top of page

Neak Pean

Angkor, Cambodia

Water Temple

Nestled in the heart of the Preah Khan Baray reservoir, the unique temple of Neak Poan exemplifies Angkor’s ingenious hydraulic engineering and spiritual symbolism. Originally constructed in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, Neak Poan was designed to represent a symbolic bridge between earth and heaven. At the center sits a square pool, surrounded by four smaller lakes representing Water, Earth, Fire and Wind. Intricate drain ducts radiate from the central waters, originally flowing outward but now dried up and overgrown. A truly unique wonder, quite unlike the myriad of other temple surrounding.

Today, strolling along the forested edges of Neak Poan's former "rivers" is a serene experience. We took in the tranquil atmosphere accented by birdsong and monkeys chattering in the trees nearby. Pink lotus flowers dotted the shallow pools, adding beauty. As we followed the paths towards the ancient ducts and channels now fading back into nature, we contemplated the ingenious capabilities of the ancient Khmers. Their mastery of hydraulic engineering and sacred symbolic architecture blended seamlessly here. Though its original purpose has been lost to time, Neak Poan remains one of Angkor's most unique temples, especially when letting your imagination run wild.


Use the interactive map to also discover nearby treasures.



Situated within the Angkor Archaeological Park, in the middle of the man-made Preah Khan Baray reservoir


Originally constructed in late 12th century, during reign of Jayavarman VII


Designed as a symbolic temple representing the mythic Lake Anavatapta, with pools and waterways carrying spiritual meaning


The waterways are dried up, but the temple remains a tranquil and unique site, known for its central pools surrounded by forest


Neak Pean

You have explored the

Water Temple


bottom of page