Travel the world

Banteay Srei and Other Ancient Temples Near Siam Reap

Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei temples Cambodia

Angkor Wat is the largest active temple in the world. I knew that before coming to Cambodia.

What I didn’t know is that Angkor Wat was also surrounded by 30 or so other temple complexes. The civilization that lived in this area was able to grow an amazingly large society, primarily through it’s effective use and channeling of water.

Banteay Srei is one of the most famous of these temples.
Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei temples Cambodia
It is known as the women’s temple, though that’s probably the case only because of a mis-communication turned into a mis-translation.

What we liked about Banteay Srei is the amazing level of detail and the beautiful red lava stone that the temple is made out of. It’s not that large of a temple, but after restoration works were undertaken, there is still an incredible amount of detail visible in the stone carvings.
Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei temples Cambodia
Carrie liked the flying monkeys the best.
Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei temples Cambodia
From Banteay Srei, we went to a couple of other temples.

One of which was built in 1100 or so, and had eerie similarities to the ones we looked at about 1 and a half years ago in Tikal, Guatemala.
Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei temples Cambodia
I saw it, and even though I knew it was going to be hot, I decided to climb to the top. (Read Carrie’s talk about it here…because this actually happened yesterday.)

Carrie stayed back so that she could take my picture (and not get crispified in the hot sun).

I went quickly, but the steps were so steep and tall that climbing the temple was more like climbing a narrow ladder than walking up stairs.

Even so, I think I got from bottom to top in under 6 minutes.

The view from the top was amazing (could see to many of the other temples in the distance) and the statue of the seated Buddha inside the temple was also quite interesting.

Coming down I took it more slowly, and found Carrie waiting for me with a bottle of water – definitely needed and appreciated.

If you have only 1 day in this part of the world (Siam Reap, Cambodia), make sure to see Angkor Wat. But if you have a few days, go to see some of the other temples around Angkor Wat. They’re fascinatingly filled with statues of elephants, humans, monkeys, other animals, and deities. The temples are also great places for doing something as profound as contemplating the meaning of human existence, or something as mindless as racing to the top.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *