Beng Mealea

Located about 60kms from central Siem Reap. This temple complex is more of a ruin, and it gives some sense of what the early 19th century archaeologists must have found, except I’m sure it was much more over grown and dangerous to root around in than today. This temple is often described as being in the jungle. I would say forest but then again we did go in the dry season. If your into trees then your in for a treat.

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Nearly all the temples have a long drive leading up to them (1,000 yrs old undulating paving stones) on either side is the forest with a mixture of mature and sapling trees. For good measure there is a sign at the entrance warning of land mines. Don’t stray from the path unless your in your UXB mode and have a crash team with you.

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– Naga -Serpent heads feature quite a lot at the entrance to the temples.

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As you can see there are a lot of fallen blocks and the archway looks ready to collapse. Pretty big jigsaw puzzle to work out in your spare time.

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More fallen blocks.

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The trees at all the sites are an enduring and fascinating feature of Ankor. 

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A collapsing section.

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Inside they have provided some wooden walkways, so you can safely walk around.

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If your feeling adventurous there is a steep up and over section that leads down into this tunnel. After the door there’s is another courtyard and the perimeter wall. Light penetrates from small openings at the top of the walls.


Inner court yard as mentioned above.


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Strangler Fig roots invading the building.

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At the top of another steep section, looking down on a section of the ruins.

Its hard to give a sense of scale, when you stand at the front aspect and look left and right most of the temples disappear into the distance shrouded by trees and foliage. I would guess this location is about 200 x 200m. We spent about 2hrs rummaging around and only touched the surface. As we were about to leave a coach load of tourists turned up. Much to my dismay the tour guide had a headset and speaker blaring out the history and features of the location.

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4 replies »

    • Cheers, some steam coming out of the forest / jungle would have been nice touch. But then I would be on the set of a Hollywood film as opposed to the real world. Lets just say I was mopping my brow often.

    • I’m not a tour person. I did some basic research. Re: locations I had in mind to visit. Our first hotel Golden Temple Villa, were helpful in organising a mini van for us (6 persons) I told them where I wanted to go and they made it happen. The cost per day for the air conditioned mini van was about $100 USD.
      If your a culture vulture then you will enjoy it.

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