TWHS: Beng Mealea, Cambodia

Today we’re dropping by another of the outlying neighbors of Angkor Wat that you’ll generally see on the standard tourist trips in the region, but has its own Tentative Lists nomination:

Ensemble de Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea, Cambodia


Le temple de Beng Meala est situé sur le grand axe joignant Angkor au Prah Khan de Kompong Svay. Le site de Beng Mealea est l’un des plus grands ensembles de la region d’Angkor puisqu’il couvre, à l’interieur de ses bassins-fosses de 45 metres de largeur et de 4200 de peripherie, une superficie de 108 hectares. Tres proche dans sa composition d’Angkor Vat (préau cruciforme), il presente des particularités remarquables: – présence entre la deuxième et la troisième enceinte (coté Sud) de batiments-annexes; – developpement des chaussees sur colonnes.

Ne parlez pas le français? We got you covered:

The Beng Meala Temple is located on the main axis joining Angkor to the Prah Khan of Kompong Svay. The Beng Mealea site is one of the largest complexes in the Angkor region, covering an area of 108 hectares within its 45-meter-wide and 4200-yard pits. Very close in its composition of Angkor Wat (cruciform meadow), it presents remarkable peculiarities: – presence between the second and the third enclosure (South side) of buildings-annexes; – development of pavements on columns.

That lead picture there is actually the best we’ve ever taken, by professional standards — judged by Shutterstock standards, anyway; we put together 10 of what we thought were the best shots out of our iPhone … and that’s the only one they accepted for listing.

(So, y’know, if you want to use it professionally, there you go. If not, we remind you that everything on this site, as you see in the footer, is CC BY-SA 4.0 licensed, or roughly “help yourself, just give credit.”)

If you like a little frisson of danger along with your temple visits, this is a place that will deliver for you:

Beng Mealea, Cambodia


Welp, that’s a pretty good argument for not going exploring on our own, isn’t it now?

Cambodia has what’s likely the densest concentration of landmines in the world along the Thailand border regions, but there’s mines all over the country. We knew that, but still, seeing signs like this at your tourist attractions is rather sobering.

Here’s another Iconic Cambodia shot of a tree that decided a tumbled wall would be a great place to put down roots … and more roots … and more roots:

Beng Mealea, Cambodia


An interesting note about Beng Mealea is that they don’t actually know who built it — the boffins just assume from the style being pretty much the same as Angkor’s that it was probably built during the 12th century. So if you like solving mysteries, here’s one for you!


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  1. […] north from Beng Mealea today, we have another site generally grouped in with Angkor as a destination but has its own […]

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