"Beng Mealea" Phumi Boeng Mealea by AlbuqRay
Phumi Boeng Mealea Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 108 photos
Beng Mealea is no longer that difficult to reach. It can be visited easily in a half day trip out of Siem Reap. However, unless you take a tour, you will have to pay private toll road fees ($2.50) both going and coming back. There is a fairly large market area on the road by Beng Mealea. There are even public restrooms near the ruins. If you do go to Beng Mealea, you should also go to Koh Ker (see my Khett Preah Vihear tips). Both may be done on a long day trip out of Siem Reap. The Mandalay Inn offers an excellent one-day tour to both Beng Mealea and Koh Ker (with or without a guide).
Beng Mealea is ~40 km east of the main group of temples at Angkor as the crow flies, and ~75 km from Siem Reap by road. Just take NH6 from Siem Reap to Damdek, then ~30 km north to Beng Mealea. Koh Ker is ~60 km from Beng Mealea on a road that is not finished yet, but it is mostly paved and is not bad at all. I believe that there is a new road being built east from Beng Mealea to Preah Khan of Kampong Svay. It is NH66 (Cambodia's Route 66)! The first stop will be the temple, Kon Phluk, which is only a few kilometers east of Beng Mealea. In 2010 I think NH66 was only accessible by motorbike.
The Beng Mealea architectural style is the same as Angkor Wat's, so it was probably built by Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. The basic layout is three galleries (I'll call them outer, middle and inner) around a central sanctuary. Beng Mealea is smaller in size than Angkor Wat but still one of the larger Khmer temples. The outer wall of the temple is 181 meters by 152 meters. The ancient, real entrance was from the east but now you get there from the south on a dirt walkway from the road. There is a sign that the landmines have been cleared from the whole area. This was done in 2003 when the new road was started.
The temple was in the center of a town, all of which was surrounded by a rectangular moat measuring 1025 meters by 875 meters, and 45 meters wide. Now most of the moat is dry but on the south side by the road there is water, so you must cross a stone bridge to get to the temple along the south walkway.
- Pros:Interesting site that is accessible now
- Cons:Starting to be many more visitors
- In a nutshell:Don't miss a day trip that includes Beng Mealea and Koh Ker
GrumpyDiver told me that when his group was at Beng Mealea in March 2009 that they were the only ones there. When we... more travel advice
After surviving the dark "tunnel" with the mysterious energy, it was not far back to where the walking tour started. more travel advice
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