Banteay Samre temple is a gem that has been hidden from others’ eyes. Being about 20 kilometers away from the town and 10 kilometers from Angkor Wat temple, Banteay Samre has the ability to pull visitors in. Foremost, the surrounding of this temple possesses the image of tranquility. With a lot of trees gathered around, Banteay Samre appears like one of the most majestic temples that you will not find it easily elsewhere. Moreover, the serenity of the atmosphere that Banteay Samre presents to people who visit it can unquestionably make you feel at ease. Fascinatingly, Banteay Samre is like another version of Angkor Wat temple. In short, some people even said that it is a replica of Angkor Wat temple with its similar architecture design and classical arts except Banteay Samre is smaller in size. Despite being smaller, Banteay Samre possesses the charm to lure visitors in as soon as we first lay eyes on it. It is one of the most significant temples in Siem Reap that you should definitely come to sightsee.
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Banteay Samre is one of the temples in the Angkor Archaeological site that is quite far away from the other recognized temples. The literal name of this temple is after an ancient people of an ethnic group of mountain people who were probably related to the Khmers. Banteay Samre was built in the early 12th century, during the reign of King Suryavarman II and King Yasovarman II. Since both of the kings were strongly Hindu believers, they had built this magnificent Banteay Samre temple as a dedication to Vishnu, one of three supreme Hindu deities. On top of that, people can easily recognize that Banteay Samre is in the Angkor Wat style by the single ogival tower. Furthermore, all the splendid carvings on each wall of the temple from when you first walk in the area of the temple until the end are so beautiful and detailed. One individual cannot help but to wonder how ancient people in the past were able to establish a monument so astonishing like this even before the existence of technology.
Let us move on to talk about the architecture of Banteay Samre. The classical graceful design that Khmer people from the ancient time produced was not something everyone can follow. All the sculptures inside the temple demonstrated how talented people from the past were that you could not help but to admire them. Furthermore, there were some aesthetic carving that showcased the fight between Rama and the ten-headed Ravana. Above that, you can witness the creative carvings about the different gods in Hindu religion like Vishnu, Krishna, Indra so on and so forth. Precisely, Banteay Samre has a similar architecture and art to Angkor Wat temple. As we can see how breathtaking and impressive Angkor Wat is, Banteay Samre is just as beautiful that can also take your breath away.
It is not so hard to get to Banteay Samre. This astounding temple locates only 400 meters to the east of East Baray. So, you can visit East Baray first, then you can visit Banteay Samre or vice versa. Other than that, there are numerous types of vehicles you can use to get to Banteay Samre like a car, bus, motorcycle, Tuk Tuk, bicycle and so on. Nevertheless, we suggest you either rent a Tuk Tuk or bike to get the fullest experience. To start with, you can hire a Tuk Tuk for one whole day to bring you everywhere around Angkor Archaeological Park. Since Banteay Samre is a bit farther from Angkor Wat compared to other temples, you will get more time to enjoy the spectacular views of nature along the way.
Most importantly, the chilling wind that you touch your face and body while you are on your Tuk Tuk enables you to enjoy the moment with nature more than being in any other vehicle. In addition, if you are more of an adventurous type of person, cycling is an excellent choice for you. It allows you to feel even more connected to the natural environment that eventually creates a pleasant sensation to your mind and body. Additionally, cycling around the Angkor Archaeological site can get you to enjoy the temple more as you can stop anywhere and anytime you want without worrying about space to park. Therefore, you should either consider hiring Tuk Tuk or bicycle as your vehicle during your visitation at Banteay Samre.
Even though Banteay Samre’s location seems isolating, you can still find some other attractions to visit around that area as well. To make it easier for you, we have prepared a shortlist of some places you can visit after you come back from sightseeing the irrevocably gorgeous Banteay Samre temple.
Ta Prhom Temple
After visiting the irreplaceably splendid temple, Banteay Samre, you can extend your trip to Ta Prhom temple which is only about 8 kilometers away from Banteay Samre. Ta Prhom temple is well-known for both local and international tourists since it was being featured in the movie titled “Tomb Raider” with Angelina Jolie as the main cast. What is more, there are enormous trees growing their root out of the ruins of the temple, which make millions of tourists to feel curious about these mysterious trees. The mysteriousness of Ta Prhom temple is one of the charming points that this temple has to collect tourists. Moreover, visitors can feel a sense of solitude while being there regardless of whom they come. Not only that, the unique architecture of this temple is in the Bayon style that could make you find it even more fascinating to visit Ta Prhom temple after visiting Banteay Samre.
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Traveling farther from Banteay Samre temple to the west, you will discover one more gorgeous temple that also demonstrates a tranquil image. Banteay Kdei is around 8 kilometers away from Banteay Samre temple. Most importantly, Banteay Kdei temple is famous for its being one of the perfect places to watch the sunrise given that it is the opposite of Srah Srang. Besides Angkor Wat, for tourists who prefer to behold the sun rising in solitude can come to this temple and spend your time there. On top of that, Banteay Kdei temple is like a small version of Ta Prhom temple. With its uniquely alluring architecture, it has charmed many travelers to stop and visit every time they pass this temple. Not only that, but tourists can also take their time to enjoy all kinds of aesthetic carvings and sculptures inside Banteay Kdei before they go to Banteay Samre temple.
As mentioned above, the location of Srah Srang is just the opposite of Banteay Kdei. Srah Srang is a man-made reservoir by the ancient Khmer people. From the past, this reservoir was known as a royal bathing pool. Interestingly, Srah Srang is 700m long by 350m wide, making it one of the most massive and most beautiful reservoirs in Siem Reap. The atmosphere around this area is definitely relaxing. Above that, the calming water allows tourists to feel peaceful and relaxed. As a result, tourists who go to visit Banteay Kdei can spend their time just chilling around this big reservoir and eat some food after. They can even take their time up to 30 minutes at Srah Srang just to enjoy the fantastic scenery that this reservoir can offer to them. After that, tourists will feel more energetic and surely can continue their journey again around the Angkor Wat area.
If you haven’t had enough of these incredible temples around Banteay Samre, you can challenge yourself to travel 27 kilometers from Banteay Samre to another temple. Fascinatingly, the name of this temple is Banteay Srei that literally means the citadel of women, which people believed because of the feminine beauty of this temple. Banteay Srei will completely blow your mind by providing you an entirely different experience about the art of temples in Siem Reap. The stone that ancient Khmer people used to build this temple was the color red sandstone. Thus, the temple will look quite reddish compared to other temples that you have seen in Angkor Archaeological site. Nevertheless, Banteay Srei temple is one of a kind. The design and style of it are quite different from others, but it never fails to amaze tourists with its eye-pleasing beauty that you cannot easily find at other places. One thing you should take note of is that this site is quite far from the other popular temples. Some tourists would choose to visit Banteay Srei temple the next day; however, if you still have time, you can visit this stunning temple after visiting Banteay Samre temple too.
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All things considered, Banteay Samre temple is one of the perfect attractions in Angkor Archaeological Park that you should visit. Firstly, it is totally so peaceful in that temple, despite its size being quite small making it an excellent place for visitors who prefer to witness an astonishing beauty of the ancient monument. Over and above that, Banteay Samre is in an isolating location surrounded by many trees. Thus, most visitors find this an interesting factor that makes Banteay Samre even more alluring than it was before. In addition, it is not easy to find such an amazing temple that has a similar design to the great Angkor Wat; hence, we suggest you come to witness Banteay Samre for the fullest experience in Siem Reap.