
There are limited facilities at the Temple for eating, you can get a snack of hot noodle soup and cold drinks at the entrance to Prasat Thom. There are a couple of basic Khmer Cafes in the village of Sray Yong 10kms south.
If you want to stay over night there is a simple guest house at the village of Sray Young 1kms to the south. The Koh Ker Guest House has a few rustic rooms with bucket shower and WCs under the stilt house, new rooms are being added at present (Oct 06)
Camping is not permitted in the temple areas
Land Mines are a danger here, Most temples have been cleared ; but the areas outside of them have not! The ‘Danger Mines’ signs are no joke. Malaria is a risk here so protection is essential.