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Before stepping into our Khmer restaurant, Sala Russey, you must first step into Angkor, an ancient, mystical place. A place where the air is cleaner, vegetation grows thicker, and you become enveloped in a relaxing vibe. Come and find us in the heart of Angkor on the northern flank of Srah Srang.

paved path leading to Angkor Wat
The front of Sala Russey in the evening

 

Srah Srang Architecture

cloudy and dark srah srang

white Naga representation

This is a Naga (Sanskrit and Pali word for a great snake deity)

Few come to visit the impressive man-made lake, Srah Srang. Hard manual labor, without bulldozers or power tools, went into the construction of this 700-meter long by 300-meter wide baray.

The royal bathing pool is bordered by laterite steps with an outer margin of sandstone. On the western flank, sits an exquisite terrace, also built from laterite with a molded sandstone base. It is believed that this once supported a larger structure, most likely a large rectangular room with viewing galleries.

Srah Srang’s terrace features several mythical representations taking the form of Nagas, Garudas, and large lions following in the Bayon style. When water levels are low it’s possible to see a small central island. With several large stone blocks found in the man-made lake, it is thought that there once was a small island sanctuary.

 

The History of Srah Srang

gray head sculpture of King Jayavarman VII

King Jayavarman VII

Angkor experts believe that Srah Srang was dug out in the mid-10th century under the direction of King Rajendravarman. Later, in the late 12th century, King Jayavarman VII modified and finished the structure by lining the base and banks with sandstone, building a breathtaking landing stage, and creating the central island sanctuary.

Jayavarman VII, king of the ancient Khmer Empire from 1181-1218 was known as a great builder, constructing many monuments in Angkor!

Great Sunrise & Sunset Location

To witness magical sunrises relatively alone in Angkor, head to the western terrace of Srah Srang. Most tourists will be crowding Angkor Wat for their pictures which makes this a peaceful location to enjoy a sunrise reflecting its colors off of the lake.

No wonder its name means royal bathing pool! After sunrise, if you’re in need of an energy boost before your day of exploration, swing by our place to grab a hot cup of coffee.

Srah Srang is also a great spot for sunset. Swing around to the eastern side or sit on the banks with a drink right outside of our restaurant.

 

Nearby Temples

Several temples can be found near Srah Srang, and if you’re quick, you may be the first person of the day to visit with no one else around!

  1. Banteay Kdei – The Citadel of Monks – is located approximately 300 meters west of Srah Srang
  2. Bat Chum is located approximately 400 meters south of Srah Srang
  3. Kutisvara is located approximately 400 meters Northwest of Srah Srang
  4. Pre Rup is located approximately one kilometer to the East of Srah Srang
ancient banteay kdei temples

Banteay Kdei

overgrown ancient Kutisvara temple

Kutisvara

laterite Pre Rup temple

Pre Rup

We feel that Srah Srang deserves more attention. It truly is an amazing place.

“Entirely surrounded by large trees and always full of water it provides, in the fading light of day, one of the most delightful settings in the Angkor Park – its majestic calm particularly recalling certain views in Versailles, such as the Pièce d’eau des Suisses or the Grand Canal.” – Maurice Glaize