We read that, in addition to Angkor Wat, one can visit over 70 archaeological sites in the countryside around Siem Reap, Cambodia. With so many sites from which to choose, we did a little research and set some priorities for what we hoped to see.
Near the top of the list for our 4 and 6-year old grandsons was to see monkeys. The East Entrance of Angkor Wat proved to be a good spot.
Probably after Angkor Wat, the most popular site for tourists is Ta Prohm, prominently featured in the “Tomb Raider” movie with Angelina Jolie. Joe heard tourists saying, “ …and this is where Lara Croft found/saw/went etc…”
Trees encroached on Ta Prohm over time and provided the perfect photo backdrop. We discovered other sites, not so much visited and also with beautiful trees. Preah Khan, built in the same era as Ta Prohm by the same king, Jayavarman VII, charmed us with its architectural detail, sculptural reliefs, and of course, trees.
We hesitated to visit Banteay Srei since it was 26 km north of the Archaeological Park. Banteay Srei is the only temple carved from pink limestone and is reputed to be one of the most beautiful. We enjoyed a tuk tuk ride through the scenic countryside with our son and daughter-in-law to the site. Banteay Srei proved to be well worth the trip.
We hadn’t realized how large and geographically extensive these archaeological sites are. Rather than opting for the most popular spots, we set some priorities, saw what we hoped to see, and were lucky to see a lot more.
“Lessons for visiting major tourist sites” is a 3-post series. This was the 3rd post.