Pre Rup

Top sunset spot

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 4 stars

Pre Rup is a temple-mountain with the central pyramid comprising three levels atop a two-level base. Built of laterite, brick and sandstone, the early morning and warming afternoon light plays beautifully on the temple's stone.

Completed in 961 AD during the reign of King Rajendravarman, Pre Rup was constructed as his state temple following the establishment of a new capital on the southern bank of the eastern baray — Pre Rup sat at the centre of this new capital.

Pre Rup means "turn the body", a reference to the funeral rite where a corpse is turned on the charcoal. This name supported theories (not universally held) that Pre Rup was used for funerals — an opinion further backed up by the discovery of a small stone cistern to the east of the entrance thought to have been used for them.

The main attraction for the casual visitor are the sunset views, with the site being an ideal alternative to some of the more popular sunset viewpoints. Unfortunately, the guidebooks (guilty) have let other travellers in on this little secret, and it's now quite busy at sunset too. When we last visited, the sunset side of the temple was so crowded with noisy tourists that it spoiled the serene setting we had envisioned. From the summit you can see Angkor Wat, and if you're lucky enough to have the site to yourself, the serenity here, with the jungle rambling off to Angkor Wat, is excellent.

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