Getting Lost in the Ruins of Cambodia's Grand Circuit

It was the last stretch f my stay in Cambodia and I was going on the grand circuit of the temple tours. The tours around the Angkor ruins are cut into parts depending on distance. The far temples (Beng Mealea, Banteay Srei, 1,000 Lingas, Koh Ker, and others) are normally combined with the grand or mini tour or put into an entire day separately.

The mini tour includes the temples Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphuon, Terrace of Elephants, Terrace of the Leper Kings,  Phimeanakas, Takeo, and Ta Prohm.

The grand tour consists of the temples Pre Rup, East Mebon, Ta Som, Neak Pean, and Preah Khan.

Pre Rup
Pre Rup is a state temple established during the reign of King Rajendravarman. The name of this temple translates to "turn the body." The temple, like most in Cambodia, is dedicated to the Hindu god of Shiva. 
Pre Rup
I took the time to wander around this temple and take in its history. There is something about ruins that draws me to them. My friend and I met this German girl who was nice enough to pose. I played around with the camera and made sure that she's the only one in color while the background is black and white.

East Mebon
East Mebon is another temple included in the grand circuit. This temple was built in the 10th century by King Rajenravarman. This temple was dedicated to the Hindu god of Shiva and the King's parents. This temple follows the architectural design of Pre Rup.

East Mebon

East Mebon

Neak Pean
Neak Pean is also one of the temples included in the grand circuit. This Buddhist temple was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII.

Preah Khan
Preah Khan was established during the rule of King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century. The place is flat in design, has many galleries, and a bevy of Buddhist and Hindu carvings, bas reliefs, and other items.

Preah Khan
Preah Khan has a maze-like structure that, to some extent, is nice to get lost in. These corridors are just a few twists and turns inside this ruin.

Preah Khan
Preah Khan was built on the very same site of King Jayavarman's victory over the Chams in 1191.

Ta Som
Ta Som was built during King Jayavarman's reign in the 12th century. This temple was dedicated to the King's father, Dharanindavarman II. This temple is left unrestored that gives it its romantic feel.

Ta Som
Ta Som looks like Ta Prohm its just my opinion and observation because of its ruinous state and trees, roots, and branches growing everywhere.

After going through the temples in the grand tour, the driver took me to Phnom Bakheng to view the sunset.

Phnom Bakheng

Phnom Bakheng
I didn't really see anything special about the sunset atop this temple. I've seen better sunsets elsewhere, but in any case I just enjoyed the view with dozens of other tourists that went to see it. It seems like Phnom Bakheng is a popular place for sunset viewing.

The grand tour, Banteay Srei, and Banteay Samre tours were my last stops in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Overall, my trip to Cambodia was an enriching experience. This tour cost me $34 (I split the $28 with my friend and paid for the temple pass separately) including sunset and the temple pass.



  1. I was there for just a whole day and paid $20. It was very tiring, but well worth it. I started at sunrise in Angkor Wat and ended up in sunset at Phnom Bakheng as well.

  2. The place is like a ghost town. Is it maintained by their government? What is your first feeling upon entering, of course, for the first time? It is tiresome to explore the whole place, especially going up to the uppermost of the ruin.

  3. @Gil: yes it is maintained by the government it looked like a ghsot town because there were very few people when I visited the place

  4. The ruins is well maintained I guess because a lot of tourist are visiting to see and experience it.

  5. This were the temples I haven't visited in Angkor Wat except Preah Khan which I visited when I was there.

  6. I was supposedly Siem Reap-bound last December (coming from HCMC). I really wanted to visit the ruin and temples firsthand. But I was already too tired to take the 12 hour bus trip to Cambodia. Nonetheless, this is a place that is worth looking forward to. :) I will visit it soon. :)

  7. I have only seen these in postcards sent to me and in movies. Hopefully someday I'll be able to visit this place, just one of my dream Asian destinations. There's a fee to view the sunset on top?

  8. @Wandering Gene: there's no fee to view the sunset at the top :D

  9. I want to get lost in Cambodia! Very familiar skin ang lugar na to - way back high school days na Asian History ang topic-

  10. Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The shots above looks that old century. Hope to visit there someday!

  11. i have fallen in love with this place when i first saw them in a postcard sent to me by a friend who lives in Bangkok. I would really love to see the place for real someday!

  12. I wouldn't mind being lost in this beauty!

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