Lolei Temple was built in 889AD and still very much a sacred place…here you will have an experience like no other.
This is still a practicing monastery, where young monks are trained in disciplines of the Buddhist religion.
The existing Lolei Temple was built on sacred ground by King Yasovarman I, erected in honor of his ancestors – and it is one of the oldest ruins in Siem Reap with a history we may never know.
Originally believed to be an island shrine, it thought that Lolei Temple was once surrounded by a vast body of water nearly 4 kilometers long and 750 meters wide called the Baray of Lolei.
Inscriptions tell us that five days after the temple was consecrated by Indravarman I, there was a massive irrigation program put in place to surround the sacred temple with water.
This was a huge engineering feat and made Lolei Temple accessible only by boat, which was a massive accomplishment considering Europe was still in the dark ages .
No preservation has been carried out on this temple, which stands as propped up ruins on a small mound that is a testament to what time and erosion has done…however you don’t come here for the temple – it is the Buddhist surroundings, where you have a chance to meditate in a modern day temple that monks reside.
Highly decorated murals line the walls and ceilings that are painted in rustic, Khmer style with colorfully adorned pillars. Offerings are given daily by the monks, while children wearing orange robes are often seen, who are dedicating their lives to absorbing the embodiment of Buddhism.
Because Lolei Temple is off the beaten track…it is a place that is quiet and somewhere that you can take time to reflect. Coming here is a unique experience, where you can soak up the vibes of this sacred land that lies in the heart of ancient Khmer mystique.
TIP: Opening hours are daily between 5:00 am – 6:00 pm.
It is customary to take your shoes off before entering a temple.
The temple survives mainly from small donations.
Because of Lolei Temple’s uniqueness, it has made it to our 10 Best Temples in Siem Reap which will help you plan your temple tour. You may also like to read our article on how to purchase your temple tickets that will give you key information.