Banteay Prei – The small temple close to Preah Khan

Banteay Prei – The small temple close to Preah Khan

The temple Banteay Prei is another great insider tip for all those visitors who, far from the heavily frequented, more famous Khmer temples, do not want to miss the smaller, but all the more endearing buildings. Thus, it is very worthwhile to plan the time for a visit to Banteay Prei to get a little more into the history and architecture of the Khmer.

Sunrise in the park of Angkor Wat

Getting there is relatively easy here, as the temple is located directly on the left, northern side of the road that runs along the path between Preah Khan and Neak Pean (and is also signposted accordingly). This is another reason to visit the structure: As part of a temple tour, Banteay Prei is virtually on the classic route and does not require any major detours. However, since the construction is not approached in most commercial temple tours offered to tourists, it is recommended to arrive by tuk-tuk.

The site is a Buddhist temple. It was originally built in the late 12th/early 13th century under the reign of King Jayavarman VII. The architectural style used here is the Bayon style (like the more famous Ta Prohm temple complex). Nothing is known about the exact purpose and use until today: Thus, the visitor has no choice but to use his imagination and simply imagine the earlier times in the complex.

For connoisseurs of the various Khmer complexes, Banteay Prei is probably visually most reminiscent of the temple Ta Som, which is located only a short distance away, in terms of size it can probably be compared with the – due to the similarity of the names with it easily confused – Banteay Srei.

In general, it can be said that the temple is still quite well preserved. Thus, there are numerous Apsara carvings and Buddhist representations, which are still easily recognizable today.

Even if only a few tourists stray here, the Angkor Temple Pass is nevertheless required for entry. But it is the tranquility of the place that makes the temple a must-see: there are few places in the Angkor region that are so suitable for simply relaxing and meditating. It’s also perfect for taking photos (without hundreds of other tourists in the background).

All in all, a visit to Banteay Prei can be recommended without reservation: Due to the excellent location, the lack of tourist crowds and the well-preserved artistic representations in the form of carvings from the Khmer era, there are enough reasons to simply plan a little time for a trip here.