So begins the real fun - a jungle temple! Jungle temples are temples that have let the jungle and all its trees and roots take over. There is still some restoration involved, though. Out first stop after Angkor Wat was Banteay Kdei. It was far less crowded and a lot more up my alley. This temple was fairly deep and you walked to the back of the temple and then retraced the same path back out to the front. The piles of rocks and crazy trees are so cool to see. There were also local artisans making and selling their goods along the path to the temple start.
Right across the street is Srah Srang, a pretty boring ruin, but it does overlook the water. It was worth a quick look since it was so close by.
Our tuk tuk driver desperately wanted to take us to Ta Prohm next, which would have been so terribly crowded that I would have surely had a panic attack. But I finally urged him to take us to Ta Nei, a small hidden temple completely off the beaten track. We were one of two or three sets of people there, and the others had biked. We actually went down a dirt road for 5-10 minutes to get here. This temple was even junglier than the first one and more left to ruin. You had to climb over piles of rocks just to walk through. I kinda wish I had spent more time here, taking in the quietness, serenity, and ruins that make up Ta Nei. It is pretty small, but oh so worth it!
Our last stop for the day was Ta Keo, a pyramidal type temple, kinda like a more condensed version of Angkor Wat. At that point, we were definitely feeling pooped for the day, and this one was basically just sets of stairs going up to the next level. Brad was the only one who actually made it to the top. It was a good representation of similarly built temples, so we felt Ta Keo was worth it and that there was no need to visit other pyramidal temples. Plus, we were all liking the jungle temples more. So after visiting 4 main temples, we called it a day at a little after noon, and headed to town for some much desired lunch.