Thursday, December 23, 2010

Khmer Temple

Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom was built in the late 12th to early 13th century during Jayavarman VII reign and it is a Buddhism temple. Angkor Thom is a 3 km square walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. Angkor Thom has 5 entrances to it, with the south gate being very popular with the tourists before they head towards Bayon, which was the state temple of the city.
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat was built in the early to mid 12th century. Suryavarman II constructed Angkor Wat into a huge temple like mountain with 5 huge towers, which can be seen from afar and was dedicated to the Hindu God and Vishnu. Angkor Wat is the main temple on most visitors' list and gets very crowded in early mornings and late afternoons.
Bakong
Bakong was built in the late 9th century by Indravarman I and this was dedicated to the Hindu God. Bakong is part of the Roulos group and is the most impressive of the group and later Kings added extras to Bakong in the later centuries. Roulos Group is about 13km from Siem Reap heading south towards Phnom Penh.

Banteay Samre
Banteay Samre was built in the mid 12th century and it is about 3km off the main temple area. It is not a high temple, but some of the carvings are in excellent condition.
Banteay Prei
Banteay Prei was built in the late 12th to early 13th century and it is a temple which receives a small amount of visitors, but the Apsara and lintel carvings are in quite good condition.




Banteay Srey
Banteay Srey was built in the late 10th century and was dedicated to the Hindu God. Banteay Srey basically means “citadel of the women” and Banteay Srey has some of the best carvings of all the temples. Banteay Srey is best seen in the early mornings or late afternoons if you want to take some good pictures. Banteay Srey closes earlier than the other temples around 5:00pm, so this can be added to Kbal Spean or a Beng Mealea trip as it is around 35km from Siem Reap. Taxis to Banteay Srey charge an extra US$10 on the day rate for a visit and tuk tuks charge US$6 to US$8 on top of the daily rate.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea was built in the early 11th century and was dedicated to the Hindu God. Beng Mealea was built in a similar style as Angkor Wat and, although the carvings here are not so good, many tourists like to visit it because of been overgrown by trees and other vegetation. Beng Mealea is located around 70km from Siem Reap and the road conditions are now good to get there and it will take over 2 hours to arrive from Siem Reap in a tuk tuk. A taxi will take just over an hour but you can also see Banteay Srey in the same day. The admission for Beng Mealea is separate from the main temples admission and it costs US$5 per person to enter.
East Mebon
East Mebon was built in the late 10th century on an island in the middle of the East Baray and it was dedicated to Shiva in honour of the King's parents.



Kbal Spean
Kbal Spean was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. Kbal Spean is around 55km from Siem Reap and most people go there to see the 1,000 lingas, which are carved into the river bed or they go to Kulen Mountain to see the 1,000 lingas. You can not enter Kbal Spean after 3:00pm. The road to Kbal Spean is in good condition now, and a trip takes a few hours by tuk tuk and just over an hour by car. You can combine Kbal Spean with Banteay Sreay and Banteay Samre. You need the normal temple admission ticket to enter Kbal Spean.
Neak Pean
Neak Pean was built in the late 12th century. Neak Pean is best visited in the wet seasons as the pools that surround it are full of water, so are ideal for taking pictures.
Phimeanakas
Phimeanakas was built in the late 10th and early 11th century. The carvings here are not very good, but it is the tallest temple which you can climb in Angkor Thom, so well worth climbing just for the views at the top.



Phnom Bakheng
Phnom Bakheng was built in late 9th and early 10th century. Phnom Bakheng is located on a hillside accessible by a steep climb or by elephant up a path. Phnom Bakheng is extremely busy around 5:00pm, because all of the tour groups and other tourists scramble to the top to see the sunset from it. There are good views of Tonle Sap Lake and you can also see Angkor Wat in the distance.
Phnom Krom
Phnom Krom was built in the late 9th and early 10th century. The 3 towered temple are in poor condition, but the view from the top is good one of the Tonle Sap Lake and countryside. If you are going to visit one of the floating villages, then you can see this at the same time as it is out towards the lake.

Prasat Suor Prat
Prasat Suor Prat were built in the early 13th century and they are 12 more or less identical towers which are more or less opposite the Terrace of Elephants. They are not much to look at close up, but are picturesque from the Terrace of Elephants.



Pre Rup
Pre Rup was built in the late 10th century. Pre Rup is a temple with some nicely carved doors and from the top of the temple there is a great view of the surrounding area.
Preah Khan
Preah Khan was built in the late 12th century. Preah Khan is a huge complex with many carvings and passages and this is a temple well worth seeing.



Roulos Group
The Roulos Group were built in the late 9th century and are a collection of different temples and are worth seeing if you have the time. The Roulos Group are around 13km from town on the road to Phnom Penh.
Srah Srang
Srah Srang was built in the mid 10th and late 12th century. Srah Srang is in poor condition on an island in the Baray, but it is an alternative place to see sunrise other than Angkor Wat.



Ta Keo
Ta Keo was built in the late 10th and early 11th century. Ta Keo is a plain towering temple which is well worth a visit if you have plenty of time, but there are very little carvings too see here.
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm was built in the mid 12th and early 13th century. Ta Prohm should be near the top of every visitor's list as it is a large complex with passages and open plazas and it is also the temple where many people want to get the photo with the trees growing out of the walls.
Terrace of Elephants
The Terrace of Elephants was built in the late 12th century. The Terrace of Elephants is on everyone's itinerary, because it is a over a 2 metre wall with Elephants and Garudas carved in to the wall. It is best seen in the mornings because of the light.
Terrace of the Leper King
Terrace of the Leper King was built in the late 12th century. Terrace of the Leper King is next the Terrace of Elephants which have carvings of Demons and Nagas, but the carvings are not as good as the carvings in the terrace of Elephants.
Thommanon
Thommanon was built in the late 11th century. Thommanon is only a small temple, but it is very good condition and it is well worth a visit, especially for photos during the wet season.
Wat Athvea
Wat Athvea was built in the late 11th century. Wat Athvea is not in the main temple area but around 8km south of Siem Reap and is a quite a good place to see the sunset.



West Mebon
West Mebon was built in the late 11th century. West Mebon are basically ruins on an island on the West Baray where it once stood. You can visit West Mebon by boat on a visit to the West Baray.

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