Spean Preah Toeus or Kampong Kdei Ancient Bridge
Kampong Kdei Bridge with its original name as Spean Preah Toeus (ស្ពានព្រះទិស – The bridge of Indication) is the best laterite-built bridge of Angkor era which is survived until today. The bridge is located on the main highway of national road no.6 from Kampong Thom to Siem Reap and it used to carry all kinds of transportation of the main highway. In 1965, the bridge has been restored by Bernard Philippe Groslier. Nowadays, Kampong Kdei Bridge is still in good condition, however, the main highway has been diverted since a 1.3 km bypass and a new bridge has been built. Now it’s crossing by villagers who travel by motorbikes and bicycles only.
Located about 60 km southeast of Siem Reap, the Kampong Kdei Bridge is spanning the Chi Kreng River with 86 m long, 16 m wide and 10 m height above the level of the river bed. It has 21 corbel arches between 20 columns. By this the bridge became the longest corbelled stone-arch bridge in the world.
King Jayavarman VII, the greatest Khmer king, had contributed a huge work in building the country’s infrastructure during his reign in the late 12th century. He built temples, royal roads, bridges, hospitals, rest houses throughout his kingdom. Spean Preah Toeus or Kampong Kdei Bridge is the only best survived bridge of his time. It’s an outstanding work of art from Angkor era.
On the way from Siem Reap to Kampong Kdei, there are ten more laterite ancient bridges, however, Kampong Kdei bridge is the longest and the only one with significant decoration of the naga balustrades.
The handrails of the bridge are made of sandstone in the form of the body of the nagas, at their ends each has a nine-headed naga decorated. At its side, there is a boundary stone depicted Deva and Demond which are the architecture of Bayon style.