Even if you’re feeling pretty templed-out, you’ll probably be captivated by BANTEAY SREI, 35km northeast of Siem Reap (and which can be conveniently combined in a single day-trip with Kbal Spean). Built of fine-grained rose-pink sandstone, it’s the most elaborately decorated of all Angkor’s monuments, its walls, false doors, lintels and exotic soaring pediments all richly embellished with floral motifs and Ramayana scenes.

Banteay Srei is also unusual in having been built not by a king, but by two local dignitaries: Yajnavaraha, who was a trusted guru to the monarch, and his brother. It was Rajendravarman who granted them the land and permission for a temple to be built, but although the sanctuary was consecrated in 967 to Shiva, it wasn’t actually completed until the reign of Jayavarman V.

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