Some other impressive temples

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Banteay Srei

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.

Eastern Mebon
The colour is more pink/orange than grey/black. The buildings are small, but richly decorated and they have many little guardian statues. The details of the figures are overwelming; there's an extraordinary concentration of mythological narratives in pediments and lintels. Banteay Srei should be on your visiting list!

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
On a circular island is a tower and in the pond stands a horse (Balaha).

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

2. Bayon

3. Banteay Srei

4. Ta Prohm

5. Angkor Wat

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Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Eastern Mebon
Eastern Mebon
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Rice fields near Eastern Mebon
Rice fields near Eastern Mebon
Rice fields near Eastern Mebon
Rice fields near Eastern Mebon
Phum Pradak village
Phum Pradak village
Near Phum Pradak village
Near Phum Pradak village
Near Phum Pradak village
Near Phum Pradak village
Phum Pradak flowers
Phum Pradak flowers
Phum Pradak flowers
Phum Pradak flowers
Srah Srang
Srah Srang
East Mebon
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Rice field near Preah Khan
Rice field near Preah Khan
Banteay Srei
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Banteay Srei commerce
Banteay Srei commerce
Banteay Srei lillies
Banteay Srei lillies
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Banteay Srei east entrance gate
Banteay Srei east entrance gate
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Banteay Srei balloon
Banteay Srei balloon
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling