Located about 13 km from the central of Siem Reap, Roluos Temples group is known as ancient city “Hariharalaya”. Dated before the 9th century AD, it is composed by three major temples: Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko, totally built with bricks or partially with laterite and sandstone. The wood has probably been used but nowadays, we can only see the trace of its places in the building.
Start the visit with Lolei temple. It was an island temple standing in the middle of the baray Indratataka, on the south of Bakong temple. Built under the reign of Yaçovarman I who dedicated it to his ancestors, it consists of four brick shrines grouped together on a terrace.
During the visit, you will discover the structure of a monument built in bricks mixed with additional material and you will appreciate the particularity of the architecture of this temple. Adjacent to the temple do not miss the modern Theravada Buddhist monastery.
Then proceed to Preah Ko temple built by King Indravarman I to honor the memory of his ancestor, Jayavarman II, the King who founded the Khmer Empire. Admire the six towers bricks temple on the central platform and the use of external stucco for decoration. Pay attention to the frame of the door of each tower where you can see the trace of the use of the wooden material. The sculpture on sandstone lintel and colonnette will allow you to distinguish the use and value of each material used during that period.
Have a look to Prei Munti Temple before continuing the visit to Bakong. Built mainly in bricks, it is a peaceful place where you will enjoy the forest, rice fields and Khmer traditional houses surrounding it. Angelina Jolie chose it to shoot recently her movie ‘’First they killed my father”.
You will finish your temple with the visit of the temple mountain of Bakong. King Indravarman I consecrated it as his state-temple. This temple will give you a sense of the evolution of Khmer architecture and building construction starting to use the laterite for foundation and sandstone for the hold building. You will also have the possibility to see the ancient wooden buttress that remain in the brick towers, inside the chambers of the towers 5, 6, 7 and 8.
After this very instructive visit that allowed you to have a global vision of temple construction material, it is time to relax enjoying a tour in ox-cart, a traditional transportation. It will bring you through the surrounding villages and countryside to discover the living mood and the different style of Khmer houses.
Continue your green walk renting a local boat along the Roluos River to reach the Tonlé Sap Lake.
Ask for a stop in Kampong Phluk floating village where you will enjoy the floating houses, floating forest and unique natural landscape. View the wonderful sunset on Tonlé Sap Lake before going back to your hotel.