World Travel GuidesUNESCO World Heritage Site Kbal Spean

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Kbal Spean is an ancient Angkor ruin that is a 90-minute bumpy ride from Siem Reap, on the same route to Banteay Srei. The tarred road ends at Banteay Srei, after which the roads become either very muddy or very dusty, depending on the time of the year. Upon your arrival at the foothills, get ready for another 45 minutes of moderately easy uphill climb.

All this for the sake of viewing the carvings of lingas on the riverbed of the Siem Reap River, making it a "river of 1000 lingas". The belief is that the lingas "fertilize" the water that feed the East Baray and irrigates the rice fields.

On the whole, do not expect remains in the scale of any of the major temples in Angkor, and you will not come away disappointed.

The ruins of Kbal Spean

Construction Details

Construction began in the 11th Century, started by King Suryavarman I
completed by King Udayadityavarman II

How to reach Kbal Spean

First of all, Kbal Spean is not a place to visit if you are pressed for time. If you have just a couple of days in Angkor, and it's your first visit, I would recommend that you cover the other, more significant sights. Kbal Spean is 90 minutes on a bumpy country road, followed by another 40 minutes of trekking. I have been here in both the dry and wet season, and either time, the journey to Kbal Spean was a horrible experience. In the dry season, the country road was extremely dusty, while in wet season, there were lots of deep muddy puddles

The cost of taking you to Kbal Spean will also be higher than to the other sights in Angkor, so be forewarned. Kbal Spean is located north of Banteay Srei. Follow the direction I gave to Banteay Srei. Once you passed it, continue for another 13km till you see the signboard for Kbal Spean, on the left side of the road. There is place to park with some food stalls.

If you have the time to spare and the determination to visit Kbal Spean, I can recommend the tuk tuk driver who drove me there.

Reclining Vishnu at Kbal Spean.

Another carving of the reclining Vishnu.

Carvings of lingga and reclining Vishnu at Kbal Spean.

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