A Trapeang (pronounced "troperng") is a small lake. However, Trapeang Phong is a Prasat, a Khmer temple tower, on a low natural mound. During the rainy season, it becomes an island in the marshlands of the Tonle Sap. But remains of a Trapeang are recognizable during the dry season.
Trapeang Phong is situated 3 km south of the most significant temple in Roluos, the Bakong temple pyramid. There are not many tourists or even tour guides who have ever seen Trapeang Phong, and people living closer to the more famous Roluos temples may tell you there are thugs in the area of Trapeang Phong, or you can only reach the temple if you have a boat. But in the villages south to Prei Monti you can simply ask the locals for such a boat trip. And - when undisturbed by thugs - you definitely will enjoy and never regret spending two hours and five or ten dollars for this trip.
This secluded Prasat is a little bit more than "a lesser ruin of Angkor". It is surprisingly tall. And when gliding through the silent marches and viewing the ancient monument, surrounded by palm trees, coming closer and closer, you will feel like the first man landing on a forgotten Khmer moon. A boat trip to Trapeang Phong is a dream coming true for those who want to discover the unknown, not a mere tick at the list of Khmer heritage places of minor interest.
The Prasat of Trapeang Phong opens east, as usual, with false doors on the other sides. The door is broken, the false doors (or blind doors) are of sandstone, they are in a good condition. Their lintels and colonnettes are well executed. Most noteworthy are the Devatas (Apsaras) at the outer walls of Trapeang Phong, as these depictions of female semi-goddesses are the oldest in the Apsara-crowded Angkor at all. They stand in niches at the wall, smaller ones sit in small medallions at the upper tiers. The reliefs - some of them were covered and under restoration in 2013 - are carved on brick and covered with stucco. Conservation work at Trapeang Phong has been carried out by the German Apsara Conservation Project, financed by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The best time for a visit is the afternoon. A ticket is not reqired at this very remote monument.