02Beng-Mealea_temple (35 images) - Visit to newly opened ruins of Beng Mealea Temple grounds, 21 Feb. 2009.
The Khmer temples were the reason we went to Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2003. Five years later it was that memory that called us back. Beng Mealea was where we wished to go first. We had not seen it before, and all the guide books described it as less visited by tourists because it was some distance (37 miles) from the larger complex that accommodated most of the visitors to Angkor, but no less worthy. Moreover, it had been largely left to the ravages of the eons and strangler figs. Other sources mentioned it had only recently been demined, which may explain the sparse tourist attendance.
Wikipedia has this introductory paragraph for this temple: “It was built as hinduist temple, but there are some carvings depicting buddhist motifs. Its primary material is sandstone and it is largely unrestored, with trees and thick brush thriving amidst its towers and courtyards and many of its stones lying in great heaps. For years it was difficult to reach, but a road recently built to the temple complex of Koh Ker passes Beng Mealea and more visitors are coming to the site, as it is 77 km from Siem Reap by road.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beng_Mealea > We also highly recommend this Holiday In Angkor Wat web site on "Beng Mealea Temple".
Yarann Kong, our friendly host at the “Yimsust Suites”, drove us out this day and would act as our unofficial guide.
Click a picture to see a larger view.
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