Beng Mealea (11th century) still strangled by the overgrown jungle, completely ruined even though it was built at about the same time as Angkor Wat) is one of the largest ensembles in the Angkor region, covering an area – within its 45m.00 wide moats that cover a distance of 4,200m all around – of 108 hectares, and comparable therefore to the most imposing temples of the capital. Clearly, of architectural character, it gains above all by the clarity of its plan, the harmonious equilibrium of its composition and the sense of the monumental, given effect by the large clear surfaces – the decoration is simple and animated only in certain areas, and so shown to particular advantage. Platforms, bases and capitals, – cornices underlined with a single frieze, – the tympanums of the frontons and devatas are the main elements of an ornamentation that is generally discreet while maintaining excellent quality. Phnom Kulen is considered by Khmer people to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and is a popular place of pilgrimage. It played a significant role in the history of the Khmer empire as it was from here in 802 that Jayarvarman II proclaimed independence from Java, giving birth to modern Cambodia. There is a small wat at the summit of the mountain which houses a large reclining Buddha carved into a sandstone boulder.
In the morning, a visit to Phnom Koulen important holy place for Buddhist Khmers. Picnic lunch box will provide on sport. Then afternoon we will visit Beng Melea Temple very romantic temple which is still lost in the jungle. You will be same as the discoverer one century ago….Rather bumpy 2-3 hours drive through the beautiful countryside takes us there. Beng Melea is almost the size of Angkor Wat and is one of the largest ensembles build during the Khmer Kingdom. It is enclosed by a huge moat of 1200m x 900m and the temple presents in places a veritable chaos of fallen debris beside areas that remain absolutely intact – but everywhere vegetation reigns as master. During our visit, we will have to walk over ruins and climb over stones and sculptures to fully explore this site. The decoration of Beng Malea is simple and animated only in certain areas but you can find several bas-reliefs showing scenes from the Khmer Mythology. Late afternoon return to Siem Reap.
USD 150 per tour
Car or Mini Van
1 – 4 persons