Banteay Srei Temple
The first in a series covering Angkor and Siem Reap in Cambodia
Getting into Siem Reap and to a hotel is easy and straight forward. A small, but nice airport, with plenty of cabs to quickly get travelers to their destinations. A tourist visa can be obtained at the airport, and while there’s some complaining, they will take payment in RMB.
The morning of day 1 we meet up with San. San’s going to be our Tuk Tuk driver for the next three days. Tuk tuk is THE way to get around Siem/Angkor, hands-down. They’re everywhere, super affordable, and great for the sub-tropical weather. After a short pow-wow we come up with a three day plan for seeing all the temples, attempting to line-up time of day light to match locations.
Our first stop on the temple tour is Banteay Srei Temple, the “Citadel of Women”.
Banteay Srei Temple is unique among the many Angkor temples for a few reasons. For one, it’s the only of the Angkor temples not built by some sort of monarch. The temple complex, also unlike any of the others, is carved out of red sandstone. This gives great color to the temple, and is really eye catching in early morning light. It also serves to preserve the carvings extremely well. The red sandstone of Banteay Srei does not erode nearly as quickly as many of the other temples, such as Banyon. The remaining detail at the ‘Citadel of Women’ is impressive because of this feature.
The buildings of the complex are also small, especially compared to most Angkor temples. The small lay-out can make it a little crowded feeling, but the ease of access is very nice. Along with the morning light on the red sandstone, this is a great temple to see in the morning.
The ‘Citadel of Women’ turns out being a popular choice among tourists once they visit. The intricate carvings are unmatched by any of the other temples. The colors are fantastic, and it is probably the easiest of the temples to walk around due to its size and lay-out.
Banteay Srei Temple is more out of the way, comparably, but well worth the trip to go see. If you secure a Tuk Tuk for a day (or several), which I highly recommend, the drive is quite nice. Since Angkor itself is one large historic site, there’s some pleasant scenery to soak in while riding in an open Tuk Tuk.
Banteay Srei Temple is an absolute must see for anyone visiting Angkor.
Full Banteay Srei Temple Gallery