About 35 km northeast of Siem Reap, Banteay Srei district offers plenty of things to see and do, as well as to experience the authentic homestays for the traveller wishing to extend their stay and explore more of the local area.
Banteay Srei temple
The most worthwhile reason to visit the Banteay Srei district is the option to explore the elaborately decorated 10th century Banteay Srei temple (also known as the ‘Citadel of Women’). Even for the travelers that are starting to feel templed-out, this temple is still worth a visit with its intricately detailed carvings and decorative features that make it one of the prettiest in Cambodia. This temple was constructed in rose-pink and fine-grained sandstone that made it possible to create the richly embellished features that include Ramayana scenes and floral motifs.
On arrival at the temple you’ll find a very well organized setup with the ability to visit an official gift shop, restaurants, souvenir stalls, and a large car park in the local area.
A complete tour of the temple can take in the region of 45 minutes to complete – although it does benefit to allow at least twice that time to visit the information centre (to buy the temple pass) and start exploring.
How to get there
The trip to the Banteay Srei from Siem Reap can take in the region of 45 to 60 minutes by tuk-tuk. Alternatively, a bicycle ride to the temple can take nearly 3.5 hours to complete. For the travellers that prefer to hire an English speaking driver and car with air conditioning. The benefit of booking a driver is the ability to get some useful words of advice on the best things to see and do.