The name Banteay Srei (sometimes written as 'Banteay Srey') translates from Khmer roughly as the ‘citadel of the women’. This name has only been applied recently (that's 'recently' in a scale measured in centuries, so it's still quite old), most likely because of the pink sandstone and the delicate carvings.

This beautiful 10th-century temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It has some of the most exquisite carvings of any Khmer temple and has almost a storybook ambience. The detailed carving of the sculptures, lintels, and friezes make it a beautiful structure. The walls are covered with deep, intricate carvings, each one carved with superb detail.

Banteay Srei - one of the highlights of 5 Great Angkor Temples in 3 Days and 10 Hidden Temples in Siem Reap (Read all about Siem Reap here)

Banteay Srei was built by a Brahmin counsellor to King Rajendravarman at a time when the Khmer Empire was growing in power and territory.

A visit to Banteay Srei can be combined with a visit to Banteay Samre. The temple is located outside the main archaeological park area, and approximately 38 km north of Siem Reap. Drivers often charge an extra fee for the trip here. The temple area closes at about 5pm.

A tip for photographers: many of the carvings are cordoned off, and a long lens and tripod are needed for getting close-up shots of them. The colours of the temple are at their best before 10am and after 2pm.

Banteay Srei

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller