Devatas, or guardian spirits, engraved in a Hindu temple in Angkor
Devatas, or guardian spirits, engraved in a Hindu temple in AngkorGetty

Two American sisters have been deported from Cambodia after taking nude pictures at the country's ancient Angkor complex.

Lindsey Adams, 22, and her sister Leslie, 20, were discovered taking the pictures of each other at the Preah Khan temple on Friday, said officials.

They have both been handed a suspended six-month prison sentences and fined $250, after being charged with public exposure and making pornography. Both are banned from re-entering the country for four years.

"The court decided to expel them from Cambodia," said Koeut Sovannareth, prosecutor at north-western Siem Reap provincial court said.

The women's actions are regarded as offensive because Angkor is sacred ground, said officials.

"They lowered their pants to their knees and took pictures of their buttocks," Keat Bunthan, a senior heritage police official in Siem Reap, told news agency AFP.

It comes only one week after three French tourists were deported and handed suspended sentences for taking naked pictures at the site.

Authorities vowed do more to prevent people taking nude photographs at the site, after pictures of Asian women posing naked in an Angkor temple went viral online.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor was the seat of the Khmer empire from the 9th to the 15th centuries, and draws two million visitors annually.