On our fourth day in Siem Reap, Ben rented a van and we were driven out to hike the Kbal Spean, visit Banteay Srei (the ‘art gallery’ of Angkor), and the Cambodian Landmine Museum.
Banteay Srei was by far the most beautiful of the temples in my opinion. The carvings here are so well-preserved, it really brings to light just how ornate and artistic all of the temples must have been in their heyday. The temple is constructed out of pink sandstone.
Banteay Srei is unique in that it was not constructed by a king, but by one of the king’s trusted dignitaries and his brother. It was dedicated to Shiva in 967 and finished during the reign of Jayavarman V (968-1001).
What is incredible about a lot of these carvings is that they were originally also covered in plaster, which was further decorated and painted. So dreamy.
The carvings depict scenes from the Ramayana, including the Abduction of Sita and the battle of monkey gods Valin and Sugriva.