Phumi Boeng Mealea Travel Guide

  • Phumi Boeng Mealea
    by triplehelix
  • Phumi Boeng Mealea
    by triplehelix
  • Phumi Boeng Mealea
    by triplehelix

Phumi Boeng Mealea Things to Do

  • Best Place to Start a Walking Tour

    Wikipedia has a drawing that outlines a walking tour, but we added more locations on the east side, back (north) and west side. The beginning of the tour is a set of wooden stairs to the right of the unrestored, impassable south gate. The walking tour mostly follows a boardwalk that was originally constructed during the filming of the movie, Two...

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  • West Gate of Outer Wall

    We did not try to go inside through the West Gate. We just went under its platform and continued south. Actually there was a huge building just to the west of the platform. From the Beng Mealea diagram it is the same shape as a structure on the east side. The East Gate was the main entrance in ancient times but is now closed due to dangerous...

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  • Scenes from the Boardwalk

    Most of Beng Mealea is unrestored making it even more interesting. New areas of the temple are still being added to the boardwalk. The boardwalk is definitely not handicapped accessible. It winds up and down with many steep stairs and ramps. It also goes through the collapsed Turtle Carving Library on the northeast side of the inner gallery. See...

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  • Three-Corridor Building in Southwest...

    This building was next to the south outside wall and had some really nice carvings on the three doors facing west. These blind doors, lintels and pediments are the style found at Angkor Wat. Notice the large stone hand or foot lying on the ground by the south door.

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  • More of the Maze

    We passed another cut tree and saw a previously cut tree starting to grow back before we reached the "tunnel" with the mysterious light.

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  • Maze of Buildings, Galleries, Rubble and...

    The guide led us from the southwest corner of the outer gallery through a maze of buildings and rubble to another "tunnel," and then back to where we started the walking tour. I am sure glad that I did not have to find the way myself. Also, a mysterious energy tried to capture me in the "tunnel" (see the Warnings and Danger tip).

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  • Must Cut Some Trees

    Many trees (e.g. strangler figs) grow on the ruins in Cambodia. When they get too large and their weight starts to crack the building or wall, they must be cut down. This is an example on the south outside wall of Beng Mealea next to the three-corridor building. The tree had already been cut down but you can get the idea.

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  • Southwest Corner of Outer Gallery

    There are several interesting artifacts lying around in the southwest part of the outer gallery. There is also a three-corridor building with nice carvings (see the next tip).

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  • Normal End to the Walking Tour

    The normal way to finish the Beng Mealea walking tour is to head directly south from the Northeast Library toward the Southeast Library, then back to the original boardwalk. In the picture that is through the hole in the wall on the left. Instead, we went over the north outside wall, then west toward the North Gate.

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  • East Side of Beng Mealea Outer Gallery

    The east side of Beng Mealea's outer gallery is off the boardwalk so there are fewer people. To get there you must walk along a ledge overgrown with roots. See also a videoclip.

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  • "Tunnel" to the East

    From the platform at the top of the steep stairs on the north side of the inner gallery the path goes down and through a dark "tunnel" toward the Northeast Library in the outer gallery.

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  • Turtle Carving

    Inside the collapsed Turtle Carving Library in the northeast corner of the inner gallery there is a large rectangular stone lintel with a carving of the churning of the ocean of milk with a turtle.

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  • South Walkway to Beng Mealea

    From the parking area near the market, you cross a stone bridge over the moat and approach Beng Mealea along a dirt walkway to the unrestored, impassable south gate. There are public restrooms on the right just before you get to the ruins. See also a videoclip.

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  • Made It All the Way Back

    After surviving the dark "tunnel" with the mysterious energy, it was not far back to where the walking tour started.

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  • West Side of Outside Wall

    There were no other people on the west side of Beng Mealea except us. The outside wall is collapsed in most places.

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  • Northwest Corner of Outside Wall

    We just walked around the outside of this corner. It was totally unrestored but had some interesting carvings.

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  • North Walkway

    There is much more to Beng Mealea to the north but we did not have time to explore it. Instead we went west along the back wall.

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  • Back (North) Side of Beng Mealea

    Normally you are pretty much on your own back here. Actually one of the guides was bored and showed us around for free. See also a videoclip.

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Phumi Boeng Mealea Warnings and Dangers

  • Dark Places with Mysterious Energy

    There are several places at Beng Mealea that are essentially underground and not lighted. Because there was little light, the pictures came out fuzzy. In one place a mysterious energy tried to take over my body. Hey, look at the pictures!

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  • Snakes

    Many types of snakes are living around the Angkor sites and although not very often sighted around Siem Riep due to large crowds, in places like Beng Mealea I recommend to be more careful. I spoke a local farmer from the village working in the fields around Beng Mealea. Based on first hand accounts he said there are 3 common types of snakes around...

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  • Insects Warning!

    Normally visitors to Cambodia write in this tip section about the mines...but I was assured that the whole area was cleared by 2003 so I was more worried about the insects!The Temple is surrounded by a moat which was only muddy at the start of the raining season, but nevertheless a great attraction for mosquitos. Don't know if there are any...

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Phumi Boeng Mealea Favorites

  • Don't Wait to See Beng Mealea!

    GrumpyDiver told me that when his group was at Beng Mealea in March 2009 that they were the only ones there. When we visited in February 2010 that was not the case. It was not even close to being as crowded as the Angkor temple complex, but there were plenty of people visiting. I have included some pictures of them. Also, the south walkway video...

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  • Beng Mealea Parking and Market Area

    There is essentially a small village across the road from Beng Mealea. It is a typical market area with places to buy food and souvenirs. We did not actually stop there though.

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