Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 3 : My Indian Jones kinda of adventure in Beng Mealea, Siam Reap, Cambodia

I am going to blog about my Cambodia 3rd day where we are going to Beng Mealea . And according to Tripadvisor's comments, we gotta be ready to be like Indian Jones to visit this ruined temple because this temple is in original condition and there is almost no restoration work at all.

Breakfast before departing for our long journey!

Hotel Food : The pork noodle soup is very tasty . And I do like the taste of Cambodian pork, seems to me more sweet and chewy!

Bacon was really good too, even though this is a hotel food! I extra ordered this for USD 2!

Speaking of Beng Mealea, it is a temple in the Angkor Wat style located 40 km east of the main group of temples at Angkor, Cambodia, on the ancient royal highway to Preah Khan Kompong Svay. We took a tuk tuk there and lucky for us it was a cloudy day!

I would suggest next time anyone who plan to go there, try to get an air-condition car/van because it is a long journey on red soil road about 1.5hour-2hour from Siam Reap town. So you must wear a surgical mask & not to wear white shirt if you intend to take the tuk tuk!

Along the way we saw cows carrying carts, just like how we usually see in movie !

It's dry season when we visited there, so we can see both sides of our road don't have much plantation and grass almost dyinng. And I can't help to wonder what are the cows eating ?

From Siam Reap town to Beng Mealea, we passed by small villages where the kids run around playing without their shoes during school hours . So I think these kids are poor and can'f afford to go to school. And they got kinda excited when they saw us passing by and waves to us, and of course we waves back happily like Miss Universe.

Moat surrounding the Beng Mealea temple ! There are so many lotus flower! What a beautiful sight!

This is the entrance to the Beng Mealea. We walked around 10 mins before we actually reached the Beng Mealea temple. Beng Mealea is actually older than Angkor Wat and was originally going to be the main temple until the king changed the site.

I forgot to mention that this Beng Mealea temple is not included in our 3 days Angkor Wat pass and we need to pay USD5 for an entrance fee at a ticket booth located about half a mile from the temple itself.

Beng Mealea temple is situated in the middle of the jungle and when we saw the entrance we are shocked because it is ruined and we could not enter from there. As I mentioned earlier, this temple is left to ruin from and hence this is an original condition.

A little background about Beng Mealea on Wikipedia :

Beng Mealea was built as a Hindu temple, but there are some carvings depicting buddhist motifs. Its primary material is sandstone and it is largely unrestored, with trees and thick brush thriving amidst its towers and courtyards and many of its stones lying in great heaps.

The history of the temple is unknown and it can be dated only by its architectural style, identical to Angkor Wat, so scholars assumed it was built during the reign of king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. Smaller in size than Angkor Wat, the king's main monument, Beng Mealea nonetheless ranks among the Khmer empire's larger temples: the gallery which forms the outer enclosure of the temple is 181 m by 152 m.It was the center of a town, surrounded by a moat 1025 m by 875 m large and 45 m wide.

TThis ia an alternative route is located on the right built for the tourist to visit the temple

I read from wikipedia that we shouldfollow the wooden bridge to visit the whole temple for safely reason.

Note : There is a temple on the left of the picture.

Remember just now I mentioned there is a temple on the left in my previous picture? I am going in!

Somehow I was adventurous that day after seeing some people coming out from another alternative road. So I told my friends, let's try this and see..

This is the entrance of the temple. And this is what we gonna do, CLIMB IN and SEE!

Oklah, we did have a security guy there who suddenly appeared and followed us around..

Ellis , Tia and me

Inside the temple,all the walls fell off and basically we need to climb on these sandstone to go around the temple. It was very adventurous, felt like Indian Jones going for treasure hunt! It is not easy and DANGEROUS!

Let's our adventure in exploring Beng Mealea begins!

One of the main reason why the walls fell off is because of the overgrown trees which was not taken care off. I was told by the guide it is because Beng Mealea located too far from the city and not easily accessible hence it became abandon.

Guide telling us history of this place and best spot for pictures.

Looking through the window,there are some craving on stone which are still in good condition.

Guide told us this is a good spot for picture and of course I climbed out to take a picture on the branch that looked like a swing!

I felt like a jungle princess here! Sitting on a swing ~

Guide waited for me, because I was busy taking pictures and he told me careful because just recently someone dropped their camera on the hole between the stones!

Do you see the trees growing up there ?

Yes the trees is living on the roofs and walls are being grasped by tree roots and branches!

So much climbing to do!

You guys must be thinking so happily posing there ah, actually it was quite dangerous because one mistake I might fall down!

This is an important carving where it shows the Churning of the Sea of Milk and Vishnu being borne by the bird god Garuda and the story of Amrita (water of immortality)

Each cravings has a story behind or represent something.

It is amazing to see how people at 12th century can actually carve such a beautiful & complex piece without much tools!

The view of the ruin temple from the top.

There are cravings on the walls too.

I was trying hard to figure what is it. At first I thought some kind of fish head or something, but later guide told us it is lotus and in fact the name of Beng Mealea comes from lotus in Khmer (Cambodian language). Beng Mealea (Khmer: ប្រាសាទបឹងមាលា, its name means "lotus pond"[1]) . Hence this explains why the moat surrounding the temple was full of lilies !

Last but not least, a picture with the super GIANT tree & root! Do you see the big root on the left! And I am really glad that I visited this temple because it is very adventurous and interesting!

p/s: At the end of the tour, we paid USD5 to the guard at our own will for his service :)

I would suggest to people who are coming Cambodia to visit this Beng Mealea Temple IF you have the time, because this temple is quite far from the city and need like more than half day including travelling time. And the good thing is it is not overcrowded and you can take your time visiting this place at your pace. It is interesting & adventurous to climb in myself to see how this temple built in the middle of the jungle and became ruin because of the overgrown trees and how the people in 12th century managed to build all this without any high tech machinery!

Hope you guys find my post useful for your coming Cambodia's trip!

Click HERE to read more about my Siam Reap,Cambodia trip!


  1. Because it is a girl's trip and Justin didn't go !

  2. wow amazing trip. i look forward to visit Angkor Wat. maybe next year

  3. Henry : Haha yes!! Very adventurous while exploring Beng Mealea :D

  4. Cambodian pork is different from ours here? I love the sandwich there! Energy booster for the day :)

    Latest: Vegan Fruity Pizza


Let me know what you think! Thank you :)

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