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Beng Melea

Date of Construction:
Early 11th century C.E.
Religious Affiliation:
Patron or King:
Suryavarman II
Artistic/Archeo. Style:
Angkor Wat
60 kms east of Siem Reap.
Location of Entrance:
Duration of Visit:
1+ hours
Time to Visit:
Anytime. Allow for travel time from Siem Reap.
Photography Notes:

Sprawling jungle temple covering over one square kilometer. The temple is largely overrun by vegetation and very lightly touristed, giving it an adventurous, ‘lost temple’ feel. Photographers: trees growing from the broken towers and galleries offer some of the best ‘tree in temple’ shots aside from Ta Prohm. Constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style under the same king that built Angkor Wat, Beng Melea preceded and may have served as a prototype of sorts for Angkor Wat. Though there are some lintel and doorway carvings, there are no bas-reliefs and the carvings are comparatively sparse. When the temple was active, the walls may have been covered, painted or had frescos. In its time, Beng Melea was at the crossroads of several major highways that ran to Angkor, Koh Ker, Preah Vihear (in northern Cambodia) and northern Vietnam. Regular admission ticket are not required but there is a separate $5 entrance fee. Beng Melea is located 63km east of town and is often combined with a trip to Koh Ker. The road is now in good condition and the trip from Siem Reap takes 1-2 hours. Graded dirt road with occasional flooding in the rainy season. .

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