Photo: Incredible detail.

Banteay Kdei

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Close to Siem Reap, with its own unique appeal and much quieter than your average Angkorian ruin, Banteay Kdei offers the perfect antidote the crowds at Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.





It is also conveniently close to the Big Three so you can easily add it to your one-day itinerary, enjoy a little solitude and impress your friends with photos of more than just the usual tourist traps.

A good choice to dodge the crowds. Photo taken in or around Banteay Kdei, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

A good choice to dodge the crowds. Photo: Caroline Major

Banteay Kdei is located just beyond Ta Prohm, heading in the direction of Banteay Samre. It is also close enough to visit by bicycle from Siem Reap if you are reasonably fit and want to save on transport costs. Do note however that while it is possible to bypass the main temples entirely to get here from Siem Reap, unless you already have your temple pass you will still need to go to the Apsara Authority booths on the road to Angkor Wat to buy your ticket first.

Many visitors choose smaller temples for their sunrise tour, simply to experience daybreak in a more peaceful setting than the free-festival atmosphere of Angkor Wat. In fact if you arrive at any of the main attractions and find they are just too busy, then you may be advised just to get back into your car or tuk tuk, or on your bike, and head straight for the relative tranquility of an outlying temple. You can then return to the tourist behemoths later in the day, when visitor numbers may have dropped, even if the temperature will have risen.

Banteay Kdei and the nearby lake of Srah Srang provide one of those great early morning alternatives. Srah Srang was built as a vast royal bathing pool by Jayvarman Vll in 953, and its stepped sandstone terraces with sculpted lions and nagas provide a peaceful spot to watch the sunrise, or even have an early picnic. From here it is a gentle stroll to ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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