Beng Mealea temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since September 1, 1992 is the most exotic ruined temple of all temples in Cambodia I have ever visited. The condition is unbelievably messy, with piled rocks on the galleries and towers that have completely collapsed. Being hidden in the middle of a forest with limited road access, Beng Mealea has an exotic magical-scented, if not said, a spectacular atmosphere.
Having style that resembles Angkor wat, Beng Mealea, -means lotus ponds in Khmer-, it is suspected that was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century , based on its architectural style.
And one thing I love about Beng Mealea temple is its size. Smaller than Angkor Wat, but does not mean unimportant. As a monument of the King, it is said that Beng Mealea is one of the most famous temples in the period of the Khmer Empire.
I continued the enjoyment of exploring the temple by looking the warm morning light on the library between the trees. And in a couple of minutes I was on the highest place of the temple center and through the arch of unstable structure of Southern Gapura, I could see a wide walkway. More than eight centuries ago, only noblemen had the chance to see the highway from the place I stood in the highest temple center.
With the magical atmosphere, it was understandable why famous actress like Angelina Jolie took scenes in Lara Croft – the Tomb Raider movie in Beng Mealea temple.
Located about 80 km east of Siem Reap, on the way to Preah Khan Temple in Kompong Svay, unfortunately Beng Mealea is still difficult to reach because of its remote location.