Ta Keo

A massive temple mountain

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 3.5 stars

One of the most striking facets of Ta Keo is its almost nude, undecorated state. Although construction commenced during the reign of Jayavarman V (ruled 968 to 1001), work ceased just after the carving began due to a lightning strike.

This massive temple mountain is almost 50m tall and was the first of the Khmer monuments to be built entirely of sandstone. Despite its no-frills state , the temple is well worth visiting, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon when the light brings out the warm hues in the sandstone.

The upper levels of the pyramid are so narrow that it's almost impossible to walk around them. In contrast, the top level is refreshingly spacious and decorated with four corner towers and a larger central tower. The views over the surrounding forest, in all directions, are terrific.

The road passes by the south and western walls of Ta Keo. The southern stairs are the most popular route but all the stairs here are very steep. We'd suggest entering at the south, then taking a quick right and climbing Ta Keo from the west — if nothing else it is a little less crowded.

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