Duration: One day
TOUR CODE: 09-ADT ( DESTINATION : BANTEAY MEANCHEY PROVINCE )
Banteay Chhmar & Banteay Top
The temple complex of Banteay Chhmar (admission US$5) was constructed by Cambodia’s most prolific builder, Jayavarman VII (r 1181–1219), on the site of a 9th-century temple. There is debate over its origins, with some scholars suggesting it was built in tribute to Jayavarman VII’s son Indravarman and the Cambodian generals responsible for defeating the Chams, while others propose it was intended as a funerary temple for the king’s grandmother.
Originally enclosed by a 9km-long wall, the temple housed one of the largest and most impressive Buddhist monasteries of the Angkorian period. Today, it is one of the few temples to feature the enigmatic, Bayon-style visages of Avalokiteshvara, with their mysterious – and world famous – smiles.
On the temple’s east side, a huge bas-relief on a partly-toppled wall dramatically depicts naval warfare between the Khmers (on the left) and the Chams (on the right), with the dead – some being devoured by crocodiles – at the bottom. Further south (to the left) are scenes of land warfare with infantry and elephants. There are more martial bas-reliefs along the exterior of the temple’s south walls.
The once-grand entry gallery is now a jumble of fallen sandstone blocks, though elsewhere a few intersecting galleries have withstood the ravages of time, as have some almost-hidden 12th-century inscriptions. All the remaining apsaras (nymphs) have been decapitated by looters.
Banteay Chhmar was deservedly renowned for its intricate carvings, including scenes of daily life in the Angkorian period similar to those at Bayon. Unique to Banteay Chhmar was a sequence of eight multi-armed Avalokiteshvaras on the outside of the southern section of the temple’s western ramparts, but six of these were hacked out and trucked into Thailand in a brazen act of looting in 1998. Still, the two that remain – one with 22 arms, the other with 32 – are spectacular.
Banteay Top (Fortress of the Army), set among rice paddies southeast of Banteay Chhmar, may only be a small temple but there’s something special about the atmosphere here. Constructed around the same time as Banteay Chhmar, it may be a tribute to the army of Jayavarman VII, which confirmed Khmer dominance over the region by conclusively defeating the Chams. One of the damaged towers looks decidedly precarious, like a bony finger pointing skyward. The turn-off from NH69, marked by a stone plinth with gold inscription, is 9km south of Banteay Chhmar.
It takes one day to visit those temples from Siem Reap.
|No of pax||2 pax||3-5 pax||6-8 pax||9-12 pax||13-15 pax||16pax+1|
• Accommodation at 3*/4*/5* for 02 Nights with daily Breakfast (Twin Sharing Room)
• Private English or Chinese Speaking Tour Guide
• Private A/C Car/Van/Coach/Bus for sightseeing & all the transfers as in the itinerary
• Cool mineral bottles of water and fresh towels during sightseeing
• Banteay Chhmar ticket is USD 5/person.
• Airport Tax & Air Tickets (Domestic 8$/pax, International 25$/pax)
• Travel Insurance, Optional Tours & Visa Fee
• All programs are NOT mentioned in INCLUSIVE OF as above
• Personal expenses such as: Tips, Drink, Laundry, Shopping, .etc