Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. It was said, that Jacqueline Kennedy risked a visit to Angkor Wat during the Vietnam War to fulfill a “lifelong dream” of seeing the monument. After visiting the temple, I can understand her motivation.
Although there are countless temples to visit in Angkor Wat, the one that stood out for us was one of the smallest sites, Banteay Srei Bayon Temple. What it may lack in size, it makes up for in beauty. It is located about 23 miles north of Angkor Wat, but well worth the drive.
What makes this temple different is the pinkish hue of the sandstone. The special red sandstone can be easily carved, but has stood the test of time and weather. The temple is made of brick, laterite and sandstone. There are many 3 dimensional carvings which add to the Hindu temple.
Banteay Srei means “Citadel of Women” and it is believed that it must have been built by a woman. The carvings are supposedly too fine for a man’s hand.
We spent a total of 4 days seeing Angkor Wat and each day was filled with history, culture and the incredible architecture of the temples. Although it was well over 100 degrees, with 90% humidity, I would do it again tomorrow. I can imagine Jacqueline Kennedy was not disappointed.
Photographs From Banteay Srei
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.