Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rolous Group Tour, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bakong Temple

There are so many temples in Cambodia.
According to one of the Indian tourists that I talked to when I was going to Siem Reap, it will take three days for a person to visit all the temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia alone. 
Well, I stayed in Siem Reap for three days and I was not able to visit all the temples but I had a few and one of them is the Rolous Group Tour comprising of Bakong, Preah Ko, Lolei and Prei Monti.

Entering Bakong Temple

There are three possible modes of transportation to have the temple tours in Siem Reap, namely: using bus or mini-van, using Tuk-Tuk (motorcycle) or a simple bicycle ride.

I was  in Siem Reap to enjoy these tours at a lower cost as possible. No strenuous exercises while on tour, and so the bicycle ride was out of the choices. I want to control my time and no big crowd please, and there goes the bus or mini-van. The most ideal and effective for my comfort, convenience and financial capacity is the Tuk-Tuk. And the options are over!

Using the Tuk-Tuk, one has to pay only a fee of 13 USD from my hotel (Lotus Lodge) up to Bakong and vice-versa. You control your own time at your own convenience and nobody is there to bother you.

There are four temples in the Rolous Group. But only three of the four temples will be visited since the Prei Monti is only a small temple.

One more thing, there is an entrance fee of 20 USD that you have to pay once you have your temple tours. The fee is good only for one day. If you intend to visit all the temples or visit them for three days, you can opt to buy the 40 USD which is good for three days. And in case you want to have a one week tour, they also have the 60 USD package.

Anyway, from my hotel to Bakong Temple, it took me 30 minutes to reach the first temple.

It is a lot better to visit all the temples that you can visit for one day and start early in the morning. But you must have the energy, stamina and the will to do this. But most of all, you must keep yourself hydrated for the simple reason that the temperature in Siem Reap can either burn your skin or give you a heatstroke! And wear light colored apparel and possibly, a hat.

right wall of the entrance
Once you are there, take your time to stroll around and take pictures. I mean it is not often that you get to see these ancient temples.

left wall of the entrance
But please do not forget the heat or you might end up toasted!

Main tower of the temple

The Rolous Group of Temples are some of the earliest permanent structures built by the Khmer. The group consists of three separate sites and marked the beginning of classical period of Khmer civilization dating from the 9th century (880). And that is how important these three temples are.

Interior of the tower temple

 After walking for five minutes, you will end up at the entrance of the tower of the temple and you will see what is inside the tower.

The awe does not stop there. Once you descend, you will witness the breathtaking view of the entrance of the temple on top view.

I could not help myself taking pictures left and right. I mean Siem Reap is the photographer's dream!

Next stop was the Preah Ko, it will take you only five minutes using Tuk-Tuk torreach the next spot.

And once again, you will definitely marvel at this ancient structure. A masterpiece, a work of architecture indeed!

There are three towers fronting the temple and at the back there are also three temples.

These temples are huge and made up of brick.

And the last stop for the day, is the Lolei Temple. It is the smallest of the three temples. Another five minute ride from Preah Ko.

Normally, it takes four hours to finish the tour. But I was able to finish it less than 3 hours. I simply could not bear the heat. Good thing the temples are fascinating!

Enjoy Siem Reap!

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