Cambodia Day 3 – Exploring Beng Mealea temple

2 May

This post is part of our adventures in Cambodia, for other posts in this series, please click here.

Beng Mealea was an amazing temple and definitely worth the long road to get there.  As we looked around there were so many interesting views to absorb that in total we took several hundred photos.  It was difficult to choose which ones represented the temple most accurately.


Too many photos! How could I choose just a few?

I tried to choose photos that represent my idea of the temple, though they may not give you an exact idea of its size or it’s structure.  These shots remind me of that afternoon exploring.

Even more so than some of the temples we visited earlier – the carving popped out of nowhere – it was in the places you would expect – walls, arches, doorways – but also within the blocks heaped on the floor.  It would have been an enormous life-size jigsaw puzzle to put things back together again.

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Another unique things about the temple was that you really needed to climb to get to different places.  There were random blocks of stone piled on top of each other and it was a maze to figure out where to go next.  We “hired” a local guide to show us the way which was worth the $3 that we paid.

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And the guide then led us up, up, up to where we were walking on a catwalk over the temple.  We were Indiana Jones exploring in the jungle – nature closing in on all sides, looking for a hidden treasure.  It was a perfect release after the car ride there.

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Nature is so powerful – the trees and their roots continuing to pull apart the gigantic blocks that earlier kings constructed.  If we continue to believe we can control nature, I don’t want to be on that side of the bet!

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Making our way down again we were greeted by more locals asking us to buy drinks or maps or guides.  This child seemed like a young Tarzan, comfortable in the natural world.

Our own Tarzan?

Our own Tarzan?

And as a final memory I snapped this picture of Li by one of the enormous trees on the grounds.  It reminds me of the photos in the Sequoia forest in California where you had trees so large you could  drive a car through.  This tree isn’t quite that wide, but look how small a person looks beside it!

How many people could you fit inside?

How many people could you fit inside?

Looking back, I believe we could have spent an entire day there – happily exploring each room and watching the colors change as the sunlight went from east to west.  Instead though, we had one last place to go before that day was done, so we returned to our car and went to chase the sunset.

Have you ever been somewhere where you felt like Indiana Jones?  How and why were you there?


4 Responses to “Cambodia Day 3 – Exploring Beng Mealea temple”

  1. Valerie May 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    You’ve documented your trip well! Thanks for sharing all the photos!!

    • gkm2011 May 3, 2013 at 7:31 am #

      I feel lucky to have so many great shots, but it has definitely slowed me down in posting! Choosing the perfect ones takes more time than I am used to. Still two more days, though the last day not so many photos. We were “templed out.”

  2. stupiduglyforeigner May 2, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Pretty awesome. Definitely one of the more tomb-raidery temples there.

    • gkm2011 May 3, 2013 at 7:32 am #

      I agree, would put it on my must-see list if I were writing a travel book.

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