Preah Vihear is a province of Cambodia. It borders the provinces of Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap to the west, Kampong Thom to the south and Stung Treng to the east. Its northern boundary forms part of Cambodia’s international border with Thailand and Laos. Its capital is Tbeng Meanchey town.
The province is named after the temple of Prasat Preah Vihear. The Dângrêk Mountains and the Cambodia/Thailand border are located in the north of Preah Vihear Province.
Preah Vihear Temple is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.
Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-centuries-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire’s spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles. Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north-south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand’s Sisaket province and through which the temple is most easily accessible. On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.