Koh ker temple tour( Highly recommended 2h:20minute driving )
English speaking driver+gasoline+Parking fee+cool waters,cool towels=120$
Koh Ker was once an ancient capital of Cambodia, located in Srayong Cheung village, Srayong commune, Kulen district, about 49 kilometers west of the provincial town. The Koh Ker complex is on the Chhork Koki highland. It was built by King Jayavaraman IV (AD 928-942). Koh Ker temple is 35 meters high, and its design resembles a seven-stepped stupa. The temple faces west toward Angkor city. It was built to worship Treypuvanesvara, the god of happiness.
In 928 Koh Ker became the capital of the Khmer empire, during the reign of King Jayavarman IV. The landmark of Koh Ker is the perfect step pyramid belonging to the vast complex of Prasat Thom. More than a dozen temples can be visited. Among temple towns of this size, Koh is the only one that remains untouristed.
So far, 96 temples have been found in Koh Ker: Dav, Rumlum Bey, Beung Veng, Trapiang Prey, Dey Chhnang, Srok Srolao, Lingam, Kuk Srakum, Trapiang Ta, Sophy, Krahom, Andoung, Ang Khna, Teuk Krahom, Damrei Sar, Krarab, Banteay Pichoan, Kuk, Kmao, Thneung, Thorn Balang, Rohal, Chamneh, Sampich, Trapiang Svay, Neang Kmao, Pram, Bat, Khnar Chen, Klum, Chrab, Dangtung, Prang, Kampiang.... These temples were not constructed near each other. Today, many of them are no longer standing, and some are buried in the ground.
Compared to earlier examples, many sandstone towers in and around Prasat Thom are of enormous size and, besides Phnom Bok in Angkor, sheltered the largest Lingas known in Cambodia. The French archaeologist Lunet die Lajonquière came to the conclusion, that, given the limitations of Khmer constuction techniques, the use of wooden carpentry had to be extended in Koh Ker.
A characteristic of both architecture and the sculpture of Koh Ker is the use of huge blocks of stone. Sandstone was abundantly available in this area and, compared to Angkor, there was less of a problem in moving it. Nevertheless, brick still predominant as material, but the use natural stone, sandstone and also laterite, was increasing.
Square ground plans were the most common, but rectangular buildings occur more often than in previous periods, from now on not only for galleries, but for libraries and other kinds of edifices, too. In particular, the evolution of galleries, only hinted at in earlier periods, makes some advance at Koh Ker’s principal temple Prasat Thom, both in the almost continuous series of gallery buildings of its second enclosure and in the uninterrupted semi-open column hall of Prasat Thom's exterior gate. The arrangement of towers in quincunx, which began at the Bakheng and became a favourite pattern for some time was less predominent in Koh Ker, however, it occurs at Prasat Krachap.
All the monuments in Koh Ker are dedicated to Hindu deities, mainly Shiva. Remarkably, there are no shrines for the Buddha. This is in contrast to earlier and later periods of Khmer history, when the Buddha, besides Shiva and Vishnu, used to be venerated as one of the three most important supernatural beings “imported” from India - despite the fact that in this country of origin the Buddha was regarded as unorthodox or even heretical by devotees of Shiva and Vishnu.