Historically of immense importance, the pre-Angkorian temple group of Roluos has all the characteristics that this was once the cradle of ruling the Khmer Kingdom. Three well-preserved temple ruins gain an insight before even Angkor Wat was completed.
The importance of the Angkor Archaeological Region on the development Cambodia is often only visualized with showing the Angkor Wat and its nearby temples. Pre-Angkorian development have been the foundation for leading up to one of the world’s most iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites that dates back as early as 9th century AD. The actual size of the great Khmer Kingdom spans over 300 square kilometres with ample smaller sites that are just as impressive as Angkor’s inner sanctum. One off these off-the –Angkor-trails group of temples – the Roluos Group – is one of these sublime examples of showing what occurred even before Angkor Wat was erected. A perfect half day out that smoothly complements any other excursion around Siem Reap.
A short drive from your Siem Reap hotel brings you, alongside your English-speaking guide and driver, to one of the lesser-known temple areas outside Angkor. The remains of the Roluos Group, 12 kilometres southeast of Siem Reap date back to the 9th century AD, and are all that remains of the former capital of King Indravarman I. The group comprises of three distinctively-different temple complexes – named Bakong. Lolei and Preah Ko – and were the first to be constructed. Using durable material such as bricks and carved plaster, the outlines of what was once expected to be adorned with precious material and wood are now confirmed as the earliest definition of the Khmer civilisation. The three temples belonging to this important group have similarities of architecture, decoration materials and construction methods which combine to reveal the beginning of "Classic Period of Khmer Art". Nowadays, the area is home to a Buddhist monastery with its saffron-clad residents taking great pride in living nearby such an important part of Khmer history. On the way back to Siem Reap, we include a visit to Prolung Khmer, a pottery and weaving centre; this centre provides opportunities to the poorest in the region in making a living by keeping traditional handicraft alive.
Before you know it, it is time to head back to your Siem Reap overnight address and of course, a transfer back to your home, far away from home is included.