Why Siem Reap
- The largest religious monument in the world
- An Architectural Masterpiece
- Spectacular Hindu symbolism
- Rich cultural heritage
- The classical style of Khmer
Welcome back guys 😆
In this post, I am going to share with you a few more destinations where you may like to explore, but they are not located within the main Angkor Park.
Rolous Group refers to Bakong, Preah Ko, and Lolei. They are not located in the main Angkor Park but in a small town named Roluos.
These monuments are what remains of Hariharalaya, the first important capital of the Khmer Empire for more than 70 years.
Roluos Group is located approximately 12km east of Siem Reap. It is possible to rent a bicycle and ride all the way there as the road is sealed and smooth. However, I recommend to take a tuk-tuk and travel there as the traffic is a bit heavy on the road.
Tip » Remember to bring a mask along since it can be quite dusty on your way there.
Roluos Temples are included in Angkor tickets. Therefore, before you plan your visit to Roluos, you shall get your Angkor pass at the official ticket office. Because tickets cannot be purchased at Rolous.
These temples are quieter compare to the main complex. Some of them were under construction during our visit. Even though it was not completed, it is worth checking them out.
Each temple at the Roluos group is unique and interesting. I remember Bakong temple the most as it appears to be the highlight of the Roluos Group.
It has five levels with a center tower. Although it was reconstructed before, it is in great condition and it is still in use. Moreover, it is the most magnificent amongst all temples in the group.
Besides these beautiful temples. Rolous group also surprised me with its decorations, murals and lifestyle.
Beng Mealea is known as the jungle temple that is located approximately 68km away from Siem Reap city. We traveled there by tuk-tuk. However, it will be quite painful if you do not like long-distance travel because it took more than 2 hours. I would recommend going by car if it sounds restless to you. Taking a tuk-tuk than a car does not save much on your cost but it has a definite difference in comfort.
Also, Bang Mealea is not included in the Angkor pass. It costs USD 5 for the entrance fees. You can purchase your ticket at the site itself.
Beng Mealea is largely unrestored, overtaken by trees and branches, eventually creates spectacular views and fantastic opportunities to experience an isolated site with the same floor plan built as Angkor Wat – An Indiana Jones experience to be concluded.
While a wooden walkway guides you around the temple, you can also explore hidden corridors and even climb up to the roof to discover this beauty in the ruins.
Local guides can show you around by scrambling through the complex. You will find your secret path that unlocks a lot of interesting parts of this fallen mysterious site.
During our visit, we met a local guide who wanted to guide us around. The temple can be a little confusing to explore due to its ruined state. Therefore, I think if you want to experience how an explorer did from the past when they discovered Angkor, you can follow the local guide😂.
On the other hand, it requires some stamina to climb up and down the roof. The path is very steep and dangerous, so watch your step and be careful. After we came out from the temple, we paid our local guide tips as we thought it worth so much than just exploring the temple by walking through the wooden pathway like what the others did 😄.
The attraction of Bang Mealea lies in the atmosphere of mystery and exploration, rather than knowing the historical and architectural sides like some of the other temples we visited in Angkor sites. It is quite large and impressive carvings and statues can be found on the floor where walls have collapsed. It is a natural charm that you can feel so much in here. You can stumble upon all these while exploring the temple.
Beng Mealea becomes one of my favourites because the journey out through the city to the countryside’s lost temple which is covered by jungle appears to be very mysterious and touching to me. It is unrestored, abandoned, yet it remains its real form throughout years of living its life. After visiting it, you can tell that Beng Mealea is still breathing and talking.
Tonle Sap – Be aware of scam !!! 😡
After sharing all the good things I had experienced in Cambodia. I think it is time to reveal one ugly fact about the scamming I encountered in Tonle Sap floating village! Without checking many reviews online, we missed reading about all the scams encountered by the others in this place.
On the first day after we had purchased our Angkor pass, we thought we could visit Tonle Sap for sunset just to pass some time before we ended our day. Ended up we made a mistake. 😰😰😰
They charged 20USD per person for a ticket which I think it was way too expensive. Next, after we jumped in the boat, they were 2 more locals following us besides the boat driver. We did not think much as we thought they were assistants who helped with anchoring and docking the boat.
At first, they were being nice and explained to us the history and geography of the floating village. One of them had claimed that he is also from the village. I thought he was just being friendly and introduced his home to us.
After that, he started to tell us about how bad the situation was at school. They wished we can donate something for the students. I told them we did not bring enough money with us, but they ignored what I said and stopped us at one of the floating markets to buy something. Everything in the market was quite expensive. They wanted us to buy rice but seriously the rice cost too much. We totally could not afford it as I said we did not bring enough money with us. We tried to talk to him nicely but we gave up as we were feeling quite vulnerable. We were afraid that three of them can easily harm us and nobody would help or find out. At the end, we bought some snacks.
When we arrived at school, we gave them what we bought and spent some time there. To be honest, this was the only place I visited in Cambodia where the kids were not friendly. We headed back to the port before sun down. Once we arrived at the port, these scammers asked for tips😡. Each of them asked for 5USD from us separately. Their face turned 360 degrees when we only gave them 5USD and asked them to share amongst themselves 😂.
I hope reading my experience helps so that you do not repeat my mistake. I would rather spend money on donating or buying stuff from the locals who are working hard, rather than these people who are scamming tourists. Overall, I do not think Tonle Sap is worth visiting at all even if we did not encounter this. You can skip visiting Tonle Sap and spend some quality time to discover some other great places in Cambodia.
After I checked online, if you are still interested in having a lake tour and discover the local floating village, I think Kompong Khleang will be a better option than Tonle Sap😊
It a wrap!
Alright! That’s a wrap about all my Angkor adventure 😜
If you want to know more tips before getting to Angkor, you may refer to Angkor Wat part 1.
If you have not read about my other posts of Angkor, feel free to check it out here:
- Angkor Wat part 1 – a walk back in history | small circuit
- Angkor Wat part 2 – complete the circuit with the pink temple
I hope all of my posts of Angkor give you a better idea of your trip to Cambodia one day!
Now, I got to go and think about what my next post shall be 😉 !
Ses snart och hej då😝😝😝
– Cambodia, June 2016 –
Other posts of the trip: Cambodia❮ ❯