The Outlying temples of the Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia

The Outlying temples of the Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia

- Banteay Srey, 37 km north of Angkor Wat. This red colored temple is well known for its intricate carvings, and is worth a half day trip on its own, since it is a bit further from Siem Reap than the main Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat areas. Car and motorcycle drivers will charge a bit extra ($10 USD) to take you to the temple.

- Kbal Spean. After the man-made monuments of the temples, it can be nice to get back to nature for a while at Kbal Spean. Although it is the site of numerous carvings made into the live rock of the river bed and surrounding areas, this lies at the end of a 1.5km walk through some Cambodian rainforest. There is a small but attractive waterfall that drops to a picturesque pool, all surrounded by precariously perched boulders and creeping vines. Best combined with a trip out to Banteay Srey, as this is a further 5km or so along a rough road. Expect to pay a few extra dollars to drivers who take you this far.

- Beng Mealea, 80 km east of Siem Reap. Along with Ta Phrom and others, this is a temple which has been left to nature, but unlike Ta Phrom it has not been cleared at all. The result is the visitor clambering over ruined walls (exactly the sort of thing you are asked not to do at other ruins!) and through windows to get access to areas where nature is running riot. Lots of trees growing out of walls, and creepers hanging over ruined buildings, and consequently great for some atmospheric photos. Much of the standard walk is along wooden decking for those who don't want to clamber. This can be taken in as part of a trip to the Roluos Group, or a long day trip with Banteay Srey and Kbal Spean, though this will entail about 5 hours travelling in total on some very rough roads. There is a $5 entry fee to Beng Mealea. Be wary of custodians bearing Äspara Authority" armbands and local kids following you in an attempt to extract guide fees.

- Phnom Krom, 12 km southwest of Siem Reap. This hilltop temple was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman. The gloomy atmosphere of the temple and the view over the Tonle Sap lake make the climb to the hill worth while. A visit to the site can be conveniently combined with a boat trip to the lake. Obviously, the Angkor passport is needed to enter the temple so do not forget to bring your passport along when heading to Tonle Sap.

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