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  • Writer's pictureBarrett B.

World Class Jungle Adventure outside of Siem Reap - Cambodia's Koh Ker Temples

Updated: May 12, 2021


Say hello to Koh Ker and it's ancient relics. Prasat Thom Temple (photo below) & Beng Mealea Temple. Find your inner Tomb Raider and take a tour north of Siem Reap as you venture into the past. Part of the Angkor Wat Kingdom these temples are away from the crowds. If you want to imagine what its like to visit here here is a list below.


LET'S WRITE UP A CHECKLIST ON WHAT TO EXPECT:


  • DENSE FOREST JUGLE, VINES AND ANCIENT RUINS

  • STONE SCULPTED TEMPLES/PYRAMIDS FROM 1000 YEARS AGO

  • FOREST INHABITANTS - MONKEY, SNAKES, LIZARDS, BIRDS

  • LIGHT CLIMBING UP THE TEMPLE WALLS

  • VIEW POINTS OF ENDLESS JUNGLE FROM THE TOP OF THE TEMPLE

  • HOT AND HUMID WEATHER - 80s/90s F


100% WORTH THE EXPERIENCE



PRASAT THOM TEMPLE - 7 TIER PYRAMID


Welcome to the seven tiered pyramid, Prasat Thom. This ancient site is well over 800 years old and as you can see in my photo above there weren't many visitors at all. There's something special about encountering remains of an ancient civilizations in a foreign country, whether its with a small group of people or even alone (see my article - 'Walking alone with the Great Pyramids'). In my opinion it's almost 100 times as amazing to trek somewhere that very few people have actually set foot.



Some of these stone temples you see or hear about look amazing but this place has a mystical feel and aura about it. You start by arriving and immediately you notice that the jungle basically owns you. You are surrounded by dense green foliage everywhere. For anyone who's every seen the Tomb Raider movies, you feel like you just got dropped into every trekking scene in that film.


HOW FAR IS IT FROM ANGKOR WAT & SIEM REAP? It's only a 2 hour van ride


ARE THERE A LOT OF TOURISTS IN THE KOH KER AREA?

Not at all. When I arrived I came with a tour group of 5 people. To be honest our group spent a whole day trekking and driving around. I probably saw 20 people the whole day! I'll take those numbers any day. Also lately tourism in those national parks are down too. If you like taking a chance on something completely different then hurry up and book a trip.





You can see how the dense vegetation wraps itself around the pyramids. Depending on when you go there the lush green foilage can look a bit more vivid or less. As you can see from my photo above there was less vegetation but honestly once you got near the pyramid it still was extremely green and amazing.




 

MOVING ON TO BENG MEALEA TEMPLE


Beng Mealea Temple is a History of Beng Mealea

As a Hindu temple, it is thought to have been constructed around the same time as Angkor Wat. Due to its similarity in structure to Angkor Wat, Beng Mealea is thought to have been a prototype for the great temple. It is a large site, facing the east, and encircled by a wide moat.



Follow the elevated walkways as you traverse through this magical place. The lush green vegetation only adds spectacular views and fansinating history. This is a place not to be missed.




 

"you can follow an elevated walking path right through the center of the temple grounds"

 

The photo below is the Beng Mealae Temple. This particular area has really been over taken by the jungle but this is one of the only temple grounds that I visited where you can follow an elevated walking path right through the center of the temple grounds. So, not only do you get to go inside the temple grounds you're elevated to get a better view. This an idea place for taking that perfect photo on Instagram.


If you are a photography lover or just a fan of nature you'll love the simplicity and solitude of these temple grounds. You can almost imagine what this ancient place was like hundreds of years ago as you wind your way through historic passage ways and elevated stair cases. The jungle has swallowed a lot of these solid stone structures which only adds to the mystery of this area.


Once you arrive at Siem Reap, definitely ask the tour guides or tourist companies about the Koh Ker area. I took a chance not knowing exactly what to expect and I was more than pleasantly surprised. I also recommend taking other small ventures to other historical preserves outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Cambodia is still rebuilding from the devastation from the Vietnam War and Khmer Rouge brutality but its basically a safe place that has a lot of adventure and past history to offer.


FOLLOW ME ON:

FOLLOW MY LAST ADVENTURE IN THAILAND HERE ✈️ 🇺🇸 ➡️ THAILAND - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGLpbnKi2Kc&t=38s


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