Preah Vihear is bordered by Steung Traeng to the east, Kompong Thom to the south, Siem Reap to the southwest, Oddar Meanchey to the northwest, and Thailand to the north. Access to the province is by road only and at present there are only two decent roads into the province, from the west via Oddar Meanchey province and from the south from Kompong Thom. There is a laterite road to Steung Traeng, which in the upgrading works.
Preah Vihear is quite a big northern province of Cambodia. Its capital is called Phnom Tbeng Meanchey. The province itself is named after the temple of Prasat Preah Vihear, what is definitely the hot and famous place to visit. This tranquil site is popular for the Preah Vihear temple, standing in the vicinity of the borderline between Thailand and Cambodia. It is also one of the least populated provinces in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
According to the Tourism Department in Preah Vihear province recently, foreign tourist numbers to Preah Vihear Temple increased by 147 per cent over the first 11 months of the year 2012, while local visitor numbers increased by 84 per cent. Between January and November, a total of 6,396 foreign tourists visited the temple area, a 147.60 per cent increase over the same period last year, which only saw 2,582 visitors. There were 86,953 local visitors this year (2012), an increase of 84 per cent compared to last year, when the area welcomed only 47,163 visitors.
Preah Vihear province is 13,788 square kilometres with a population of 171,000 people (2008 census). The province is blessed with endless natural treasure. With its acres of dense, hilly forests and scrub green vegetation, Preah Vihear is indeed an ideal getaway destination in the lap of nature. The breathtaking views over the Dangkrek Mountains and lush jungle from Preah Vihear temples are not to be missed.
The province’s economy is 85% based on farming and the remaining other 15% are based on fishing and trading with pristine hardwoods.
Preah Vihear also happens to have three major temple sites. Until recent years, the three main sites; the most impressive legacies from the Angkorian era: (1) the mountain temple of Prasat Preah Vihear, (2) the 10th-century capital of Koh Ker, and (3) the mighty Preak Khan aka Bakan, were visited only to the most hardy and determined of travellers.
The provincial capital Tbeng Meanchey is due to the state of the infrastructure and it’s geographical location not visited by a lot of foreigners. Most of them don’t make it here worrying about the street conditions and the backcountry feeling of no fast supply in need. The city is sprawling and dusty and consists of little more than two small major dirt roads form South to North.
With exception of the small market and a couple of food stalls on the street, there are only a couple of eateries in town. In front of the taxi station you may find a couple of small restaurants offering noodle and rice dishes and fresh coffee.