Cambodia Pages > Cambodia Pages > Travelogue

Text and pictures by Bernhard Heiser

    Part 2: Trip to Banteay Srei
After heavy rains the night before, the road to Banteay Srei is still difficult and we have to go slow with our motorbike. Its about 21 km from the main Angkor temple complex.
"Mr. Three Eyes", my driver during my stay in Siem Reap. Speaks good English and brings you everywhere whenever you want. You can contact him at the Angkor Thom Hotel.
The entrance to the inner area of Banteay Srei (citadel of the women).  The temple was discoverd in 1914.
After the tour buses left, Banteay Srei was a quite and peaceful place in the jungle again. 
Banteay Srei is famous for it's magnificient, well preserved sandstone carvings. The temple is quite small, but nevertheless a highlight of a visit to Angkor.
The highly symmetric architecture offers beautiful views through the gates. This one is from inside to the entrance down the main axis. I have to wait quite a while to get this picture without someone walking in or out.
On our way back it starts to rain again. We hide ourselves under a house (a little bigger than in the picture) and watch the road turning into a river  while we chat with the very friendly family. Nine persons live here, including five children of all ages. 
After the rain has gone the green is even more intense. I decide to walk the next 2 kilometers to take some pictures.
On my walk I meet many children coming home from school or working in the fields. They have fun when I take the pictures. This is not the place where many people walk by with a camera in their hand. I will never forget these smiles.
Ditches supply the endless ricefiels with water. The sky is still dark, but the rain stopped. 
We drive on and stop for a snack in a small village. Little filled sweet cakes with delicious sauce and green leaves, hmm.

This temple is really a magic place. L'Ecole d'Extreme Orient left it to the jungle like it was found many years ago. Many parts are turned into a pile of stones by the constant pressure of the banyon and kapok trees, that sprouted through and around the stones of the temple.

Ta Prohm is evidence for the transitoriness of all manmade work and the power of nature.

The temple was erected in 1186 and had the function of a budhist monastery. Inside lived 18 priests, 2700 monks, 600 dancers and 12000 servants.

The roots of these huge trees destroy and conserve at the same time. Many of the walls would collaps today without the embrace ot the trees.

The whole temple is a mysterious labyrinth, time has made an ingenious work of art here over the years.

For those who like Ta Prohm, I also recommend a visit of the Preah Khan temple, it's a not less romantic place. 

For today we have seen enough and we return to Siem Reap to have dinner at the Chivit Thai restaurant.


              Overview       Travel Info        Links        Photo Licensing        Previous     Next Page 


© 2000 - 2003 by Bernhard Heiser
No part of this site may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without prior written permission of the copyright holder. Any use of this material to target
advertising or similar activities are explicitly forbidden and will be prosecuted.