Beng Mealea Temple (its name means “lotus pond”) is nearly 80km from Siem Reap town at the foot of Kulen Mountain. It was built as Hinduist temple, but there are some carvings depicting Buddhist motifs. Its primary material is sandstone and it is largely unrestored, with trees and thick brush thriving amidst its towers and courtyards and many of its stones lying in great heaps. For years it was difficult to reach, but a road recently built to the temple complex of Koh Ker passes Beng Mealea and more visitors are coming to the site.
Built in the 12th Century, many scholars believe it was the model for Angkor Wat. It is just as wonderful of a temple but it is still largely lost in the jungle.
The accommodations made for tourists at Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom have not been made here, and visitors enjoy a much quieter and adventurous experience.
Visiting Beng Mealea can be combined with visiting Roulous Group and Banteay Srei or Banteay Srei and Kbal Spean or Banteay Srei and Kulen Mountain or Koh Ker Group