World Travel GuidesUNESCO World Heritage Site East Mebon Temple, Angkor

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East Mebon is an ancient Angkor ruin built by King Rajendravarman II, who also built Pre Rup a short distance away. Both are similar is many aspects like plan, construction and deco, except for one big difference: East Mebon sits on an island in the middle of a huge body of water, the East Baray, an artificial reservoir measuring 7 kilometres by 2.

That body of water is gone today. All you see around the East Mebon is now dry scrubland with an occassional paddy field. Due to the size of the East Baray, visitors to East Mebon will not immediately recognize that they are travelling on the bed of a mammoth man-made reservoir.

The towers of East Mebon

My wife and I visited the East Mebon early in the morning, right after visiting Prasat Kravan and Pre Rup. The decoration on the lintels at East Mebon displays superior craftsmanship than those ar Pre Rup. The motifs on the false doors - there are three on each tower - are particularly intricate.

Construction Details

Built in the second half of 10th Century
by King Rajendravarman II (reigned 944-968)

As East Mebon was built on an island, it does not have the usual succession of enclosures, moats and approach causeways. The base of East Mebon measures 126m by 121m. As with most Angkor temples, the east side is wider than the west, indicating that the temple faces the east.

How to reach East Mebon

The most usual direction to approach East Mebon is from Pre Rup. East Mebon is 1.3km from Pre Rup, and about 300 m from the left turn that takes you to Banteay Samre and Banteay Srei. If you wish to come from the opposite direction, you would pass Ta Som before arriving at East Mebon.

East Mebon is quite a prominent landmark, so your tuk tuk driver should not miss it. If you are on a packaged tour, it will most likely include East Mebon too. If you are travelling independently, the best way to arrive here is by tuk tuk. I can recommend the tuk tuk driver who drove me. His name is Mr Han (see contact below), and you can call to see if he is available to take you.

Guardian lions of East Mebon.

Stone elephants adorn the corners of East Mebon.

View of the prasats of East Mebon.

Closer view of the prasats show intricate carvings on the lintel and false doors.

Another view of the prasats show some of the walls pockmarked - I am not sure whether this is due to war or weather.

A devotee paying homage to a Buddha image within the prasat.

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