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“"Banteay Chhmar - you must see it"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Banteay Chhmar

Banteay Chhmar
Cambodia
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Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
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Attraction Details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Banteay Chhmar (the “Citadel of the Cat”) has been called the "second Angkor Wat” and was constructed by King Jayavarman VII, who also built Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Preah Khan. This remote and vast site is currently under restoration and visitors find a stunning interplay of temple and jungle.
Berlin, Germany
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“"Banteay Chhmar - you must see it"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Last year I read about Banteay Chhmar and I said to me, I must visit it.
It is very easy to travel from Bangkok by bus to Aranyaprathet Border Market, walking through the border (20 US$ for the Visa) to Poipet and take a Bus 1 hour to Sisophon.
On the next day we chartered a Taxi for 60 US$ for the whole day.
We drove an unpaved, dusty and bumpy road to Banteay Chhmar, but the road is under construction.
It is a big area and many buildings are fallen together, but with a good imagination it is a very interesting and fantastic place. We walked some hours alone through the ruins and our taxidriver explained the location very well. You get although very good information from the web.
Since 2000 we have been several times in Angkor Wat, which is now overcrowded, and we are happy to visited now Banteay Chhmar.

On the way back you should stop and see Banteay Top. It was very interesting, too. We are glad to did it.

We make the reservation for the Taxi with the english speaking driver/guide in the Phnom Svay Hotel in the morning of our visit.

Visited February 2013
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33 reviews from our community

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English first
Siem Reap, Cambodia
1 review
“Beautiful Temple and friendly community”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

I have been to Banteay Chhmar temple in Jan 2013 with my first time and I like it very much all the carving and the forest around is so beautiful. More over I have spend sometime with the community near the temple who welcome the guests who want to visit their community with their best services.

On the way back to Siem Reap I pass by the big water reservoir build in Khmer Rouge time and see plenty of beautiful birds in the reservoir and as well as around the rice field near by. I seen plenty of birds including a endanger species of sarus crane and many storks.

Visited January 2013
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Indiana Jones territory”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

A fairly bumpy, dusty and long drive from Siem Reap and as yet to be restored. Its being held in conservation as like alot of places around the world there are insufficient funds to restore every historic place. The Longesvara Gallery is lovely and its a shame that the rest was stolen but thats what has happened throughout time. Originally it had 56 towers, like Bayon but only a few reamin now and the gold tops that they found on the top of the towers are now displaved in the museum in Siem Reap They have restored one wall with reliefs depiciting battle scenes with the Cham people but I feel that its been over done and looks out of place. Otherwise you can clamber and climb all over this temple, its rocks and ruins open to the jungle encroachment. You have to be an ardent history buff to want to make this journey but if like me you combine it with Preah Vihear you will enjoy it.

Visited January 2013
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Harpenden
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Amazing ruin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We were advised by our taxi driver to leave our hotel in Siem Reap no later than 7am. This was good advice because apart from one lady we were the only visitors. This enabled us to take photos at leisure without crowds. Our visit lasted about one and half hours at which point coaches began to arrive. It was great to see the temple in the condition it was originally found. What made our trip more enjoyable was passing 6 wedding ceremonies in the villages along the way at 7.30 in the morning.

Visited January 2013
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Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
75 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Peaceful atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Banteay Chhmar is one of the least visited major Khmer ruins in Cambodia, due to its very isolated location. When my friend and I were there with our guide, we were the only visitors on the entire site. A winding pathway leads into the ruins of what was once a huge and magnificent temple built during the reign of Jayavarman VII, the same king who built Angkor Thom and the Bayon. Why this temple was built so far from the capital, and why it was so completely abandoned remains part of the mystery surrounding Banteay Chhmar.

It is eerie to walk the quite paths through the ruined structure and to realize that tens of thousands of people once filled this structure and the surrounding countryside with their activities. Now is it all quiet, and on this day we have the entire temple complex to ourselves. We spent a couple of very enjoyable hours wandering the pathways and taking numerous pictures. It was very hot and humid, however, and this eventually sent us back to the waiting air-conditioned van.

Just a note of warning, however. The drive into Banteay Chhmar is a bit of a nightmare, as we bounced over some of the roughest roads I've ever encountered for the better part of four hours. Our guide informed us that in a year or so the new highway will be completed to the site, but until that time the road is horrendous. In the end, we felt it was worth it to view this wonderful site.

Visited November 2012
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Andrewjmarino, Manager at Banteay Chhmar, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Thank you for your kind review of Banteay Chhmar. We are glad that you enjoyed the remoteness, serenity and aura of the temple complex.
I would like to add a comment about the road here. It is now the dry season here. It takes approximately one hour from Sisophon (65km). The road is graded and smooth for about 75 percent of the way. The road is undergoing significant improvements weekly. Paving is still scheduled to start this year, too.
If you have any questions about the road, transportation options, visiting the temple, homestays, and activities you can visit the Banteay Chhmar community-based tourism (CBT) website, or phone the CBT. Thanks again to everyone for visiting.
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