Banteay Srei and Kbal Spean
Depart on a pleasant drive of about 1.5 hours through the Cambodian countryside to Beng Mealea, a sprawling jungle temple constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It preceded and may have served as a prototype for Angkor Wat.
Contrary to Angkor, few carvings or bas-reliefs are evident. Today the temple is largely overrun by vegetation and the stone walls are crumbling, which adds to its charm in a unique way. Accessibility has improved as elevated walkways have been set up throughout most of the temple, although to see all corners does require a sense of adventure as you will need to climb over stone blocks or walk through narrow passageways! This makes it an ideal experience for active teenagers!
Drive on for lunch in a traditional Cambodian restaurant before heading to Banteay Srei temple. This red sand-stone temple is one of Angkor’s most significant structures as its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings that have been preserved remarkably well. They provide an excellent insight into the Angkor civilisation and their beliefs. It was built in the 10th century and was dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.