Getting to Neak Pean is a pretty walk as you stroll across the expansive wooden bridge….
Flanked on either side by water, lily pads float and trees that grow out from the surface, there is a feeling of peace as you connect back to nature.
The temple of Neak Pean is on a man-made circular island, surrounded by water….and these waters were believed to have curative properties. Said to be built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century, the ancients believed that by bathing in this sacred pool, it would balance the energy of the body and cure disease.
There are four connected pools which represent the four elements – water, earth, fire and wind that correspond to the north, south, east and west – where sculptures of an elephant, bull, horse and lion are placed.
Through their open mouths flowed the healing waters of Neak Pean Temple, which filled the small basins and were believed to contain magical powers.
The name Neak Pean means “entwined serpent” and in the center of the pond lays a circular island that is 14 meters (46 feet) in diameter on which the sacred temple stands.
The sandstone structure is similar to a Hindu Stupa and encircled by two Naga snakes that guard the east entrance of the temple.
Neak Pean is surrounded by lush, green forest, has a peaceful feeling that captures the imagination and would have been a spectacular place back in ancient times.
TIP: It is a fair walk across the wooden bridge to the temple and in the midday sun, it can be quite hot – so make sure that you have plenty of water. Neak Pean is most photogenic during the wet season when the pools are full of rainwater.
In Siem Reap lots of other fun thing to do – and is a great place to come for your next holiday.