From Kampong Khleang to Beng Mealea in a Day
From Kampong Khleang
to Beng Mealea in a Day
As to where most in Siem Reap go left, we turn right. Exploration of Siem Reap’s rural surroundings
is filled with surprises. Enter the lives of the families of a floating village at Kampong
Khleang and admire the untouched beauty of Beng Mealea temple.
WHY THIS TOUR?
The Tonle Sap is home to many families and small communities that live off what Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake gives. It does not come as no surprise that such villages really give visitors a unique insight into real Cambodian village life, away from western civilization, where trade still is conducted on local markets and the way Cambodians have done for centuries.
In addition, to maintain the rural theme, Beng Mealea is one of these temples that are often forgotten when seeking the extremely rich cultural heritage; the former Khmer empire has left behind. Combining the both in a full day, and you have one amazing view of what’s life like slightly off the beaten path.
08:00 - 17:00
In the morning, we head out into the northern direction following the contours of the Tonle Sap. Our goal for the morning is the stilted village of Kampong Khleang. Via local paths and almost meandering through the greens and houses, our boat will sail out (depending on the water levels) and show you these houses from the lake. Some of these homes are constructed on top of stilts, reaching a height of 10 meters!
The region is known for regions of the petrified mangrove forests and waterways, sometimes hidden from the naked eye. Enjoy the fascinating scenery of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. A delicious local lunch will be served at a local house where you can experience to see daily life in the village.
In the afternoon, we travel through the thriving countryside, past rice paddy fields and local villages to Beng Mealea. The Lotus Pond Temple dates back to the early 11th Century and was built by Suryavarman II as a Hindu Temple. Beng Mealea is a temple hidden in a maze of the jungle – if there is one temple to explore resplendent with jungle engulfing it, it is Beng Mealea. Clambering over large sandstone blocks to reach the inner sanctuary and eerie worship corridor is an exploration to remember. Architecturally, Beng Mealea is noted for its innovative, in its time, construction of hallways, it was a very large temple with wide galleries foreshadowing Angkor Wat.
At around 5 pm, you reach your hotel after a stunning rural experience, away from the more known tourism paths.