MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Nature Overgrown - The Beautiful Beng Melea Ruins

Beng Melea is an Angkor Wat style temple about forty kilometres east of the Angkor temple complex near Siem Reap in Cambodia. It was also to be our last temple visit and an amazing one it was which proved to us that Beng Melea was one of the more beautiful Angkorian sites.

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Since it was much further away from town than the other complexes, Beng Melea turned out to be a more peaceful place to visit, though we weren't the only tourists there. We didn't have our guide with us, just Marom, the tuk-tuk driver who happily dropped us off and waited while we walked around for almost two hours.

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Apparently, Beng Melea wasn't discovered until recently (in the temple-ruin-history-scheme of things) and so much of it lays largely unrestored. Trees and thick bush seem to have spent centuries growing through the ruins, dominating it and therein lies it's beauty.

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Sandstone blocks laid in great heaps while full grown trees sprouted over and above them and on the remaining walls of the temple. Towers mixed with trees and courtyards over-run with undergrowth.

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Beng Melea composed nature in a way that only Angkorian ruins can do, fusing centuries of natural growth and man-made constructions.

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The previous day, our guide gave us a suggestion that we first walk around the outside walls of Beng Melea before we explored inside, and so that's what we did first.

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Once we'd completed a full circle of the exterior, we made our way in by scaling some purpose-built wooden steps that began a specially constructed walkway for visitors to see inside the walls of Beng Melea.

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Once inside, we could make our way easily along the walkway which mostly provided an elevated view of the ruins. The path went through most of the interiors before ending close to a heap of stones just inside the exterior wall at one point, which left us no choice but to trace our steps back to go out. Check out what we saw along the way.

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Beautiful.


This entry posted in : Cambodia. History. Tourism.

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