In Cambodia, Sok, a young and imaginative boy, leaves the Buddhist priesthood to seek a more adventurous life. Tith, a friendly fortune-teller, gives him a bird of paradise which leads him to the Royal Palace at Pnompenh. There, in an ancient temple, Sok finds Dara, a beautiful dancer in the Imperial Ballet. When she leaves the dance company to take part in ritual celebrations, Sok follows her to Angkor Wat, the city of temples, and declares his love for her. Dara is also sought by Khem, a wealthy businessman. When Khem learns of her love for Sok, his jealousy erupts into violence, and Dara falls to her death. [According to another source, Dara commits suicide.] Sok is injured by Khem, and upon seeing the dead body of his beloved Dara, Sok also dies. The two are reunited in death, as in the legendary love story of Rama and Sita.
Filmed on location in Cambodia. Opened in Paris in October 1962 as L'oiseau de paradis.