Banteay Chhmar is located in Thma Puok District, Banteay Meanchey Province, in northwestern Cambodia. It is about 4 hours from Siem Reap.
The region is popular with tourists for Banteay Chhmar, the fourth largest Angkorian complex , 9 other satellite temples and reservoirs. It is one of the most important ruins of the Angkorian period and a classic example of Khmer history and architecture.
King Jayavarman VII built the Banteay Chhmar temple in the late 12th century. It is the only other temple that consists of stone towers, similar to the Bayón temple. Although there are not many details about the reasons for the construction of this temple.
Now it is part of the Community Tourism Project, which involves a group of locals committed to protecting the monument. These locals preserve the complex and also promote it by organizing excursions, stays with families and guides for tourists.
The temple is known above all for its enigmatic front towers. Being the fourth largest of all the Angkorian ruins, the complex must have functioned as an essential place for administration and worship. The outer gallery is carved with bas-reliefs depicting the battles fought during the Khmer and also the lives of the common people, which is similar to those found in the Bayon temple.
The complex faces east, facing a reservoir, which is now dry. Three enclosures lead to the complex, the two exterior ones separated by a moat. A smaller canal within the innermost ring had causeways with Naga balustrades, all typical elements of Angkor temples. There are 9 other secondary temples, known as satellite temples, built around Banteay Chhmar, representing various structures of the Kings.
Places to visit
- Banteay Chhmar – The fourth largest and Heritage of UNESCO Angkorian temple is an attraction mandatory while traveling by this community. Built in the Bayon architectural style, it is also one of the least visited temples, and therefore you would be free from crowds.
- Satellite Temples – Many satellite temples located nearby, three of them are worth exploring. Ta Prohm Temple is the most popular of all, located very close to Banteay Chhmar. The temples of Samnang Tasok and Chinchem Trey are located close to each other and can be visited by a bicycle or taking our jeep to explore the complex.
- Meborn Baray – A beautiful large reservoir built during the Angkor period, which was the main source of water supply at the time. Today it is a conserved area, which is at its best during the rainy season.
What to wear
As with the other temples in Cambodia, tourists are expected to dress appropriately. Women need to cover the shoulder at all times and wear a knee length outfit. Sleeveless shirts and shorts are not allowed for both men and women. The rules are strictly followed, and the guards may deny you entry if you do not obey them.
There are not many options for eating and drinking. It is better to bring some snacks and water .
There are no ATMs here and all transactions are made in cash only. Bring enough money in cash while traveling.
Tours By Jeeps can also organize the tailor-made tour to visit Banteay Chhmar Temple and explore this Angkorian ruins with our vintage jeep adventure.