The Peaceful And Serene Temple Complex Of Angkor (BANTEAY KDEI)
Banteay Kdei or Prasat Banteay Kdei as it popularly known is an old Buddhist temple located in Angkor in Cambodia. Banteay Kdei means ‘a citadel of chambers or monk cells,’ the monastic complex is built in Bayon or Khmer architectural style. It is mostly unrestored and partially ruined but has maintained in the same way to give visitors to get the original feel of the bygone glory. It is a tightly packed architecture which is rich in Khmer culture, and the ground level was a Buddhist temple till the1960s.
How to reach Banteay Kdei
The Banteay Kdei is a part of Angkor Wat temple group located in Siem reap, capital of Cambodia. Located in the northwest of Cambodia Siem Reap is one of the major tourist hubs in Cambodia.
Flight journey is the best travel mode to reach Siem reap as there are direct flights from several popular airports including Thailand, Bangkok and the domestic airport is in Phnom Penh. The other ways to get to Siem Riep is via bus, taxi or even boat service. However, the best and fast mode of travel is via air.
As Banteay Kdei is a part of Angkor archeological park, visitors requiregetting a temple pass to visit the place. It is a 17km loop that has all important temple complexes within the park. The templepasses also known as Angkor pass is also valid for several other monuments like Phnom Kron, Roluos and Wat Athvea in Siem Reap.
You can purchase the temple pass from the official ticket center located 4km away from Siem Reap against payment of cash or credit card on Cambodian Riel, Euro, Thai Baht or US dollars. There are 3 different types of passes available, and the fee differs accordingly. The one day pass costs $37, the 2 days pass costs $62, and the 3rd is a 7 day pass costing $72.
How to get around
To get around the temple, you need a vehicle as it is not possible to walk the whole templecomplex. Foreignertravelers cannotself-driveinside the park, so either you need to hire a taxi, a tuk-tuk or a bicycle. We recommend hiring a tuk-tuk driver and a professional guide along with you to dive deepinto theKhmer civilization and old architecture.
Hiring a private taxi van and a guide is also a great option, and it is very inexpensive as well. Though drivers may know bits of the history, it is better to hire an experienced tour guide to get the full advantage.
Many reputed travel agents are offering their services, including conducted tours, group tours, historical exploration tours, custom tailored tours, and also tourism organizers take care of visa and accommodation arrangements.
Banteay Kdei Temple Tour
There are 4 entrances to the Banteay Kdei Temple, out of which the east and the west are the most used gates. You will be surprised to see the mostly ruined interiors, and the primary reasons for the ruins are the faulty structural plan of temples.
Once you enter through the east gate, you will come across four Buddha heads inthe tower towards the templeentrance. Once you pass the tower, there are Naga Balustrades and a shrine to LordBuddha’simage.
Another point of attraction is the hall of dancers which was once a central courtyard. The courtyard ruin is a favorite attraction of the Banteay Kdei temple. Now, everything seems broken, scattered and disorganized but if you closely obverse you will come to see plenty of beautiful details.
Unlike other overwhelmingly popular and crowded Angkor ruins, Banteay Kdei is a quiet and a peaceful Buddhist temple. With a fascinating maze of chambers that shines lights towards the 12th century Khmer architecture; it is a delight to explore. The ruins are incredibly overgrown and forgotten by Angkor tourism industry, but its solitude is what makes the temple a hidden gem for visitors fromaround the world.