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Cambodia
Hotel Descriptions
Phnom Penh
Provinces
Siem Reap
Tour Packages
Angkor Wat Tours
World Heritage Site
2 Days / 1 Night
3 Days / 2 Nights
4 Days / 3 Nights
5 Days / 4 Nights
Phnom Penh City
and Siem Reap
4 Days / 3 Nights
5 Days / 4 Nights
6 Days / 5 Nights
7 Days / 6 Nights
Cambodia
Discovery Tours
2 Days / 1 Night
Battambang
2 Days / 1 Nights
Kompong Thom
4 Days / 3 Nights
Kampot, Sihanoukville
4 Days / 3 Nights
Rattanakiri
4 Days / 3 Nights
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
6 Days / 5 Nights
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
14 Days / 13 Nights
Great Cambodia Discovery
Travel Information
Country Information
Tourist Tips & Guides
Tourist Destinations
Angkor Wat Temples
Beyond Angkor
Phnom Penh City

 

 

Beyond Angkor Wat
Kingdom of Cambodia

Phnom Koulen
The hills beyond Banteay Srei Temple were the original home of much of the sandstone which the ancient Khmers used to build Angkor Wat. Blocks of stone were somehow moved to the temple complex, probably using the Siem Reap River. Successive kings of Angkor built shrines to appease the gods in the hills, and they had dozens of linga carved intot hes tone riverbed, in order to thank the gods for allowing them to carry stone from the hills to Angkor. The carvings at Phnom Koulen are remarkably well preserved and, to see them properly, you need to wade in the river. A walk through the forest takes you to Preah Ang Thom, where a reclining Buddha statue lies on top of a huge natural rock (approximately 50 m high). From the top of this rock, you can enjoy views out over the surrounding forest and plains. You can also visit a few caves with Buddha statues nearby. A short forest walk takes to you a waterfall, with more impressive stone carvings in the riverbed. This is a popular spot for Khmer people to come and picnic at the weekends. Note: Adventurous tourists are now visiting this site.

Kbal Spean
A similar site to Phnom Koulen, located on an adjacent hill. There are are linga carved into the stone river-bed, an enjoyable forest walk and an attractive waterfall.

Beng Melea Temple
This temple complex, spread over 91 hectares, dates from the 12th Century and is heavily overgrown. It is said that this temple pre-dates Angkor Wat and, being of a similar size, it could have been the model on which Angkor was based, although it does no have nearly so many detailed carvings and decorations. The central area was enclosed by a moat measuring about 1 km square. Note: The road to Bang Malea is still in poor condition and only accessible by 4-wheel drive in dry season.

Preah Khan Temple
This is a huge laterite and sandstone temple, originally Hindu but re-dedicated to Buddha in the 11th Century. There are several other temples in this heavily overgrown and inaccessible complex. Note: it is currently extremely difficult to visit this site.

Preah Vihear Temple
Altough actually in Cambodia, this temple is easiest to reach from the Thai side of the border. It dates back from the 11th Century and is located on top of a ridge (730 m) of the Dangkrek Mountains. Note: It is still extremely difficult to get to this site from the Cambodian side.

Banteay Chlmar Temple
This complex is also not far from the Thai border. Banteay Chlmar was Jayavarman II's capital city in the 9th Century. The Angkor era reuins include an impressive 11th Century sandstone monastery. Note: It is currently extremely difficult to visit this site - a visit would start from the town of Sisophon.

Ko Kar
This was a capital city in the 10th Century. Ruins include Prasat Tom (or Prasat Kompong) which features a 40 meters high sandstone-faced temple on 7 levels. Note: it is currently extemely difficult to visit this site.

On Tonle Sap Lake
Tripls in traditional wooden boats on the Tonle Sap are now regularly offered to visitors. The Tonle Sap is the largest fresh-water lake in South East Asia. It flows into the Tonle Sap River, joining the Mekong in Phnom Penh. At the beginning of the rainly season (June/July), the flow of the water changes direction aand flood-waters from the Meking River force water back up the Tonle Sap River and into the lake. At the height of the monsoon (September), the lake can be up to 5 times its normal size. This accounts in part for the rich biological diversity and abundance of fish in the Tonle Sap.

Boat Cruises
Boat cruises are available, and recommended, from Chhong Kneas "port" close to Siem Reap. See "floating villages" - people live on boats, converted to look like houses, and the "villages" move from place to place according to water levels and fishing grounds.

Longer cruises are available from Chhong Kneas "port" to visit Preak Tuol National Park and Bird Sanctuary (small groups only). Amongst other birds, it is possible to see pelicans, storks and ibis.

Express boat service between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
Express boats operate daily between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The boat trip takes approximately 4 to 5 hours. Please note that these boats are not very comfortable and normally very crowded. Seats cannot be reserved. You should bring some water and light snacks with you. We anticipate that houseboats (or floating villages) will soon be available for overnigth stays on the lake - this will be an exciting option for the future.

 

 
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