Ruins Restored - Cambodia's Banteay Srei in Full Glory
A good imagination is a key requirement when visiting most ruins. It is rare to find ruins restored to the extent of Banteay Srei. What makes it special is that a balance has been struck between restoration and preservation. That balance provides you an opportunity to view many of the intricate details in plain sight, and in context for your imagination to fill in the details that are missing.
You enter the site by passing through a doorway connected to a largely ruined wall. One of the key attractions of this site is carved lintel stones above the doorways.
Through the outer door you pass along a paved road lined by largely ruined temple buildings, though many have had their doorways and intricate lintels preserved, and/or restored.
As Khmer temples go, it is not a terribly large site and the towers are not comparatively tall. That is a bonus because you get to see the details up close. The inner group of temples is surrounded by a wall and former moat which has been largely filled in by time.
The temple buildings themselves are unbelievable. Taking in every aspect of the carved sandstone details would literally take days to accomplish.
If there is a some advice to offer, it would be to visit Banteay Srei midway through your visit to the Angkor Wat ruins. It is important to see the condition of the ruins first so that you will fully appreciate Banteay Srei, and later, you will get a better idea of just how impressive all of the other ruins were.
We took many photos of the building details. Here are a few interesting ones to close out the post.