Royal baths — no elephants allowed
What we say:
Translated as Royal Baths, according to one source all creatures except elephants were allowed to bathe in Srah Srang, but today it is most popular as a spot for swimming by the local children.
Srah Srang is a mid-sized baray running out to the east of Banteay Kdei towards Pre Rup. Some 700m long and 300m wide, the baray was constructed during the reign of Jayavarman VII and has an almost sublime beauty to it — Angkor expert Maurice Glaize compared its majestic calm to that of Piece d'eau des Suisses at Versailles, yet many today give it but a passing glance.
The western end of the Srah Srang remains in the best condition, lined by a long stone wall with a terrace and staircase at its centre. The stairs are flanked by nagas and fearsome lions as they run down to the water's edge. Dawn here is breathtaking and late afternoon is also particularly pleasant. Should you have ample time, you can walk all the way around its edge. There's a bunch of food and drink stalls here should you be in need of refreshment.
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