Beng Mealea ruins - Cambodia.

Koh Ker in Cambodia - a day trip visiting Prasat Thom and Beng Mealea.

Day trip from Siem Reap out into the Cambodian countryside to look at temple ruins around Koh Ker City and at Beng Mealea. Although many tourists go too and stay at Siem Reap in order to spend a few days looking round the nearbye Angkor Temples there are several other sites which are within reach on a fairly long day trip. From Siem Reap an interesting if somewhat long (and fairly expensive) day out is to go to Koh Ker which is hidden within a forested area in Preah Vihear Province. Roads are tarmac'd and the mines have been cleared so that this complex is now safe to visit. It can be combined with the temple of Beng Mealea - a car and driver costs around USD80 and this covers both sites. An additional cost to note is that the entrance fee is USD10 for Koh Ker and USD5 for Beng-Mealea - tickets for both sites can be purchased at the ticket office on the way into Koh Ker. The drive takes you through lovely countryside most of the time, the only downside are several stretches where the jungle has been wrecked and burnt through extreme logging with no regard for the aftermath - little has been replaced in the way of foliage - apart from several large rubber tree plantations.
Prasat Pram temples near Koh Ker, Cambodia.
Prasat Pram temples
Prasat Pram and it's three temples, Koh Ker- Cambodia.
Prasat Pram
Prasat Pram - Cambodia.
Prasat Pram
Banyon twisted round Prasat Pram temple - Cambodia.
Prasat Pram temple
As you get nearer to the main temple area there are quite a few small but interesting temples to look at which are often overgrown sometimes with trees climbing over them (similar to some of the Angkor temples).
Prasat Neang Khmau - Cambodia.
Prasat Neang Khmau
Prasat Neang Khmau - Cambodia.
Prasat Neang Khmau
Prasat Bak ruins - Cambodia.
Prasat Bak ruins
Prasat Bak - Cambodia.
Prasat Bak
The city of Koh Ker (Chok Gargyar) was created by King Jayavarman IV after he left (or was forced to leave) Angkor and existed between 921 and 944. After the King's death his son reigned for three years but was usurped by his uncle Rajendravarman, who abandoned Koh Ker and returned the Capital City to the area around Phnom Bakheng (Angkor).
The main attraction for visitors to Koh Ker is probably to see Prasat Thom - the large parking area around this impressive temple has numerous cafes, gift shops and market stalls and so on. Prasat Thom sanctuary is situated to the rear of the complex and is a seven tiered pyramid shaped structure built of sandstone - it is 131 feet high and 180 feet wide and has a central staircase. This central staircase is unfortunately in a poor state and has been blocked however entrance to the top is still possible by an outside stairway which is located on the right rear corner. The stairway zig-zags up so is quite climbable - once up the top there are of course extensive views of the jungle and surrounding area.
Prasat Thom sanctuary - Cambodia.
Prasat Thom sanctuary
Prasat Thom Temple - Cambodia.
Prasat Thom Temple
Prasat Thom Temple - Cambodia.
Prasat Thom Temple
Prasat Thom lake - Cambodia.
Prasat Thom lake
Koh Ker - Cambodia.
Koh Ker
Koh Ker - Cambodia.
Koh Ker
Koh Ker - Cambodia.
Koh Ker
Koh Ker - Cambodia.
Koh Ker
Koh Ker - Cambodia.
Koh Ker
Koh Ker - Cambodia.
Koh Ker
Koh Ker Rohal - Cambodia.
Koh Ker Rohal
Koh Ker ruins - Cambodia.
Koh Ker ruins
Koh Ker ruins - Cambodia.
Koh Ker ruins
Koh Ker ruins - Cambodia.
Koh Ker ruins
Prasat Kra Chap entrance - Cambodia.
Prasat Kra Chap entrance
Prasat Kra Chap - Cambodia.
Prasat Kra Chap
Having looked round Prasat Thom you can then get your driver to go round the more outlying parts of the old city - there are a variety of old temples and ruins scattered all round the area. If your driver has good knowledge of the area then he should be able to take you to the best of these - also though there is a plan of Koh Ker on a noticeboard at the car park.
Prasat Kra Chap - Cambodia.
Prasat Kra Chap
Prasat Kra Chap - Cambodia.
Prasat Kra Chap
Prasat Chrap ruin - Cambodia.
Prasat Chrap ruin
Prasat Chrap - Cambodia.
Prasat Chrap

Visiting the Hindu Temple and libaries of Beng Mealea - Cambodia

Folllowing a visit to Koh Ker it is logical to continue on to visit the temple at Beng Mealea which is around an hour away by car and sort of on the way back to Siem Reap. Similarly to Koh Ker there is shaded parking by the main temple site plus souvenir, drinks and food stalls. The "entrance" to the temple is via a causeway which goes over a dry moat however the first gateway is fronted by huge piles of brocken brick and not really accessible - however to the right of this you can get through.
The countryside around Beng Mealea in Cambodia.
Countryside
Blocked entrance to Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Brocken bricks everywhere at Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Trees and rubble everywhere at Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
The temple was builit by Suryavarman II in the 12th century and designed to the same floor plan as Angkor Wat. The buildings are covered by vines, thorns, lichen, trees and ivy and are particularly difficult to walk around - there are some wooden walkways provided but often as not these end up at dead ends or involve climbing over or under obstacles. A certain amount of fitness and being sure-footed is involved - certainly not the type of place to be wearing flip-flops. Apart from the clambering around avoiding obstacles, walking round is also very tiring because of the heat and humidity - you are after all in the jungle - so taking a bottle of water with you is pretty much essential. One thing which is particuarly irritating is the number of very young children hanging around begging for money - often as not these children may be carrying babies which they pinch repeatedly to make them cry.
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
If you have already been looking round the various temples and ruins at Angkor Park then some of the structures at Beng Mealea will appear very familiar in their design and layout. For instance the walls and design of the picture above right are a mirror image of what can be seen at Preah Khan
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea - Cambodia.
Beng Mealea

Siem Reap travel, attractions and sightseeing including trips:
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