Neak Pean - Atlas Obscura

Neak Pean

A small 12th-century temple surrounded by waters believed to have curative properties. 


The Neak Pean temple stands at the center of a reservoir known historically as Jayatataka Baray. A wooden bridge leads to a small island in the center of the reservoir, beautiful pink lotuses greet visitors on either side of the pathway.

The temple itself stands in the middle of the pond and is dedicated to the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara. This central pond is again surrounded by four smaller pools that represent fire, water, earth, and wind. It’s believed that the site is a representation of the mythical Lake Anvatapta in the Himalayas, which was believed to have healing powers. 

In its heyday, the temple served as a place of rejuvenation and relaxation. People would bath in the different ponds based on their ailments. Today, the temple is a shadow of its former self, but even then, it enchants visitors with its serene aura. It’s near the massive Preah Khan temple in Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Know Before You Go

The Angkor Temple Pass is required to visit. Head to the temple early in the morning to experience its serene vibes.

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July 26, 2019

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