Cambodia Day 3 – Morning at Banteay Srei, Ta Som, Neak Pean and Preah Khan

You will usually leave a little early if you chose to go to Banteay Srei and you will pay a $10 surcharge for the day for petrol as it’s quite a lot further than the other temples, it will take around 45 minutes to drive there (and petrol is expensive in Cambodia).

It is reputed to be one of the most beautiful temples though, I have to agree really the carving is truly breathtaking, it’s so intricate and so perfect after hundreds of years. It’s commonly known as the pink temple, as it’s built from a different kind of stone with a pinkish hue.

Banteay Srei (The women’s citadel) is one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. It lies 25 km northeast of the main group. It is built largely of red sandstone, which is covered with elaborate and deeply carved decoration. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale. These factors have made the temple extremely popular with tourists, and have led to its being widely praised as a “precious gem”, or the “jewel of Khmer art”.

Consecrated in 967, Banteay Srei was the only major temple at Angkor not built for the king; instead it was constructed by one of king Rajendravarman’s counsellors, Yajnyavahara. The temple was primarily dedicated to Shiva (the southern buildings and the central tower were devoted to him, but the northern ones to Vishnu). It lies near the hill of Phnom Dei 25 km (15 miles) northeast of the main group of temples, where the capital of the time (Yashodharapura) was located

More info: Banteay Srei

As you can see the artwork is really stunning.

Banteay Srei

It’s truly so detailed.

Banteay Srei

There was even a big group of monks there as tourists, I think from Thailand.

Thai Monks

Breathtaking.

Banteay Srei

The Hindu Monkey God Brothers (Bali and Sugreev – Hanuman firing the Bow).

Monkey God Brothers

After that we headed to Ta Som, a fairly small temple dedicated to the father of King Jayavarman VII.

Ta Som was a nice change, with very few people there.

Ta Som

The Apsara were a lot different here, and the carvings much deeper.

Ta Som Apsara

Must…do…typical…cheesy….tourist….photo…

Ta Som

The main attraction of Ta Som is this huge ass tree, growing over the doorway.

Ta Som Tree

This little girl was ultra-persistent…it is one thing I will warn you about, it is heartbreaking to see these beautiful little kids covered in mud selling postcards and trinkets for a dollar, it is recommended however DO NOT GIVE MONEY TO CHILDREN, a lot of the kids are stolen or bought from Vietnam and the rest should be at school, not begging. This little girl went through 3 languages trying to sell us a pack of postcards..

Girl Selling Postcards

They are SO cute though. A pack of postcards will set you back $1USD. Buy from the adults please.

After that we headed to Neak Pean, a very unique and memorable monument.

Neak Pean

Neak Pean at Angkor, Cambodia is an artificial island with a Buddhist temple at the center of Jayatataka Baray, or Pool of Jayavarman.

There are 4 pools and at each side there is a head, representing the 4 animals of Hindu or something like that..the elephant, the cow, the bull and the horse. This one was the Human, emulating the hot springs in India. During the rainy season, the pools are still full.

Human Fountain

After that was the last stop before lunch Preah Khan.

As you can see here a lot of the statues are desecrated with many of the Hindu deities and Buddhist statues missing their faces or heads.

Desecrated Statues

Preah Khan is a large temple,t he temple’s foundation stela has provided considerable information about the history and administration of the site: the main image, of the boddhisatva Avalokitesvara in the form of the king’s father, was dedicated in 1191 (the king’s mother had earlier been commemorated in the same way at Ta Prohm).

The temple is still a destination for Buddhist pilgrims.

The pillar represents the 108 steps to acheive enlightment.

Pillar

It was quite run down, but very atmospheric.

Preah Khan

After that we headed back to Angkor Wat for lunch in that area, and had a wonder around the stalls there.

Beer Lao

Beer Lao – best choice for beer in Cambodia 🙂

Cambodia Day 1 – Leaving on a Jet Plane to Siem Reap
Cambodia Day 2 – Itinerary – Morning in Angkor Thom and Bayon
Cambodia Day 2 – An Afternoon at Angkor Wat & Sunset at Phnom Bahkeng

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12 Responses to Cambodia Day 3 – Morning at Banteay Srei, Ta Som, Neak Pean and Preah Khan

  1. Fireangel February 27, 2006 at 10:11 am #

    Argh. That little girl reminds me of the stories my mum used to tell me when I was…. little-ler. About how syndicates would kidnap kids and sell them away to countries like that to beg. So poor thing.

  2. Intensecure February 27, 2006 at 10:59 am #

    Great stuff – really enjoying this travelogue. Good advice about the children – although it is very difficult to be hard-hearted when faced with childish innocence.

  3. simonsezblog February 27, 2006 at 11:19 am #

    Hi 少林老虎
    Stumbled here while searching for blog entries in Blogger on Siem Reap (Google only took me so far). I’m going to SR in May, flying up from the land of the NYP scandal.
    Appreciate the nice write up and pictures.

  4. Rudy February 27, 2006 at 12:20 pm #

    For all the temples that you went to, would it be difficult to find those ‘hidden’ spots and would a lot of useful interesting info be omitted without a guide? Was thinking of not using a guide during my trip, unless really necessary. USD=Budget constraints!

  5. zbjernak February 27, 2006 at 1:46 pm #

    wow..really glad and amazed to see those detailed carvings still survived after many years of war …

    really very beautiful..and u r right… those kids…
    sigh….

  6. Celebrity Vivids February 27, 2006 at 1:51 pm #

    yes the kids should only be given food. nice travelog!

  7. Emily February 27, 2006 at 4:31 pm #

    Such a cute kid, poor little girl 🙁

  8. in February 27, 2006 at 5:41 pm #

    Regarding the little girl…… its a real dilemma. You don’t want to buy from them because you don’t want begging to be encouraged. But at the same time, its all a syndicate, if the child does not bring in X amount a day, she may be beaten…..
    Its all so sad, and its happening in KL too.

  9. dreamer idiot February 27, 2006 at 7:09 pm #

    So heart-wrenching to see the little girl begging… No wonder Angelina Jolie decided to adopt her Cambodian son…

    I agree too that no money should be given (if we give, we only encourage the syndicates), but food perhaps, as someone suggested.

    Great pictures, by the way. They make us wonder and marvel at the architectuaral craftsmanship during those ancient times.

  10. moons February 28, 2006 at 5:24 am #

    yep, lots of cases of kids been kidnapped and forced to sell stuff by syndicates. last i was in kun ming in china, most of the tourist places were crowded with these kids, what a pity… tour guide warned us never to give money or buy anything from them as all the time, the money goes to the syndicate and not to themselves.

    nice pictures though.

  11. Terry February 28, 2006 at 9:56 am #

    bro, those carvings is almost inhumane !!! ..fucking chun !!

  12. ShaolinTiger February 28, 2006 at 3:16 pm #

    FireAngel: Yah it is very sad to see it though..

    Intensecure: It’s really tough, especially when they say like “Mister but I’m starving Mister, I want to go to school Mister“. It’s heartbreaking.

    simonsezblog: I hope you find it useful 🙂 Look out for the rest of the series.

    Rudy: I’d say you totally need a guide, unless you have 2-3 weeks to explore the place, there is just too much information to take in if you don’t have someone who can tell you where to walk and where to look..If you don’t have a guide you’d just walk around most the time staring at stones and carvings, you wouldn’t know any of the stories, history or meanings.

    dreamer idiot: Yah the kids are so beautiful, I can totally see why Jolie adopted one too. They are truly charming. I bought banana fritters for the kids before, I don’t mind giving food. The craftmanship is stunning.

    Terry: You gotta go bro.