Banteay Srei: Fit for a King

Banteay Srei: Fit for a King

Angkor Exploring Part 3 of 7: Over the next few weeks we will share our experiences visiting Siem Reap and the surrounding area while we are offline in Myanmar.  Articles may load slowly due to the number of photos, but it’ll be worth the wait.  We are presenting the sites in chronological order of construction, the same order in which we visited them.  After providing “Angkor Exploring” as a frame of reference, we will share tips on how to make the most of your trip to one of the world’s wonders.

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Proving once again that monarchs don’t create the era’s best art, the only major temple built by a non-king is also the most artistically rich.  It was at this temple that the effort was solely on detail, carving and architecture versus size.  Not attempting to be tallest or largest, the creator, Yajnavaraha, left a masterpiece.  Every block is carved with precision and detail more akin to a painter’s brush than a sculptor’s chisel.

Considered by some to be a “hidden gem”, it is only hidden from those that buy a packaged tour that doesn’t include it.  The US Park Service quality visitor’s center and information is the best of any of the Angkor sites and makes it clear that that this gem should be included on any itinerary.

Immediately after the modern ticket control booth visitor’s are welcomed to the temple with detailed carvings.

Sneaking a peak into the temple one can look past the guardian sculptures to see the detail behind it.

Even the most focused visitor will struggle to take in all the carvings, stories, and pieces throughout the main area.  Unlike many temples, crowds are carefully controlled and people are not allowed within reach of the carvings.

Photos don’t do Banteay Srei justice, you have to see it yourself.  Alone, each block blends precision, depth, and detail to make a masterpiece.  Together the hundreds, if not thousands, of blocks form the ultimate Angkor art gallery.

IF YOU GO:

  • Worth the extra charge. Banteay Srei is about 25km from Angkor Wat and will cost extra to visit by car, tuk-tuk, or tour bus.
  • Amenities abound. There is a modern visitor’s center complete with a coffeeshop, restaurants and gift stores.  If you are planning your own schedule, this is a great lunch stop.
  • Zoom lens needed. Due to crowd control ropes and paths, if you want a close-up of the carvings, you will need a zoom lens.
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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.
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