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Patrols Vie Over Temple’s Beauty, Isolation

Ta Krabey temple, the smallest and most isolated of the Ta Moan temple complex, is a favorite stopping point for patrols on both sides of a continued military border build-up.

Set high on a mountain the Dangrek range in Oddar Meanchey province, the temple was built around the same time as Angkor Wat, in similar stone, with an open style reminiscent of Phnom Penh’s Independence Monument.

Both Thai and Cambodia claim the temple, which is part of a three-temple complex, and on routine daily patrols, soldiers from each side briefly occupy Ta Krabey, which perches at the end of a steep jungle path.

Neither side has claimed tension over the temple, and the rotations are routine, but Cambodian soldiers report frequent helicopter overflights by the Thai military.