Angkor Wat and/or Beng Mealea??

Old May 15th, 2009, 03:05 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angkor Wat and/or Beng Mealea??

I'm heading to SE Asia for my honeymoon and looking for advice on Angkor Wat/Siem Reap. We only have a day and a half in Siem Reap (landing at noon first day and leaving at 8:30pm on the 2nd). The plan originally was to concentrate on only Angkor Wat but we've read some really wonderful stuff on Beng Mealea. Can anyone tell me how long it will actually take to see Beng Mealea (I hear about 2 hours each direction) and if it's worth treking out there instead of spending the time exporing all of Angkor Wat? Any advice would be much appreciated!
Reebs77 is offline  
Old May 15th, 2009, 03:34 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are only there for a day and a half then stick to Angkor Wat and the other temples in the area like Bayon and Ta Phrom and Banteay Srei which are all different from each other.

I've been to Baeng Malea, and while it was one of my favorite temple experiences, that was mostly because it was completely deserted and we could climb through the ruins. I've heard that since then (12/07), much of the access has been closed off.

With only a day and a half I don't think it's worth the long ride out there, especially if it's at the expensive of some of the closer and more unique temples.

You can see my trips to Cambodia on my website; www.wired2theworld.com
Kristina is offline  
Old May 15th, 2009, 04:17 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Any way you can extend your time in Siem Reap? There are many dozens of accessible temples in the area. It takes three full days just to see the major temples, and you could spend a week there and not nearly see them all. Really, if you have any interest in the temples, spend more time there. It's an expensive short stop to spend a mere day and a half and see so little.

Like Kristina, I think it makes little sense to drive to Baeng Malea when you don't even have the time to see the most prominent temples near Siem Reap.

We also have Angkor photos: www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
Old May 15th, 2009, 08:08 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The tour in Siem Reap usually go to Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, and sunset from Phnom Bakheng.
Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Ta Prohm are temples.
Angkor Thom is the ancient city.
Beng Mealea is just another temple.
You won't have time for it.
The Siem Reap tour has a lot of walking.
I was most impressed with the handicapped pan handlers on the way to the top of Phnom Bakheng.
Most lost their legs from land mines.
They were smiling and singing all day long.
Cat12345 is offline  
Old May 16th, 2009, 06:58 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your responses, everyone! They were very helpful. Kathie/Kristina - loved your photos too! I think we're going to skip Beng Mealea. WSJ had a wonderful article on all the soon to be World Heritage Sites one should visit before they become tourist traps... but this one will have to wait for another trip.

Cat12345 - Question - how long does the average tour you lay out above take/start?

Thanks!
Reebs77 is offline  
Old May 16th, 2009, 08:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, teh Bayon, Ta Prohm and Phnom Bakheng lie in the same area Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap.
If your flight arrive on time, your guide might take you to see one of the temples in the first afternoon after checking in hotel.
The next day would be a tight schedule to see the rest.
I doubt if you have time to see sunset from Phnom Bakheng if your flight leaves at 8:30pm.
Cat12345 is offline  
Old May 16th, 2009, 08:25 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Reebs, there are group tours available in Siem Reap, bit I do not recommend them. (I assume that's what Cat is talking about). Most of the people on this site have hired a private guide for the temples. That means you can see whatever you want. If you have done a lot of research ahead of time, you might want to go with just a driver and a guidebook (we did, but I'd been reading about Angkor since I was a child - which was a looong time ago). IMO, the best guidebook to Angkor is Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor. Look for the 2006 edition. Spend some time with that book and with Angkor photos and decide what you want to see.

Sunset atop Phnom Bakheng... well, it was long a recommended stop (at least by the LP guides). In recent years, it has become so crowded that most people recommend against it. We were there in 2001, and happened to have a couple of days when there were almost no tour groups in Siem Reap. We went to Phnom Bakheng at sunset, and while there were lots of people, it was very mellow. With your limited time at Angkor, it's not what I would consider a "peak" experience. Also, what you see of Angkor Thom are the spectacular gates.
Kathie is offline  
Old May 16th, 2009, 08:31 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
By the way, the traditional way to tour the temples is to start very early in the morning (sunrise if possible), tour until about noon, go back to your hotel for lunch and a swim, then go back out about 3 pm until dark. There are good reasons for this - it is "hell hot" there and this will allow you to avoid the hottest part of the day; the early morning and later afternoon light are best for photos; and the traditional big meal of the day for Cambodians is a mid-day, so your driver and guide will want that time to eat and rest as well.
Kathie is offline  
Old May 16th, 2009, 08:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Perhaps, too many Buddhist fanatics meditate on top of Phnom Bakheng.
Cat12345 is offline  
Old May 16th, 2009, 10:16 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,418
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anyone who could meditate in the traffic jam at the top of Phnom Bakeng during sunset has definitely learned to quiet the monkeys.
offwego is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
libero7
Asia
5
Jan 2nd, 2009 07:03 AM
lilypoo
Asia
6
Nov 27th, 2008 05:26 PM
celimiz
Asia
9
Oct 16th, 2008 07:22 PM
nibblette
Asia
7
Dec 30th, 2007 03:35 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:58 PM.