Beng Mealea, built to the same floorplan as Angkor Wat in 12th century ago under Suryavarman II, it is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s one of the most mysterious temples at Angkor, as nature has well and truly run riot here. Beng Mealea is enclosed by a massive moat measuring 1.2km by 900m, much of which has ruins today.
Beng Mealea is about 40km east of Bayon and 6.5km southeast of Phnom Kulen. By road it is about 80km from Siem Reap and is a two hour trip.
The entire temple has been utterly subsumed by jungle, and standing just a few meters away from the trees it is hard to tell what lies beneath. Entering from the south, visitors wend their way over piles of masonry, through long dark chambers and between hanging vines to arrive at the central tower, which has completely collapsed and ruined. Hidden away among the rubble and foliage are several impressive carvings, as well as a well preserved library in the northeastern quadrant. The temple is a special place and it is worth taking the time to explore thoroughly. There is also now a large wooden walkway to the centre which constructed in year 2004.
Beng Mealea is located at the centre of an ancient Angkorian road connecting Angkor Thom. A small Angkorian bridge just west of Chau Srei Vibol temple is the only remaining trace of the old Angkorian road between Beng Mealea and Angkor Thom.
A visit Beng Mealea is now costs USD5 per person and there are additional small charges for cars and motocycles, make sure you work out in advance who is paying this. It is best to undertake a long day trip combining Beng Mealea, Kbal Spean and Banteay Srei.