Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th
R)asaTbwgmala Religion: Hindu
Constructed: Early 11 th century C.E.
King/Patron: Suryavarman II Style: Angkor Wat Sprawling jungle temple covering over one square kilometer. The temple is largely overrun by vegetation and very lightly touristed, giving it an adven- turous, ‘lost temple’ feel. Photographers: trees growing from the broken towers and galleries offer some of the best ‘tree in temple’ shots aside from Ta Prohm . Constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style under the same king
that built Angkor Wat, Beng Melea preceded and may have served as a prototype of sorts for Angkor Wat . Though there are some lintel and doorway carvings, there are no bas-reliefs and the carvings are comparatively sparse. When the temple was active, the walls may have been covered, painted or had frescos. In its time, Beng Melea was at the crossroads of several major highways that ran to Angkor, Koh Ker, Preah Vihear (in northern Cambodia) and northern Vietnam. Regular admission ticket are not required but there is a separate $5 entrance fee. Beng Melea is located 63km east of town and is often combined with a trip to Koh Ker . The road is now in good condition and the trip from Siem Reap takes 1-2 hours. Graded dirt road with occasional flooding in the rainy season. Phnom Kulen PñMKUEln Constructed: 9 th century C.E. Religion: Hindu King/Patron: Jayavarman II Style: Kulen
This is where the 500-year long ‘Age of Angkor’ began. Phnom Kulen is the moun- tain on which Jayavarman II initiated the royal 'god of the king' linga cult in 802AD, declaring a unified and independent Khmer Empire under a single ruler and begin- ning what would later become known as the Angkor period (though the capital city would not actually move to the Angkor area for another century.) Soon after the cer-
emony, Jayavarman II moved his capital from Phnom Kulen to the area near the modern town of Roluos (see the Roluos Group, previous page) where it was to remain for almost a century before moving to the Angkor area. There are several minor ruins at Phnom Kulen including hundreds of linga stands in the Siem Reap River. Waterfalls and active pagoda. It’s a bit over 50 km each way from Siem Reap so set aside at least a half day for the trip there and back. Regular admission ticket is not required. There is a separate entrance fee of $20 for Phnom Kulen .
Three Day Visit Day 1, morning: South Gate of Angkor Thom, Central Angkor Thom (Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King). Lunch at restaurant near Angkor Wat; Afternoon: Victory Gate, Thommanon, Ta Keo (short visit), Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, sunset at Angkor Wat, Traditional dance show in evening Day 2, morning: Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Baksei Chamkrong, Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, Pre Rup, Visit to Old Market area in Siem Reap at lunch. Afternoon: Roluos Group, Sunset at Phnom Bakheng Day 3, morning: Banteay Srey, Banteay Samre, East Mebon, Visit to craft/silk workshop after lunch Afternoon: Prasat Kravan, Banteay Kdei, Srah Srang (optional), Sunset at Angkor Wat Of Special Interest Sunrise : Angkor Wat, (alternative: Srah Srang) Sunset : The traditional sunset spot is Phnom Bakheng, but the temple has become over-touristed. Consider an alternative sunset temple such as Angkor Wat, Phimeanakas, Bakong or the Tonle Sap Lake. Trees in temple ruins : Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Ta Som Giant carvings of faces : Bayon, the gates of Angkor Thom, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm and Preah Khan Notable artistry/carvings : Angkor Wat, Banteay Srey, Bayon, Bakong, Terrace of the Leper King
Half-Day Visit South Gate of Angkor Thom, Central Angkor Thom (Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King), Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat One or Two Day Visit Day 1 Morning: South Gate of Angkor Thom, Central Angkor Thom (Bayon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King). ( Single day vis- itors: Old Market/souvenir shops in Siem Reap at lunch.) Afternoon: Ta Prohm, Pre Rup (optional), Angkor Wat, sunset Traditional dance show in the evening. Day 2 options: Option A: Banteay Srey - Angkor Wat for sunrise, Pre Rup, Banteay Srey, Banteay Samre (optional), Thommanon, Old Market area/souvenir shops in Siem Reap at lunch. Afternoon: Roluos Group Option B: Variety of temples - Angkor Wat for sunrise, Preah Kahn, Victory Gate, Thommanon, Pre Rup (optional), Prasat Kravan, Old Market area/souvenir shops in Siem Reap at lunch. Afternoon: Roluos Group Option C: Grand circuit - Angkor Wat for sunrise, Preah Kahn, Neak Pean, Ta Som, Pre Rup (optional), Prasat Kravan (optional), Siem Reap at lunch. Afternoon: Roluos Group
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