Angkor 3 Days Tour – Part 2 Stunning Temples of Angkor

On our second day, we chose to go by Motorcycle. This way we were more flexible when it comes to times and routes. Anyway, we are happy we did our first day by tuk-tuk with our driver Mr. Chan. He could give us so many information about Angkor and several temples in it. 

Victory Gate

Victory Gate I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Our first stop was at the victory gate. It is located at the northern entrance of Angkor Thom. We did a short stop not only to have a glance at the map (we used maps.me) but also to get a nice shot of the Victory Gate. On our first day, we’ve already come by there and Mr. Chan had given us the name in Spanish: Puerta de Victoria. (I guess that’s the reason why I could remember it so well)

Preah Khan

Preah Khan I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Preah Khan Facts

  • Translated it means Holy Sword
  • Built in the late 12. Century
  • Buddhistic Temple 
  • Barely restored
  • Flat temple

A visit to Preah Khan

Preah Khan I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Our first temple on our second day of our Angkor 3 days tour was Preah Khan. After having seen this impressive temples on our first day Preah Khan might have been even a little disappointing.

Preah Khan I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia
The Preah Khan had many narrow hallways but already fell apart at many places.

Preah Khan I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Anyway, the benefit was that it wasn’t nearly as crowded as in Angkor Wat the prior day.

Neak Pean

Neak Pean I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Neak Pean Facts

  • Name can be translated as Interwinted Snakes
  • Artificial island
  • Built at the end of the 12. Century
  • 350 x 350 area
  • The temple itself is supposed to represent a Lotus bud

A visit to Neak Pean

Another highlight of our Angkor 3 Days Tour was the Neak Pean. The temple itself is quite unimpressive though.

Neak Pean I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

However, on the way to the temple, you have to cross a sump which is pretty stunning.

Neak Pean I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

While we were on our way through the sump a big storm came up. (Welcome to monsoon season!) But exactly this turned out to be the most wonderful picture we could have asked in combination with this landscape. 

Neak Pean I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

However, I’m sure also with nice weather the Neak Pean and the sump will definitely be worth a visit.

Ta Som

Ta Som I Angkor I Siem Reap I Kambodscha

Ta Som Fakten

  • Built between 1190- 1210
  • Flat temple
  • Also described as the simple mini version of the Ta Prohm Temple (See Part 1
  • Translated the name would be something along the lines of Ancestor Som and is dedicated to the Mentor of the former king
  • The original name was Gaurashrigajaratna, which can be roughly translated to Jewel of the fortune bringing white elephant

A visit to Ta Som

Most probably we will always remember the Ta Som Temple mainly for one thing: Its cat.

During our trip, we befriended so many cats. But anyway we still got excited everytime we would meet another kitty walking around. (While I am writing these lines a cat is laying on my lap. It just came here trying to find shelter from the pouring rain)

We spent around 20 minutes with this cat (Yes, that long…) and an Indian family which also fell in love with the little kitty. (In my defense it was raining and we wouldn’t have walking around that much anyway during the strong raining phase 😉 )

Ta Som I Angkor I Siem Reap I Kambodscha

The temple was beautiful. There was a lot to see, but the rain didn’t make it easy for us to get around.

The special thing about this temple was the jungle feeling it provides. The combination of old walls and trees growing out of it is amazing. Even though it was no competition for its big brother the Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider Temple) about which you can read in the first part of our Angkor Tour.

East Mebon 

East Mebon I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

East Mebon Facts

  • Opened in 952
  • Dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva
  • The temple used to be surrounded by a moat and could only be reached by boat

A visit to East Mebon

East Mebon I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

The East Mebon Temple is huge and impressive. Actually, it kinda reminded us at Angkor Wat. (Considering the facts it is built similar to the Pre Rup Temple)

In the temple grounds of the East Mebon, you are able to find spectacular elephant statues. Unfortunately, most of them are not complete anymore and are missing some parts. The statues can be up to 2 meters high.

East Mebon I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

The noticeable difference to other temples is that really few visitors are coming to this temple. This way you can explore the East Mebon in a tranquil atmosphere. Even though this temple didn’t become one of our favorites we can still recommend you a visit.

Banteay Samré

Banteay Samre I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Banteay Samré Facts

  • Name can be translated to Fortress of the Samré
  • The Samré was a tribe which used to live in this area
  • Shows mainly Hindu reliefs, but also Buddhist ones 
  • Built in the first half of the 12. Century

A visit to Banteay Samré

Banteay Samre I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Our visit in Banteay Samré was mostly spoiled by rain. Anyway, we tried to make the best out of it. However, here we met a little cat too. So Eduardo “was forced” to stay at exactly the same spot (which actually wasn’t even a really dry spot) until the cat let go of him. After about 10 minutes we could finally look for a dry shelter. 

Banteay Samre I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

This temple as well provides the huge benefit of being avoided by most tours. Therefore, it is pretty quite and you can wander around without being distracted by other visitors. (For us it was even more beneficial that we didn’t have to share our dry shelter with anyone)

Banteay Samre I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Its architecture is strongly orientated towards the one of Angkor Wat. This means you have a little bit of the Angkor Wat vibe here just without the crowds. Sounds great, right?

Pre Rup

Pre Rup I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Pre Rup Facts

  • Built in the 10. Century
  • Hindu Temple
  • Dedicated to the god Shiva
  • Served as a model for Angkor Wat
  • Three-staged Pyramid
  • 12 Meter high

A visit to Pre Rup

Pre Rup I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

The Pre Rup Temple should become the highlight of our second day. The temple is built like a pyramid and therefore offers a great panorama view. 

The many steps that lead to the top might be a little bit exhausting in the afternoon heat. But in the end, you will be rewarded with this amazing view as soon as you have made it up. (And basically it’s just 12 Meters upwards actually) 

Pre Rup I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Eventually, we liked the Pre Rup so much that we even came back on our third day of our Angkor 3 days tour.

Banteay Kdei

Banteay Kdei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Banteay Kdei Facts

  • Built from the middle of the 12. Century until the beginning of the 13. Century
  • Buddhist Temple
  • Translated to Citadel of chambers
  • Gets restored recently

A visit to Banteay Kdei

Banteay Kdei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Our visit in the Banteay Kdei can get summarized by only one word: Monsoon rain.
Although we arrived while the sun was still shining the weather changed super spontaneously. 

Luckily, before that, we had some minutes to discover the amazing sights of this temple.

Banteay Kdei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

What made this temple so special for us was that huge trees were growing out of the old walls. We felt so small next to them. 

Banteay Kdei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Banteay Kdei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

When the rain started, of course, we were wandering around in the area as far away as we could be from the temple exit. (Thanks to Murphey and his law) Therefore we had to pass through the whole temple in order to get back to our motorcycle in the pouring rain.

Banteay Kdei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Kambodscha

We tried to hide some time from the rain. But by now it was already 05.30 pm. Haven’t we read on a sign that this temple was supposed to be closed at 5 pm? 

At some point, we realized that there was no other way than walking back in the direction of the exit.

Banteay Kdei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia
Banteay Kdei during heavy monsoon rain

On our way, we even met one woman that was working in the temple. She was also hiding and realized the rain probably wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. She politely informed us that the temple is closed now and left without even checking whether we started walking to the exit.


Luckily, we could just walk by the barrier that was set at the entrance in order to finally exit the temple. (We’ve already imagined climbing the walls in order to get outside or even spending the night inside of the temple) 

When we stepped out of the gate again, completely soacked by the rain, we realized that the rain has stopped…

Angkor Day 3

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Banteay Srei

Banteay srei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Banteay Srei Facts

  • Hindu Temple
  • Translated name is Citadel of women/ beauty
  • Dedicated 2/3 to Shiva and 1/3 to Vishnu
  • Built in the middle of the 10. Century
  • 3 Temple towers
  • Original name was Tribhuvanamahesvara, what can be translated to Great God of the trinitarian World 

A visit to Banteay Srei

The Banteay Srei Temple has been recommended to us more than once. It is located about 53 km/ 33 Miles outside of Siem Reap. Full of expectations of this temple we started our about 1 1/2 hour journey on the last day of our Angkor 3 days tour. 


The roads were more or less fine with some exceptions. But after we made it through some floated part and we survived a huge snake suddenly falling from a tree above from us the way was actually quite ok. 

By the way, I guess I should mention that the quality of the roads is decreasing the further you get from Angkor Wat.

Anyway, even as a not super experienced driver, the road is doable, I’d say.


As mentioned before our expectations about the Banteay Srei were quite high after it has been recommended to us several times. (Afterwards, we were not quite sure anymore. Did someone actually said something positive about the temple or just about the landscapes on the way there?)

Landscape I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia
The landscape we came by on the way to Banteay Srei was really nice

We’ve been hoping for a peaceful big temple far away from the crowds of tourists. I mean, who would be doing all this way just for one single temple except from us, right?


As soon as we reached the big parking spot in front of the Banteay Srei we realized how ridiculous our hopes were. It was already full of huge Chinese tour busses. 

The huge temple complex was full of tourist. Probably more crowded than any other temple we had visited the previous day. Already the entrance looked so different to the other temples. Really modern, staff greeting you and handing out maps of the temple grounds.

There were a lot of souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants that you had to make your way through before even reaching the temple. It felt like we had just blundered into a tourist trap.

And the temple…?

Banteay srei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

The temple was definitely not worth the long drive. We were just really disappointed. The temple was not only really small but also overcrowded with tourists. There were not many details to see either. In the end, we just spent around 10 minutes wandering around. 

Around the temple was a park in which you could have a walk. You could rent a little boat to have a little tour on the lake. For a price that was unbelievable for Cambodian standards. 

Basically, all the prices around these temple grounds were completely overpriced. 


The only interesting thing around was a little exhibition in which you could read about the history of Angkor, especially about the “modern history” from its discovery to today.

And the highlight was after we wanted to leave we even got charged parking fees, even though there was no sign anywhere telling you this parking spot was not free of charge. (Any other parking spot we used around Angkor was free of charge)

The surroundings of Angkor

Landscape I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

When you are driving through the archeological park of Angkor you can not only see wonderful temples but also stunning nature and landscapes. From rice fields to lakes up to locals culture and life. 

Landscape I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Landscape I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Pre Rup

As mentioned before on our third day we returned to the Pre Rup. This time we had better weather, so we actually had the chance to get an even better view than the day before. 

Preah Ko 

Preah Ko I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Preah Ko Facts

  • Built in the late 9. Century
  • Belongs to the Roluos Temple Group
  • Hindu Temple
  • Dedicated to the god Shiva
  • Consist of 6 tower buildings
  • The name can be translated to Temple of the holy ox

A visit to Preah Ko

The Preah Ko and the two following temple are all located South of Angkor Wat, a little bit off the track. After a long journey through the striking sun, we were happy to finally have arrived. 


Even though the tower buildings are quite impressive there is actually not that much to see around. So I guess you will not need that much time for your visit here. 

Moreover, there is not much shadow, so it can get extremely hot while exploring the temple. Therefore, you might wanna bring your sunscreen. 


Bakong 

Bakong I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Bakong Facts

  • Built in the second half of the 9. Century
  • Belongs to the Roluos Temple Group
  • Hindu Temple
  • Dedicated to the god Shiva
  • First temple pyramid of that kind 
  • Surrounded by a moat

A visit to Bakong

Our visit in the Bakong temple wasn’t actually planned like that. We found it more or less by accident but loved the look of it immediately. That’s why we really felt like going inside. 

The road there was really bad though. Not paved at all and full of road holes. So in case you are driving yourself, please drive carefully!

Bakong I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Actually, we have been really lucky to have such a nice surprise as our last temples for our Angkor 3 days tour. Not many tourists were wandering around which gave you the chance to discover the beauty of this peaceful temple in such a tranquil way.

You will also be rewarded with a great view from there.

But also in Bakong temple you probably won’t be able to find much shadow.

Lolei

Lolei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Lolei Facts

  • Opened on the 08. July 893 
  • Belongs to the Roluos Temple Group
  • Just 2 of the original 4 tours remained

A visit to the Lolei Temple

The Lolei Temple was just the perfect ending to our tour. We were really happy that we got here. The Lolei Temple is not really big and therefore you won’t need much time to take a look around. 

But maybe you want to take some time to walk up to the school which is located next to the Lolei Temple. After the classes are over, some teachers are still around and might even get you a small tour if you want.

One of the teachers here is his self still a student. He is studying English in University but teaching the kids and monks around that couldn’t get there education any other way.

Lolei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

We talked with him about how important education is and how you can get motivated to learn English. It made us sad to know that it’s not a habit yet in this country that every child goes to school. 

So if you are around the Lolei temple feel free to make a little donation so that the children of Siem Reap can learn English.

Lolei I Angkor I Siem Reap I Cambodia

Part 1 of our Angkor 3 Days tour

This post has been about the Days 2 and 3 of our Angkor 3 Days tour. If you want to read about our first day, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the famous Tomb Raider temple, please click here.

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Angkor 3 Days Tour I Part 2 I Day 2 and 3 I Siem Reap I Cambodia I @vickiviaja

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Vicki

Hi, my name is Vicki. Here you can accompany my boyfriend Eduardo and me on our way through different countries of this world. Let's travel together!

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3 thoughts on Angkor 3 Days Tour – Part 2 Stunning Temples of Angkor

  1. I am currently travelling in Cambodia and just discovered your blog! After your experiences at Angkor Wat, would you still recommend the three-day tour, or would you say that you could do all of the best temples in one day? (I am only planning on spending about two weeks total in Cambodia rather than three weeks.)

    • Hi Claire,
      It depends on how interested you are in seeing the temples, I guess. For us, one day wouldn’t have been enough because we took our time to see every part of the temples. But we talked to other travelers, for whom one day was enough, if you get there early and spent the whole day, you can manage it to see all the most popular temples. (All temples in one day is impossible though) It’s hard to tell, I guess because it really depends on personal interests. We even met travelers that went there for seven days.

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