Neak Pean, Siem Reap

3.8
An artificial island with great historic and religious significance, Neak Pean features a series of ponds and a central temple. A 12th-century king ordered the construction of five temples on five square ponds arranged in a concentric Mandala structure, dedicated to Avalokitesvara--the epitome of compassion. The central pond, which according to some historians symbolizes a mythical Himalayan lake, used to receive water through mouths of four different gargoyles--a lion, a horse, an elephant, and a human head--representing the four elements or the world's four great rivers. Notice the statue facing the main temple--it represents Balaha, a flying horse with five heads rescuing drowning sailors from a female sea demon. Put Neak Pean into our Siem Reap travel itinerary planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Neak Pean Reviews
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  • It is believed to be an ancient hospital facility, beautiful reflection when the pond is filled with water in summer. When the pond drys out in winter, you may see the whole Horse sculpture on a solid...  more »
  • To be frank, the miniature tower on the island is a let-down. You can't even go near it as it is barricaded off by wooden fences. There is a sleepy vibe to this temple as compared to the others. What ...  more »
  • The visit is part of the grand Circuit and takes very little time but nothing spectacular compared with all other sites
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  • To approach here, we need to pass cozy path through scenic lake.
  • An incredible temple but because of the lakes it's not allowed to get close to the images.
  • This is an interesting place, water's presence brings a quite different type of energy. Come here early in the morning or late at night as there's little shadow to shield you from the sun.
  • The temple is very small and you cannot get near to it as it is fenced up. The road to the temple is pleasant, surrounded by trees but you cannot see the baray. The baray is huge, second only to West Baray. You do not need a boat to get to the man made island as there is a narrow elevated boardwalk. The walk over to the island is easy but need a little caution when there are visitors in the opposite direction. The baray has a magical feel as tress are growing out of the water. It looks like a scene from Lord of the Ring.
  • It's a small area with not too much to see, but worth a quick stop if you're passing. The temple itself is in the center with 4 smaller pools connected in each direction. To the left and right of the first pool you see when you enter the area are remnants of huts where fortune tellers supposedly sat to assign you to a specific element/area for healing.

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Where to stay in Siem Reap

Siem Reap offers attractive accommodations on every budget. Inexpensive family-run guesthouses provide clean, private rooms with access to the host's wealth of information. Hostels catering to backpackers cluster around the old market squares. Four- and five-star resorts welcome guests to retreat from the city into sleek modern interiors or rustic village havens, while mid-range hotels with sparkling pools fill in the spectrum. All can be booked online in advance, but with the abundant options at hand you shouldn't have much trouble finding a room upon arrival.
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