Angkor Travel GuideBrowse 57 travel reviews, 48 travel blogs and 6,875 travel photos from real travelers to Angkor. Also known as: Angkor Wat
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As Angkor’s most famous temple complex, Angkor Wat is an inarguable highlight of Cambodia, or rather, of the region. Because of its status, the monument has been put onto the flags of Cambodia as a homage to her heritage. Iconic, tourist-ridden, and quite simply a must see. Formed in the 12th century and lost to the jungle – or at least to all but the most local of knowledge – for years, Angkot Wat is a delicate, beautifully symmetrical and notably detailed temple.
The complex is dominated by the temple itself, which consists of those statue-filled, pointed towers. It contains countless carved walls depicting the various God worshipped over the years. In the course of its existence, Angkor Wat has been a centre of both Hinduism and Buddhism, and shows explicit signs of both, with orange-clad monks still wondering the grassy courtyards and Indian Hindu influences coming to the fore in the temple’s architecture. The 32 hells and 37 heavens of Hindu mythology - carved into the extensive southern gallery walls – make for a particularly stunning aside.
While you’ll want to join the crowds and drift around the inner sanctums, exploring the temple bridges (have an eye out for pushy postcard sellers and pickpockets), checking out the sturdy outer walls and lounging for hours amongst the palm trees lining the paths of the complex are all great ways to take it in, too. Many turn up for either sunrise of sunset, with the aim of grabbing the most spectacular pictures of the temple on offer, while others brave the heat of the day and avoid the worst of the tourist rush.
Angkor Wat is part of the Angkor temple complex, which stretches to incorporate dozens of other temples spread near and far, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll come all this way to see just one. While Angkor Wat is the most well known, other temples can be equally spectacular, with different focuses and a tendency to be far less inundated with coach tours.
If there’s only one place you see in Cambodia, make it Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. You’ll probably want several days to explore, and while the temples are undeniably one of Cambodia’s more pricey sites (around $20 per day for entry), they’re worth every penny in your pocket.