Opening Hours 7.30am – 5.30pm
Tripod – no restrictions
Located 4km north east of Angkor Wat within the archeological park, Banteay Kdei is a little gem of a temple. It dose not have the draw of the more popular temples making it less crowded and more relaxing. Banteay Kidei, built on a single level, is on a smaller scale to the main temples of Angkor, however it retains many features found in in the likes of Bayon and Ta Prohm. There is also a moat inside the boundary wall adding to it’s charm.
The best time to visit is early to mid morning, or mid to late afternoon. It can get a little busy around lunch time as there are restaurants in the local vicinity. As with all the temples, rainy season will enhance features and fill the internal mote, giving great reflective possibilities.
Enter via east gate opposite the baray (lake) Srah Srang. Prior to the raised entrance area guarded by a row of sandstone lions, to your right is an outbuilding is disrepair, well worth a look for its carvings. Theres plenty of trees around which can give a nice dappled light on the reliefs especially when the sun is low. Entering the first chamber you will be met with a late addition of a buddha statue. Frequently here is one of the old nuns, who would be willing to give you a blessing for a small fee, great for a memorable photo opportunity.
Heading into the main area, first up is the hall of dancers with carvings similar to that of Bayon. Beyond this is the central sanctuary. You will be met with cascading windows doorways arches and corridors, great for some lifestyle photography. Use the available light which will illuminate different features at different times of day.
Finally, head out around the east goupra to one of the best tree roots in the entire park. People often call this Ta Phrom in their picture descriptions. Best to shoot in late afternoon when the low sun highlights this massive root, a memorable spot indeed. One final tip. If you have the time, wonder around outside the moat, theres reliefs hidden in the lying stones. For a spot of tranquility, visit the north & south gates where tourists seldom go.
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