Not quite Angkor Wat: Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon, Banteay Srey and Pre Rup, not bad for a days work

Today we began our tour through the Angkor ruins outside of Siem Reap. We thought it best not to start with Angkor Wat as everything after it would seem like chump change. The guide book had mentioned that all the other temples around Angkor Wat are very impressive and would be star attractions anywhere else in the world but since Angkor Wat trumped them they do not get the name recognition. Either way we decided to head out today and see as much as we could on a Tuk Tuk (A small motorcycle with a carriage/wagon attached to the back of it.) We arranged for one to pick us up and negotiated our route and his fee. We then proceeded on our day. Both Caitlin and I were glad we wore sunglasses as the dirt flying into our faces would have hindered our site seeing. Based on the amount of dirt in my mouth the sites were impressive. We drove through the gates of ancient walls and over old bridges all with carvings that we tried to snatch pictures of. The driver took us from temple to temple and would wait for us as we tromped through each temple. The first day we managed to see Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon, Banteay Srey and Pre Rup. Each one was impressive and each one was different in some manner. The brief history behind these temples is that each king wanted to outdo his predecessors and so they built more elaborate temple complexes. Each temple complex would have had a city around it, these no longer exist as the workers houses would have been made of materials other than stone. The only temple that was an exception was Bateay Srey which was created by a lower noble. I am still reading about the history of each of the following places and I will try to add more on the next post but I feel like I am falling behind as we are taking pictures faster than I can blog or organize them. Needless to say it was a great day of trekking around temples and riding in the back of a tuk tuk.

The Entryway to the first of many. This one is Preah Khan.

So much of the ruins is covered in intricate carving. It was hard to capture it all at times.

One of the thousands of carvings on the Preah Khan temple.

Caitlin by a carved doorway that was on the ground getting repaired.

The center of Preah Khan. All the holes in the walls behind were from the builders. They were placed there in order to put sticks to carry the stones to the build site.

Trying to mimic the lion. Most of the temple entrances had some sort of animal guarding them.

Neak Pean was a series of pools with carvings in between them. We were unable to view them from anywhere but here.

The top of one of the gates to enter the temple grounds. I believe it was Ta Som, but I could be mistaken. We took too many photos.
Mother Nature taking over the ruins.

Cool relief of buddha I think.

The temples were lined up according to the cardinal directions, giving a cool effect when you looked down the doorways.
Caitlin posing in the ruins.

A view down one of the hallways.

Detail of some of the walls. It seemed like all the walls were covered in carvings or writing.

More posing in the ruins. Along with some architecture that looks like Greek ruins.

Looking down the hallways. Since the temples are lined up along the cardinal points they provide cool lined up views from end to end.

Another tree taking over. One of the coolest things.

Caitlin at West Mebon in a doorway.

Caitlin getting creative with the photography. Our attempt at an album cover.

East Mebon temple looking from the second level. There were elephants on each corner.

In the back of the Tuk Tuk. Enjoying the ride. Sunglasses were essential to avoid the dust. The tuk tuk was pretty much a carriage/wagon attached to a 150cc motorcycle.

More carving at Banteay Srey.

Caitlin in a doorway at Banteay Srey. The carving there was amazing.
The center part of Banteay Srey.

Awesome carving at Banteay Srey.

A view from the top of Pre Rup.

The Top of Pre Rup. We watched the sunset from here.
Caitlin at the top of Pre Rup.

The top of Pre Rup waiting for the sunset.

The sunset. It got better but we didn’t wait so we watched it from the Tuk Tuk. That’ll teach us to be impatient.


2 thoughts on “Not quite Angkor Wat: Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon, Banteay Srey and Pre Rup, not bad for a days work

  1. Fabulous pictures of an astonishing place. I am struck by the resemblance to places in Copan and Palenque, especially with the trees growing over the site. Thanks for capturing so many doorways.


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