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BANTEAY SREI AND BENG MELEA temples have something in common, they both are far from Siem Reap and Angkor city, they are 20 and 42 kms away.
The previous post related about rurale country life near these temples.
Banteay Srei is a small temple, built in the tenth century, made of pink granit and laterite and only discovered in 1924, one thousand years later !!!!!! André Malraux and his wife were caught red handed, looting…the year of its discovery.
Technically, the restauration is exemplary and has been later on, applied to the other monuments of Angkor. The sculptures are so delicate and sensual, probably the most delicate of the whole kingdom.
Beng Melea, built in the twelth century, is just a giant ruin spread all over the jungle, it might have been a model for the building of Angkor Wat. This is like a kind of “Indiana Jones” ‘s temple …. Ficus trees roots are growing over the stones, and make it look like a natural but, new kind of architecture.
In this place, we feel like adventurers, we climb on the mass of fallen debris, get into dark rooms, we try to understand what it meant or would have looked like, all this with the “sound of music” tropical forest version !!!