Off the beaten path but not (too) far away: Banteay Thom and Banteay Prei

dgilliland from

Road to Banteay Thom (credits: dgilliland from

When it comes to visiting the temples of Angkor Wat, there are two strategies you may want to combine. In the first instance are the ‘A-list’ temples you will most likely definitely want to see. Angkor Wat itself, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm and Phnom Bakheng are some of the best known and most visited temples on this list. Visitors with limited time often don’t get much further than these and a few other top Angkor brand names.

As wonderful as these sights are they all present a major disadvantage. The chances of having one of these temples to yourself or even almost to yourself are pretty much zero. And one of the great experiences of a visit to the temples is the serenity and often almost other-worldliness of the atmosphere that hangs in these ancient ruins. But those feelings are hard to experience when

Andy's Cambodia)

Little visited Banteay Prei (credit: Andy's Cambodia)

surrounded by the hustle and bustle of so many other people around you. That’s where the second strategy comes in – visiting some temples that are off the beaten tourist path.

Here are two suggestions that often come in for much praise for offering solitude while being more or less within the area of the Grand Circuit: Banteay Prei and Banteay Thom. Here you can read one traveler’s description of Banteay Prei and here you will find a very engaging travelogue from another traveler who visited Banteay Thom. The travelogue also contains some helpful information about finding Banteay Thom, which is sometimes known as the mystery temple, since so little has been written about it.

(If you are planning a trip to Angkor Wat please check out Savuth’s tuk tuk transportation services at

~ by Leonard on August 9, 2008.

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