Srah Srang, the “Royal bathing pool” is a large pond East of Angkor’s capital Angkor Thom. An attractive and quiet spot, the water reservoir measuring 700 meters long and over 300 meters wide is filled with water to this day.

The Srang pond lies directly East of the Banteay Kdei temple. A walkway from the temple’s East gate leads to the embarkation terrace on the West border of the Srah.

The pond was dug out during the reign of King Rajendravarman II in the 10th century. It was an ablution pool, a pond used for ritual washings.

In spite of its name “Royal bathing pool”, Srah Srang was for the benefit of all people. A 10th century inscription found nearby calls upon people not to bathe animals in the srah thus polluting its waters, and not led herds of elephants destroy the earthen dikes.

The site was cleared from jungle vegetation in 1920. It is now one of the best spots to catch the sunrise and sunset in Angkor.

What does it mean?

Srah Srang, also spelt Sra Sang, Sras Sran, or similar, and pronounced "Sra Srong" means "Royal Bath". Unlike a "Banteay" reservoir with dams, a "Srah" is a manmade basin for ritual bathes, usually constructed as a pool in an artificial depression. But in the case of the Srah Srang it is a combination of both. 

You can easily recognize the earth bank at the west side, as the road is below its level. It is not clear whether this tank was only a functional building used for irrigation purposes or a religious edifice, a lake temple. Originally there was a small shrine on an artificial island close to the center, but its stone foundations can only be seen in the dry season, when the water level is low.

Srah Srang Overview

The Srah Srang lake is 700 metres long and 350 metres wide. It was built in the 10th century by King Rajendravarman II, who is the founder of Pre Rup and East Mebon and some smaller temple structures in the vicinity of Srah Srang. As in the case of the statetemples Pre Rup and East Mebon the architect of the lake Srah Srang was Kavindrarimathana. The original laterite structure can still be seen below the sandstone crown of the western embankment.

Close to the main entrance of Banteay Kdei there is a sandstone platform jutting out into the lake, dating from the Bayon period (around 1200), contemporary and maybe connected to the nearby temple Banteay Kdei. It is decorated with Naga balustrades and two lion guradians. (2013 the sculptures were removed for preservation works at the platform.)

It served as a landing stage, but it is called "Royal platform", as it is believed to have been used by the royalty and nobility to watch ceremonies. During the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1181- ca.1220), who remodeled the reservoir using sandstone blocks for the embankments, annual regattas or boat races were cerebrated here, during water and fertility festivals at the end of the rainy season.

The platform today is a kind of "Angkor's sunrise point". However, in the late afternoon it is a delightful area as well. There is no ticket checkpoint at Srah Srang, only at the opposite side of the road in front of Banteay Kdei's entrance gate. Nevertheless, admission to the Small and Grand Circuit roads, meeting at Srah Srang, is not free of charge, so take an Angkor ticket with you.

Below is the glimpse of Srah Srang in 360o viewing:

What to see at Srah Srang

Embarkation terrace

During the reign of King Jayavarman VII in the second half of the 12th century a number of alterations were made to the site. The earth embankment surrounding the lake was replaced by laterite steps, allowing easy access to the water.

A multi-tiered embarkation terrace with Naga balustrades was built on the West side of the pond. The terrace was probably used to embark on a boat to the artificial island in the center of the Srah, where once stood a sanctuary, of which virtually nothing remains today. On the cruciform terrace stood a wooden pavilion which has long gone comprising of two inner courtyards surrounded by galleries. Flanking the top of the stairs to the jetty are two large stone lions overlooking the water.

Sunrise at Srah Srang Lake

Offering a breath-taking sunrise view with fewer crowds, Srah Srang has a quieter waterside than the reflection pools of Angkor Wat. The trees surrounding the water’s edge offer a beautiful reflection in the tranquil waters as the sun’s colours begin to fill the sky.

On the western edge of Srah Srang you will find a multi-tiered terrace. Adorned with naga balustrades, lions and other Khmer carvings, this is the best spot to watch sunrise over the lake.

Sunset at Srah Srang Lake

That said, there is a viewing platform right across from Banteay Kdei that is a popular sunrise spot, but, if you head to Srah Srang from the opposite end, closest to Pre Rup, you can get just as spectacular of a view for sunset, with a lot less people.

While there’s no temple at Srah Srang, you’ll get to see a perfect reflection on the water of the sun setting between the trees. You can sit in the grass on the bank of the reservoir, hang out, and watch the sunset over the water without having to battle crowds of tourists.

Planning to Visit Srah Srang

Temple Facts

  • Date: Mid-10th Century
  • Religion: Unknown
  • Built By: Kavindrarimathana
  • Dedicated To: Unknown
  • Style: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Early morning for Sunrise or later afternoon for Sunset
  • Length of Visit: 20 - 40 minutes
  • Temple Pass: Required (Included in the pass to the whole Angkor Complex)


Srah Srang is located on the east side of Banteay Kdei temple. To the north west is Kutisvara temple and to the east is Pre Rup. Both the grand circuit and small circuit tour take a clockwise direction around the temples with Srah Srang usually being the last place to visit.

Check the location of Srah Srang on Google Map below for your reference:

Getting There

If you are coming from Siem Reap town or Angkor Wat, then you can head east going past Prasat Kravan. About 1km after Prasat Kravan, you’ll see the large pool of water on the right side with Banteay Kdei on the left side. If you’re coming from Ta Prohm, then head east for a few hundred metres before turning right to the south. You can’t miss the large expanse of water!

If you’re coming from the East Baray or Banteay Samre, then head towards Pre Rup and you’ll see Srah Srang on the left side about 1km after Pre Rup temple.

Best time to visit Srah Srang

Sunrise is a popular time to visit Srah Srang, as it offers a peaceful alternative to the crowded Angkor Wat. You can either enjoy the majestic view of sunset at Srah Srang

Srah Srang Tours

As stated before, both the Small Circuit Tour and the Grand Circuit Tour often end with a visit to Srah Srang. If you’re aiming to avoid the crowds at sunset, you might want to ask your guides to do the circuit “back to front” and visit Srah Srang early in the morning.


There are no hotels in the park and you can’t stay near Srah Srang. Most visitors will find a hotel in Siem Reap town. The town has grown in recent years to become a large tourist hub to support millions of visitors. There are hotels of all sizes and budgets and you’ll easily be able to find a place to stay at any time of the year.

Here is our Siem  Reap Travel Guide

Why Visit Srah Srang?

This is one of the most popular spots to set the sunset and the sun will light up the whole reservoir. The landing stage offers the perfect place for tourists to wait and watch the sun go down.

The Layout & Design of Srah Srang

Srah Srang has all the elements of a romantic setting, with its surrounding greenery, its grand landing stage and sweeping views across the water, reflecting a sunrise or a setting sun. Serpent balustrades that lead down to the water from the platform are flanked by two majestic lions. 

Visitors will also find a large garuda riding a three-headed serpent, which rests on a platform along with other mythical creatures. The Bayon-style architecture so favoured at the time, was the work of King Rajendravarman’s preferred architect, Kavindrarimathana.

History of Srah Srang Temple

Although the name suggests its purpose was for royal bathing, inscriptions found on the site, dating back to the mid-10th Century, point to a more inclusive intention – providing water ‘for the benefit of all creatures’.

The possibility that there was once a temple built on an artificial island in the centre of the 700m x 300m reservoir was discovered when stones, similar to those used for East Mebon, were found. Changes to the structure of Srah Srang occurred in the 12th Century when Jayavarman VII added a terrace to its western side and lined the pond with sandstone.

The additions to the original structure are likely to have coincided with the East Baray having accumulated sediment, causing it to cease functioning efficiently. An alternative source of water for the population would have been required – Srah Srang being a convenient choice.

Photos of Srah Srang

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Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours


Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.


Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.


Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.

It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone. 


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