Banteay Srey is located more than 30 km away from the Angkor Archaeological Park. It will take about an hour’s drive to reach. You have the choice of renting a motorbike, a private car (more expensive) or a tuk-tuk (value for money).
A car is definitely more comfortable with the air-conditioning, and you are shielded from the sand and dust. Nevertheless, we prefer the tuk-tuk for its more localised feel. Like us, if you intend to hire a tuk-tuk, do check with the driver if he knew the place and bargain on the long distant surcharge.
Getting there via tuk-tuk
Before you embark on the long, sandy and bumpy journey on the tuk-tuk, it will be wise to cover your hair with a scarf or hat and close your bags tightly. For those who may have breathing difficulties in dusty area, wearing a face mask is advisable. Finally, don’t make the same mistake as us by opening our bag during the ride. At the end of our ride, we practically poured sands (lots of it) out of our bag!
Despite the unpleasantness of having sands in our mouth, hair, clothes and bag, we were glad to have chosen the tuk-tuk over a car. Due to its slower speed, we were able to see the non-touristy side of Siem Reap…the school, plantations and villages.
Along the road to Banteay Srey, observe and you would notice that every household would have a big pot cooking at their front yard.
Guess what? It is the renowned palm sugar of Cambodia! It’s strong fragrance and sweet bitter flavour is an excellent condiment to any dessert recipe! Those white tube on the table are ready products. Don’t forget to grab some back home!
Citadel of the Women
Banteay Srey is loosely translated to “citadel of the women”. This is because it is the ONLY architecture that was built solely by women in Siem Reap.
The temple is made of pink sandstone. Together with the ornate design, gave it a fairyland ambiance and feminine touch. The colours of the temple are at its best before 10.30am and after 2pm.
The moment we stepped into the temple, surrounding us are walls and door frames densely covered with some of the most beautiful, deep and intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple.
Though far from Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, the two most well-known temples of Siem Reap; make a trip here and you will not regret it.