Angkor Wat is the largest and undoubtedly the most breathtaking of the monuments at Angkor, and is widely believed to be the largest religious The Temple of Angkor Wat
The Temple of Angkor Wat
structure in the world. It is simply unique, a stunning blend of spirituality and symmetry, an enduring example of man's devotion to his gods. Relish the very first approach, as that spine-tickling moment when you emerge on the inner causeway will rarely be felt again.
It is the best-preserved temple at Angkor, as it was never abandoned to the elements, and repeat visits are rewarded with previously unnoticed details. It was probably built as a funerary temple for Suryavarman II (r 1112-52) to honour Vishnu, the Hindu deity with whom the king identified.There is much about Angkor Wat that is unique among the temples of . The most significant fact is that the temple is oriented towards the west. West is symbolically the direction of death, which once led a large number of scholars to conclude that Angkor Wat must have existed primarily as a tomb. This idea was supported by the fact that the magnificent bas-reliefs of the temple were designed to be viewed in an anticlockwise direction, a practice that has precedents in ancient Hindu funerary rites. Vishnu, however, is also frequently associated with the west, and it is now commonly accepted that Angkor Wat most likely served both as a temple and a mausoleum for Suryavarman II.

Preah Vihear: ‘Mountain of the sacred monastery

Location: 100 kilometres (62 miles) northeast of Siem Reap Access: Tip: Spectacular views of Cambodia and Thailand from the Dangrek Mountains Date: Construction probably began in the late ninth to early tenth centuries and continued in the mid-12th century King: begun by Yasovarman I

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Koh Ker

King Jayavarman IV ‘founded by his own power, a city which was the seat of the prosperities of the universe’. – From an inscription in Lawrence Briggs’  The ancient Khmer emplire, reprint, Bankok, White Lotus, 1999 Location: Approximately 3-4 hours from Siem Reap by Road. Take R

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Beng Mealea: ‘The Lotus Pool’

A trip to Beng Mealea, which in itself demands an entiie day, can be combined with a hunting party, since the region is rich in both small and large game and wild animals: tigers, panthers and elephants, herds of oxen and wild buffalo inhabit the forest as far as Prah Khan of Kampong

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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp luxury surpassing that of a pharaoh or a shah Jaham, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Loc

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Bayon

We stand before it stunned. It is like nothing else in the land. Location: in the centre of the city of Angkor Thom, 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) from the south gate Access: enter from the east Date: late 12th century to early 13th century King: Jayavarman VII (reigned 1181-1120) Religion:

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Lake Tonle Sap

Lake Tonlé Sap (meaning "Large Fresh Water River," but more commonly translated as "Great Lake") is a combined lake and river system of huge importance to Cambodia. It is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997.

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Terrace of the Elephants

An imperial hunt in the somber forests of the realm. There are formidable elephants…. The forest in which they travel is impenetrable to all but tiny creatures, able to squeeze their smallness between the fissures of the undergrowth, and to the biggest animals, which crush chasm

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Baphuon

North of the Golden Tower [Bayon] … rises the Tower of Bronze [Baphuon], higher even than the Golden Tower: a truly astonishing spectacle, with more than ten chambers at its base. Location: 200 metres (656 feet) north-west of the Bayon, and south of Phimeanakas Access: enter and

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Phimeanakas: ‘Aerial Palace’

Location: inside the enclosure walls of the Royal Palace Access: walk over the Terrace of Elephants and through the east gopura of the enclosure wall encircling the Royal Palace. You are on the principal access to the temple. Alternatively, follow the pathway between the two

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Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom is undeniably an expression of the highest genius. It is, in three dimensions and on a scale worthy of an entire nation, the materialization of Buddhist cosmology, representing ideas that only great painters would dare to portray…. Angkor Thom is not an architectural

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Ta Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm is undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor and should be high on the hit list of every visitor. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other temples of Angkor, it has been swallowed by the jungle, and looks very much the way most of the temples of Angkor appeared when European explorers first stumbled upon them. Well, that's the

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Phnom Bakeng

Around 400m south of Angkor Thom, the main attraction of Phnom Bakheng is the sunset view of Angkor Wat. Unfortunately, the whole affair has turned into something of a circus, with crowds of tourists ascending the slopes of the hill and jockeying for space once on top. Coming down can be even worse as there is nothing at all in the way of

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Ta Keo Temple

Ta Keo is a stark, undecorated temple that undoubtedly would have been one of the finest of Angkor's structures, had it been finished. Built by Jayavarman V (r 968-1001), it was dedicated to Shiva and was the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone. The summit of the central tower, which is surrounded by four lower towers, is almost 50m high

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