Some other impressive temples
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 19 of 22 › view all entries
Today we did some cherry picking. It takes at least one week to see most of the temples of the Angkor complex, so you have to "study" in advance and make a choice which temples you would like to visit when time is short. I like doing my home work, so dived into some books and maps of the surrounding temples to see what was the most interesting and practical tour for the day.
We hired a tuk tuk for a day and decided to begin early in the morning with Banteay Srei, which according to our driver was the woman temple. This small temple was situated more than 30 km from our hotel, so it took took us a while before we got there. But it was worth the trip. Although small, Banteay Srei is very remarkable and different from other temples. First, it is peaceful and isolated from the bigger temples.
The long way back took us to East Mebon. We wanted to visit this because of its elephant sculptures. The setting is beautiful in the East Baray and surrounded by ricefields. Via Srah Srang our goal was the northeastern Angkor group with Neak Pean and Preah Khan.
Neak Pean's surrounding was flooded. Small planks made it possible to visit it without getting wet feet - unless you lost your equilibrium... Neak Pean is a small island temple with a cruciform arrangement of ponds.
Preah Khan is like Ta Prohm, but bigger and not invested by tourists. In fact, I didn't see hardly any tourist. We were dropped by Mr. Tuk Tuk at the northern gate with the message that he would wait for us at the west gate. But getting there was easier sad than done. The complex was like a labyrinth with surprises around every corner. It contains a few ponds, two long alleys which cross in the centre where they form the central sanctuary. There are a few free standing buildings which are two storied and other sanctuaries at the many crossways. The roots of trees are omni-present and the details of figures appear everywhere. For me this was definitely the most impressive temple.
Of course we missed a lot of sights, but got a good general opinion of the huge Angkor complex. I'll give you my Angkor top five:
1. Preah Kahn
3. Banteay Srei
4. Ta Prohm
5. Angkor Wat