There are a number of less visited temples in the main Angkor area that are easily accessible. They may not be as striking or as popular as some of the others but each one has its own personality. With fewer visitors, they provide a great place to enjoy a quiet walkthrough as you imagine life centuries ago and get some great photos – especially in the early morning as the light filters through the nearby forest of trees.
Here are four of the temples where I spent some time.
Built in the 12th century as a Buddhist temple under the reign of Jayavarman VII, Ta Nei is crumbling and in need of restoration. When I visited, there were only one or two other visitors climbing through the ruins. I loved walking through relatively by myself and alone in my thoughts. There were so many great photo ops with the large trees, the fallen stones, and the crumbling walls – especially in the early morning light.
To reach Ta Nei, my tuk tuk driver, Veasna, has to take a dirt road.
The entrance to Ta Nei is quiet and almost deserted
Looking over a partially collapsed wall to the crumbling temple walls of Ta Nei
The trees and the ruins at Ta Nei make great photo ops
I love climbing through the ruins of Ta Nei – few visitors, it’s peaceful and thought-provoking
Wooden supports keep much of Ta Nei from crumbling even more. Hopefully, it will receive funding for restoration soon.
The perimeter walls of Ta Nei are still holding. I wonder for how long?
Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon
These two temples are similar in style and are located directly across the road from each other. Both were built in the 11th to 12th centuries; however, Thommanon was built decades earlier than Chau Say Tevoda. I visited these recently restored temples, that are not very large, in the mid-morning and enjoyed seeing their original look and all of their designs.
Chau Say Tevoda is a Hindu temple built in the 12th century
The early morning light spreads shadows and light across the temple of Chau Say Tevoda
With few visitors and its recent restoration project completed, Chau Say Tevoda is a peaceful temple to walk thru in early morning
Chau Say Tevoda, recently restored, is a good temple to walk through
Looking through a doorway to the outdoor walkway at Chau Say Tevoda
Chau Say Tevoda is small and easy to walk through. I love the temple designs with all the figures
A closer look at the designs on the temple buildings
Thommanon is located right next to Chau Say Tevoda. Both are recently restored and a great place to visit with the low number of visitors.
The morning light hits Thommanon creating shadows as I walk through this recently restored site
Thommanon was built in the 12th century under the reign of Suryavarman II
Thommanon is a quiet place to sit and relax and just take in the whole scene
This temple was built in the late 10th and early 11th centuries as a Hindu temple. It was the first to be constructed wholly with sandstone. I didn’t feel there was a lot to see here. The stairs are steep and narrow. Climbing can be a little challenging.
The entrance to Ta Keo before you reach the steps ascending to the upper level
Built in the 10th – 11th century as a temple mountain, Ta Keo is the first to be constructed wholly of sandstone. The steps to the top are steep and somewhat narrow.