I’ve showered praises to many Angkorian temples, but I’m not going to pretend that everything is awesome here.
Part of writing a travel blog is dealing with the underwhelming attractions. I could just skip reviewing them entirely, but that means more travelers will end up wasting their times on these mediocre sites, especially because all three that I’m covering here are part of the Small Circuit route which means you’ll most likely end up visiting them.
What most people don’t know is that you can actually negotiate with your driver or tuk-tuk to change some of your temple destinations. Not all lesser-known temples are average, the impressive Pre Rup is clearly a counter-example. And there are a few others that I wish I have visited instead of these three:
To be fair, Ta Keo is not half-bad. It’s another towering high temple in the same vein with Pre Rup, but doesn’t offer anything new that you haven’t seen in Pre Rup.
In fact, Ta Keo’s construction stopped halfway as a lightning strike hit the building. This is an evil omen for the ancient Khmer, hence the temple was abandoned, as evidenced from the total lack of carvings. Coupled with mediocre view from up there, it makes you wonder what you’re risking your life climbing the steep steps for.
This is a small temple in a relatively good condition. Images of female divine called Devatas can be found in the carvings here. It’s decent, but it blends in with all the random Angkor architectures that you’ve seen throughout the day. By the time you reach here, you’ve likely been hit by temple fatigue.
If you have a few extra time, Thommanon isn’t awful. But if you’re pressed for time, better go somewhere else.
Chau Say Tevoda
Located just opposite of Thommanon, this temple looks like a twin sister as it bears similar design and floor plan. Chau Say Tevoda has a few additional gopuras and library, but its condition is not as well-preserved as Thommanon.
You can hear the sounds of Siem Reap River a few hundred meters away (or was it just my feeling?) but I’m really struggling to find a way to describe Chau Say Tevoda. It’s just kind of… there.
What are the temples in Angkor which underwhelm you?