You finally made that important decision about your next holiday and made a very wise decision to go to Cambodia – Siem Reap – home of Angkor Wat Temples. Need some help with planning your activities?
Here is my suggestion for a one day tour from Siem Reap to Banteay Srei Temple and Kbal Spean Mountain, famous for Thousand Lingas (Linga = Penis in Khmer language) – stone carvings on the river bed. Missed by most of the visitors to Cambodia and Siem Reap that will be a memorable and pleasant experience.
Most visitors to Siem Reap do not get to see one of the most beautiful Angkor Temples – Banteay Srei mainly due to the lack of information and poor planning, making their stay here too short. It takes two days to see the so called “major” temples (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon…) as these are the best known and most promoted. The third day visiting temples of Angkor would get you to see what most visitors miss and would not cost you any extra money if you buy a Three Day Pass for the Angkor Archaeological Park. Cambodia has so much to offer but relevant government agencies are not as agile and efficient as their counterparts in Thailand and Vietnam.
Banteay Srei is at 39 Km from River Queen Guesthouse and The Old Market, considered to be the centre of Siem Reap. Kbal Spean is 12 Km further. Additional 1400m of walk up the mountain (not steep) will get you to Thousand Lingas site. A Tuk Tuk can take you there in around two hours and taxi will take slightly less time – your hotel will be able to organise the tour. Your hotel will be able to organise a certified tour-guide as well (prices are different for different languages starting from $35.00 for English speaking guide). Tour guides are in short supply during high season (November to March) and it is a good idea to arrange it in advance if you think you need one. Numerous tour agencies in Siem Reap can sell you this (or very similar) package for less money if you are happy to travel with a bigger group (bus).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Banteay Srei or Banteay Srey (Khmer: ប្រាសាទបន្ទាយស្រី) is a 10th-century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, 25 km north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom. Banteay Srei is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction. These factors have made the temple extremely popular with tourists, and have led to its being widely praised as a “precious gem”, or the “jewel of Khmer art.
More on Banteay Srei is available at Travel Kiosk Cambodia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kbal Spean (Khmer: ក្បាលស្ពាន) (“Bridge Head”) is an Angkorian era archaeological site on the southwest slopes of the Kulen Hills to the northeast of Angkor. It is situated along a 150m stretch of the Stung Kbal Spean River, 25 kilometres from the main Angkor group of monuments.
The site consists of a series of stone carvings in sandstone formations carved in the river bed and banks. It is commonly known as the “Valley of a 1000 Lingas” or “The River of a Thousand Lingas”. The motifs for stone carvings are mainly myriads of lingams (phallic symbol of Hindu god Shiva), depicted as neatly arranged bumps that cover the surface of a sandstone bed rock, and lingam-yoni designs. There are also various Hindu mythological motifs, including depictions of the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, Rama, and Hanuman, as well as animals.
More about Kbal Spean is available at Travel Kiosk Cambodia.
Evening after this tour you might want to have a drink at Linga Bar