Beng Mealea (Beng Melea) is a relatively new temple in Angkor, about a 90 minute ride Northeast of Angkor Wat. The temple is left unrestored, so I found myself climbing over bricks and ruins. Tourist facilities and paths are currently being constructed however, and I expect this place to become a complete tourist show. It was my favorite temple and a wonder to explore.
Also check out the photo stories on the mysterious Ta Prohm temple
, Preah Khan temple
, Angkor Thom
, Angkor Wat
, and other temples of Angkor
Trees and vines overrun Beng Melea Temple in Angkor
- View on Flickr
I hired a moto-taxi to take me there. The ride takes visitors through rural Cambodia, quite an interesting sight. I have more photos of that here in Cambodian Life
. Upon arriving, I found a man who self-appointed himself as our "tour guide." He showed us around the ruins, and was actually quite helpful since the ruins can be tricky to navigate -- at the end of a 2-3 hour tour, he asked for $2, so we obliged. There are wooden platforms that visitors can walk on over the ruins, but various areas of the ruins are just collapsed stone bricks. I wouldn't say this place is dangerous, but one must watch their step.
Every temple has an atmosphere about it, and Beng Mealea's is one of mystery and wonder. It is easily one of my favorite temples of Angkor. Ruins and jungles mingle here. Tour buses have begun shipping visitors here, and a new bathroom facility is under construction, but the area is still much less crowded than the larger temples in Angkor. For now at least.