In the afternoon an interesting visit to Wat Banan temple some 27 km south of Battambang. Battambang Province has proved to be such an interesting rural area. Wat Banan is an Angkor era temple atop an 1310 ft mountain at Koh Tey. Two lions guard the entrance to a set of wide steps, the steps guarded by the Naga at the next level, the beginning of the climb.
There are about 370 ancient weather worn steps up a steep incline, shaded by leafy green trees and flanked by Naga balustrades all the way to Wat Banan, temple grounds.
Wat Banan has five towers, first constructed in 1057 under the rule of Udayadityavarman II (1050-1066), followed by a rebuild during the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1220). Jayavarman VII during his thirty year reign completed an enormous building program throughout the country including Angkor Thom.
The temples were fascinating in their own right, one with a shrine for worship, some intact, others in somewhat tumbledown state (or a rough rebuild); apparently the site looted during earlier times.
The five Wat Banan temples are primarily built from laterite, the temples show the pitted surface of time-worn blocks. Today the site appears well looked after and easy to walk around and view each temple. There is also a pleasant view from the top of the mountain across the plateau below.
The Naga balustrade provides a good hand rail for going up or coming down the ancient steps. Some of the locals offer to go with you on the journey up and down the steps, fan you with a hand fan to keep you cool. If you feel the heat you may find this quite beneficial on a hot day as the journey up is quite steep and the local ladies very sweet.
Rather glad of the Naga balustrade on the journey back down to the bottom of the steps. The Naga balustrade is a work of art in itself if you look at the length, the scales and design work. Each post supporting the balustrade has a design carved on each surface. From the temple grounds a narrow staircase descends to a group of three caves, and for a small fee the local children are happy to show you around. You definitely need a torch to explore the caves. Caves aren’t my thing so I wasn’t temped to explore. In the grounds below Wat Banan you will notice the statue below and find food and drink stalls nearby.
Our group returned to Battambang in time for a shower and change before dinner at the Bamboo Train Cafe and bar. We really enjoyed our evening meal here, the place has plenty of character and atmosphere, the meals all freshly prepared and delicious; the proprietor very congenial.
Battambang Province has certainly been worth the visit; the Bamboo train, city sightseeing, potteries,temples and rural countryside experience.
Tomorrow looking forward to our boat trip down the Stung Sangke river before entering Tonle Sap and on to Siem Reap….
- Sightseeing by tuk tuk the province of Battambang
- fun in the sun rural countryside battambang province
- fast and furious ride on a bamboo train cambodia
- potters pots and pottery the province of chhnang cambodia
- Udong Stupas – intriguing burial sites
- Garment factory workers in the rain Phnom-Penh
- Kompong-speu waterfall area Kirirom national park
- verdant green pine forest kirirom national park
- traditional music pich nil cambodia
- spirit houses pich nil mountain pass
- golden lions of Sihanoukville beach resort town
- Highway to Sihanoukville town deep sea port and beach resorts
- durian tropical fruit Kampot-landmark old bridge
- plantations of black pepper-salt and pepper Kampot
- Beachhouse at Kep – Seaside resort
- Caves of kampong trach kampot caves
- Tonle (lake) Bati – Hindu Temple of Phnom Chisor
- Temple of Ta Prohm Takeo
- A Mekong cruise on the mighty Mekong River
- Killing fields – Cambodia – a chilling experience
- Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Phnom Penh Cambodia
- Lotus Blanc- Phnom Penh- Restaurant
- Artifacts – National Museum of Cambodia Phnom Penh
- Emerald Buddha Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh
- Royal Palace Throne Hall Phnom Penh
- Cambodia 2011 Phnom Penh city
- Snapshot of Cambodia Kampuchea