"A ride through the rural villages" Top 5 Page for this destination Phumi Banteay Srei by akikonomu

Phumi Banteay Srei Travel Guide: 51 reviews and 238 photos

The temple of Banteay Srei is located about 16 km from the main Angkor temple area. The ride from Siem Riep town by van or car will take about 50 minutes. Part of the road is mud path which can get disastrous after days of heavy rain.

On our trip to the temple, we came across local trucks and carts stuck in the mud and passengers trying to pry the wheels out of the muck.

The journey is interesting as you cut through a village. On both sides of the road, you can see rural villagers and some of them set up small stalls right at their doorsteps selling mostly cane handicrafts like woven straw hats or cane baskets.

As it was the rainy season, we also chanced upon many small ponds filled up with rain water and brilliant lotuses or lilies blooming right in front of the houses.

Tuk tuks may be a little slow and hot for the long ride (unless you visit the temple in the early morning) but I imagined it'll be really nice to ride through the village at a leisurely pace.

Citadel of the lady

Banteay Srei also means citadel of the lady in Khmer. However, our guide explained that the original name was not so. After many years and passed down from mouth to mouth, the name metamorphosised into the present one.

The temple is special because of the pink sandstone used for construction. In fact, it is the only pink sandstone temple currently discovered. It is also one of the earlier temples built in the Angkor region circa 1000AD.

Pink sandstone is harder than sandstone, which makes it more amazing to see that the carvings are very intricate and perfect in form. The blind windows have smooth rounded grilles and you've really got to credit the artisans for their hard work. The overall colour of the temple is that of rust brown.

The arches leading to the temples have delicate carvings of mythical animals such as the garuda and beautiful flowing embellishments.

Banteay Samre

The other temple within proximity is the Banteay Samre. The road closer to the temple is in a state of disrepair and I don't see many big tourist buses or tuk tuks there. The road conditions probably do not support the vehicles.

I'd really recommend visiting the temple because it is the only temple I came across with extensive moulds of 'mini minarets' decorating the top of the walls of the temple.

There are also very good carvings on the arches of the temple.

The high walls and elevated shrines make the place seem more like a fortress than a temple.

  • Last visit to Phumi Banteay Srei: Sep 2004
  • Intro Updated Oct 3, 2004
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akikonomu

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