Phnom Bok in Siem Reap, Cambodia is one of the most exciting, less visited places in the Angkor Wat Complex.
It is one of the “Trilogies of Mountains” in the Angkor Area, Phnom Bok, and the other two which are Phnom Bakheng and Phnom Krom. These three sandstone temples were built under the reign of King Jasovarnam I and were built on the three hills in the plains of Angkor.
A visit to Phnom Bok is a dream come true for all the travelers who wish to discover a hidden Khmer treasure.
Phnom Bok Location
Pnom Bok is situated in the northeast of Eastern Baray which is about 25 kilometers from Siem Reap. It is one of the three hills chosen by King Yashovarman I that had high religious value during the Angkorian period. Phnom Bok sits at the summit of the highest hill in the Angkor area which is over 200 meters high above the ground and the main attraction is the temple compound on the very top.
Phnom Bok was built by King Yasovarman I in the late 9th early 10th century and was one of the three mountain temples built on the three hills of the Angkor region. Built in 910 AD, Phnom Bok is one of the most ancient sites in Angkor and is also known for the triple shrine dedicated to the Trimurti (three forms, “Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwara.”)
Why is Phnom Bok the most exciting, less visited place in the Angkor Wat Complex?
There are reasons why it is considered to be the most exciting, less visited place in Angkor. Phnom Bok is secluded, far away from the small and grand tours and there is no suitable car park for buses at the base of Phnom Bok. Furthermore, it is a less visited place since seeing its ancient beauty requires climbing to the top of the 235 meter- high hill. With 633 steps to reach the summit, some people may not want to consider it in the middle of the day. However, for people who want to explore and venture off the beaten path, climbing up to Phnom Bok’s peak can be the most exciting experience. The view from the highest peak of Phnom Bok can give every tourist an exciting and magical feeling as tourists can have a stunning overview of the Tonle Sap Lake and surrounding areas of Angkor. They say that the sunset view from Phnom Bok can be adored and should not be missed by people who wish to discover a hidden Khmer treasure.