Angkor temples are without doubt Cambodia’s number one tourist destination and a place of extreme beauty. Ever since we saw pictures of this undisputed wonder, we could not wait to add Cambodia to our next travel plans. The reality of Angkor turned out to be everything we expected…and much more.
Stretching over 400 square kilometers, Angkor Archaeological Park is located just outside Siem Reap in the northern region of Cambodia.
We met a friendly tuk tuk driver outside our guesthouse on our first night in Siem Reap who offered his services to take us to Angkor and beyond.
We spent the next three days exploring the majestic ruins of Angkor on board of his bouncy little tuk tuk (cheap and convenient transportation since the temples are located too far apart from each others to travel by foot).
There are more than 1,000 ruins in this World Heritage Site! Some are well preserved temples while others are basically just piles of rocks.
To visit Angkor, we purchased a 3-day admission pass ($40 USD per person) which we found long enough to really experience what Angkor had to offer.
Rising from deep within Cambodia’s jungle, the famous (made even more famous with the movie Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie) Angkor temples plunged us into the the magnificence of a lost civilization: the ancient capital of the Khmer kings.
Standing among the vast ruins of the Khmer empire, embedded in the the profound silence of the jungle, was like being out of this world… well, until we met other tourists all trying to capture the mystical atmosphere of Angkor.
We were lucky enough to travel to Cambodia just before the peak season though (November to March). Late October is the end of the wet season but it was only raining once per day usually in the evening.
We visited so many different temples that sadly I can’t remember the names of them all. However, the following landmark temples are undisputed must do’s.
Angkor temples not be missed:
1. Angkor Wat, world’s largest religious monument
2. Ta Phrom strangled by the jungle
3. Angkor Thom and the stone faces of the Bayon all staring at you.
4. Banteay Srei and its elegant carvings
Have you ever been to Angkor? Please comment below if you have other temples to recommend to our readers.