- St Augustine
East Mebon and Pre Rup are often referred to as the Twin Temples. Similar in style, they were built at the end of the 10th century, but have some interesting contrasts. They are earlier Angkor temples, or rather temple mountains, and Hindu in style (dedicated to Shiva) with a crowning quincunx of towers. East Mebon highlights include the standing elephants in the first and second tiers, some of which are in very good condition, while Pre Rup highlights are when the colours of the brick and laterite construction materials come alive in the late afternoon.
Distance from Siem Reap to Pre Rup temple is around 13km (20 minutes by car, 30 minutes by Tuk Tuk). Take Sivatha Road from Siem Reap town and continue until you reach the Angkor Wat Moat. Turn right, and continue past Srah Srang, turning right along the north edge of the reservoir, until you reach Pre Rup as the road turns north again. East Mebon is due north about 1km further along this road. You can visit Pre Rup at any time of the day, but late-afternoon is a good time to see the temple in its best light. People usually visit East Mebon at the smae time, unless they are intending solely to watch the sunset at Pre Rup. An East Mebon plan and Pre Rup plan can be useful for highlighting key sights. An expert local tour guide from Siem Reap will ensure you get the very best from your visit, and the journey between Siem Reap and the site.
East Mebon and Pre Rup were both built by King Rajendravarman in the middle fo the 10th Century. East Mebon was completed in 953, and built in honor of his parents, lying due East from his palace of Phimeanakas. East Mebon lies in the middle of the (now dry) East Baray, and would have been approached by boat. Pre Rup was closer to the centre of Rajendravarman's capital city, although this theory is controversial. It was built at the edge of the Baray, completed in 961.
"Pre Rup is crowded at sunset, but the equally atmospheric East Mebon is deserted at this hour. To enjoy a quiet sunset in solitude, just visit these temples in the "wrong" order! "
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