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Mithun Divakaran

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Banteay kdei temple Siem Reap Cambodia

Cambodia: Banteay Kdei – A Citadel of Chambers

Date: 13 May 2018

We were on our home stretch. After starting the day at Angkor Wat, followed by visits to Bayon, Ta Keo and Ta Prohm temples, we were now at the final stop on our tour of Angkor Archeological Park.

Banteay Kdei entrance Siem Reap
With our one day ticket, we visited 5 temple structures… but mind you, there are many more places you can visit if you have the time or you buy the multi-day ticket. See this post for details about the various tickets.
Traditional art Siem Reap Cambodia
We saw some artisans handcrafting some stencil-like art pieces. Quite impressive!
Banteay Kdei shops Siem Reap
You need to walk past these shops and stalls before you get to Banteay Kdei

Banteay Kdei was built in the mid-12th to early 13th century AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII. Lore says Jayavarman VII was accused of wasting money on extravagant temple building projects while ignoring society and other duties… but that shouldn’t be a shocker by now. It’s not like you walk past remains of universities or villages in Angkor park.

Banteay Kdei ruins Siem Reap
Banteay Kdei translates to “A Citadel of Chambers”
Banteay kdei citadel Siem Reap
Banteay Kdei is one long temple
Banteay kdei chambers Siem Reap
You keep walking straight down
Banteay kdei pillar held up Siem Reap
Some pillars are merely held up using wooden logs
Banteay kdei window Siem Reap
Honestly, by now me and my girlfriend were pretty bored and not very keen to spend much time at Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei corridor Siem Reap
So we just kept walking through the central corridor until we reached the end
Banteay Kdei temple Siem Reap
Banteay Kdei temple doesn’t offer anything that different or unique from other structures you visit on these tours. The sculptures (mostly Apsaras) are the same as elsewhere.

One perk Banteay Kdei offers is that it isn’t very crowded. It maybe because people often come here towards the end of their day tour and choose not to spend much time here because they’re tired (or skip it entirely). So if you want to take some photos where you wish to pose without other tourists making an appearance in the shot, Banteay Kdei would be a good spot to do it.

Banteay Kdei temple renovation
Banteay Kdei’s renovation is being funded by Japan
Behind Banteay Kdai Siem Reap
And this is it… the end
Banteay kdei temple Siem Reap Cambodia
I took one photo from my phone
Banteay Kdei long chamber Siem Reap
And then we walked back

Me and my girlfriend started our day at 7am and after walking visiting, climbing, and walking through five temples with my camera equipment, by the time we reached Banteay Kdei… I honestly just looked at it like: “oh, another ruined structure made of stone blocks”. Yesterday I really wanted to do the whole catching the sunrise at Angkor Wat experience. Now, I just wanted to get back to our hotel, shower and rest! We were sooooo tired.

Angkor moat Siem Reap Cambodia
The skies weren’t the best in the mornings anyway
Leaving Angkor Park Siem Reap
That is not to say I did not enjoy my time at Angkor
Tourist area Siem Reap Cambodia
Visiting Angkor Wat is a must when in Cambodia and no matter how touristy it may appear to be, it’s worth it
Intersection Siem Reap Cambodia
But I was done. I saw enough once great Hindu temples for this trip.

We got back to our resort (Lavender Angkor Boutique Hotel), showered and then hit the swimming pool to cool off. It was a fun and relaxing way to end what was otherwise a very tiring day.

Date: 14 May 2018

The following morning, we just slept in and relaxed. We did not step out until the afternoon.

Siem Reap local market Cambodia
We checked out the local market after lunch
Inside Siem Reap local market Cambodia
Nothing special, but you get fresh seafood, meats, vegetables, fruits…
Clothes Siem Reap Cambodia
… and clothes, souvenirs and stuff catered to tourists as well
Drying meat Siem Reap market Cambodia
Dried meats on display
Lucky Mall Siem Reap Cambodia
On the way back, I went to Lucky Mall which is located close to Lavender Angkor Boutique Hotel
Inside Lucky Mall Siem Reap
It’s not a big mall or anything but it houses a supermarket, a small food court and some brand stores

By the way, inside the supermarket I saw international brands like Johnny Walker, Jack Daniel’s and other famous liquor brands being sold at prices I could not believe. They were shockingly low. I wondered if these liquors were even original. Turns out they most likely were. Fake liquor manufacturing and distribution is a real thing in Cambodia. So be careful! For all you know it’s cheap whiskey mixed with cola but who knows what they put in the bottles to mimic the appearance of whiskey.

Me and my girlfriend relaxed for much of today because… a) we needed it, and b) this was our last night in Siem Reap before catching the bus to Bangkok tomorrow. And that will be my final post in this Cambodia series.

Previous posts in this series:

Cambodia: Ta Prohm temple – the one famous for the tree roots

Cambodia: Ta Keo temple

Cambodia: Bayon temple – the one famous for stone faces

Cambodia: Visiting Angkor Wat

Cambodia: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by bus

Cambodia: Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh

Cambodia: Mekong River Sunrise Cruise… and an insight into Chinese investment in the region

Cambodia: Phnom Penh Central Market and Wat Phnom

Cambodia: S21, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Cambodia: Choeung Ek genocidal center — the infamous “Killing Fields”

Cambodia: Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh Night market

Cambodia: Arriving in Phnom Penh

Cambodia: Ta Prohm temple – the one famous for the tree roots

Date: 13 May 2018

After Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Keo temples, we were now at our fourth stop on our trike tour around the Angkor archeological park.

Ta Prohm tree Siem Reap
Seeing such tall trees as you walk toward Ta Prohm should give you a hint to the role trees play here
Ta Prohm India funding restoration
After seeing so many of the temples being renovated with the financial support of Germany, Japan, China and France, finally I came across one that is being funded by India (since 2010)!
Ta Prohm entrance Siem Reap
We entered Ta Prohm through here
Ta Prohm wedding shoot Siem Reap
Cambodians make use of these heritage ruins as backdrops for wedding photoshoots
Ta Prohm temple Siem Reap
Ta Prohm is yet another temple made on the orders of one of the Jayavarman kings but what really sets it apart from the other structures…
Ta Prohm tree roots
… is seeing these gigantic tree roots that have grown over the stones over the decades

Ta Prohm (or “Old Brahma”) was initially called Rajavihara. Whatever it was called then or now, Ta Prohm is more famous for being the temple in Angkor archeological park which has many trees whose roots have extended themselves around and through the gaps of the structures.

Continue reading “Cambodia: Ta Prohm temple – the one famous for the tree roots” »
Ta Keo temple Siem Reap

Cambodia: Ta Keo temple

Date: 13 May 2018

After Angkor Wat and Bayon, we were headed to the third stop on our tour around the Angkor archeological park.

Angkor park road Cambodia
We were getting around in a tricycle taxi that we hired for $15
Bayon entry gate Cambodia
Along the way we would stop to take photos
Stones Ta Keo Angkor park
As mentioned in previous posts, in between the major temples and structures of the Angkor park are other ruins
Ta Keo temple Siem Reap
This is Ta Keo temple

Ta Keo is one of the tallest monuments of the Angkor empire. Built to resemble a mountain, it was commissioned by Jayavarman V in early 11th century but the work was never finished. No one really knows why construction stopped.

Continue reading “Cambodia: Ta Keo temple” »
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