A lot of you might have already heard about a conflict currently going on between Thai and Cambodian troops on their borders. It is a dispute that has been going on for a long time and has really heated up over the last few years which has resulted in the beautiful temple complex known as Prasat Khao Phra Viharn ปราสาทเขาพระวิหาร being closed for the last three years.
It’s very disappointing as it is a magnificent place to visit. I am not a temple tourist at all but this place is something else due to it’s location on a cliff that is 525 metres high offering an amazing view over the plains of Cambodia.
Three and a half years ago my cousin Frances was visiting so It was a good excuse to visit Prasat Khao Phra Viharn for the first time. Here are a few photos of that visit.
Since the temple was closed to visitors not long after we visited I have kept a keen eye on proceedings as I would love to get back there again. There has been the occasional skirmish resulting in small losses of life from both sides but in the last few days things have taken a turn for the worst. Deaths and casualties have been a lot higher and the rhetoric coming from both governments gives real cause for concern.
We arrived in Ubon last night and Seerung called her sister to find out if there was any truth in the rumours of bombs landed away from the conflict area and into Ubon Ratchathani province. Unfortunately they were true as my sister in law talked about a very long night with no sleep listening to the sounds of shells coming increasingly closer to the village. She said that no one slept all night and everyone has packed their bags awaiting word from the government if told to evacuate. Not to far away entire villages have done just that. Schools and government offices are closed and up to 15,000 people are staying in three different evacuation shelters. The Chong Jom border crossing is closed and Samrong district in Ubon has been evacuated.
The actual temple is 45kms away from our village and the conflict has never caused any concern in the pat. This time however shells appear to be falling a long way away from the temple which is quite worrying.
We are due to stay in Ubon for three nights before the girls head to the village and I go to Laos. We will obviously be monitoring the situation and will change our plans if need be.
I am not going to get into the debate as to who owns the disputed territory or if ouster prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has anything to do with it as I am here on holiday and hope to enjoy myself! If anyone fills inclined to give your thoughts then please do so in the comments section as I would love to learn some more about the history of this place.
As I said earlier, we arrived last night after a long but very easy journey. I will blog and upload photos about the trip shortly.