Things to do in Angkor Wat complex

Angkor wat, tempels of gods and buddhist symbol that is attracting millions of visitors from all around the world. Here is a mini guide on the temples.

temples of Angkor Wat, "the City of Temples", in the dense jungles of Cambodia is the largest religious building in the world. It was built in the 12th century under the rule of King Suryavarman II in the former capital of the Khmer Empire, just over 3 miles north of the current Siem Reap. Angkor Wat, which is surrounded by a 623-foot-wide moat, was the setting for the movie "Tomb Raider."

Phnom Bakheng One mile outside of Angkor Wat is the temple of Phnom Bakheng, built in the ninth century to symbolize Mount Meru, the spiritual home of the Hindu gods. This impressive monument was built in the shape of a rectangular pyramid and consists of six layers of sandstone. It is famous for its rich and deep colors, and the summit is a popular place at sunset, as it provides a spectacular view when the sun descends on the neighboring Angkor Wat. The climb of steep steps of 220 feet can be done on foot or on an elephant.

Angkor Thom: Angkor Thom, the last city of the Khmer Empire, was built in the 12th century under the reign of King Jayavaram VII. Rest on the banks of the Siem Reap River, one mile north of Angkor Wat. The city was fortified with a wall of 26 feet, with entrances in the center of each side, and surrounded by a moat that at some point was patrolled by crocodiles. It boasts of having a complex system of canals, and among the ruins can be found statues of gods, mythical creatures and carvings of Hindu poetry.

things to do in angkor wat

Ta Prohm: The construction of Ta Prohm temples, originally called Rajavihara ("King's Monastery"), began in 1186. The site is famous for its mixture of vegetation and architecture, with serpentine vines, trunks and tree roots interwoven between the structures. This is the result of hundreds of years of oblivion that followed the fall of the Khmer Empire in the seventeenth century. Although the site has been renovated since then, the vegetation remained in its iconic state on purpose. Thirty-nine towers make up the site and an inscription notes that 80,000 workers participated in its construction.

Prah Khan: Prah Khan, which translates as "the Holy Word", once housed more than 1,000 Buddhist scholars. The temple was built in honor of the victory of King Jayavarman VII over the invading chams (village of an area in present-day Vietnam) in 1191. The site covers 140 acres and is surrounded by a vast moat. Like Ta Prohm, much of it is covered by a network of tree trunks and roots. Narrow alleys lead to old bookstores. Over the centuries, Angkor Wat has been seriously looted and much of what was not stolen has been sheltered. A particularly impressive statue of a kneeling Prajnaparamita was found on the site and is now exhibited at the Guimet Museum in Paris.

Siem Reap: According to CNN, Siem Reap can boast of a vibrant culture and a legendary nightlife. It offers accommodation that fits all budgets and houses a historic French quarter, Lake Tonle Sap and multiple shops, places to eat and markets. Adventurous travelers can head to the Old Market and try some fried bugs or tarantulas. The tuk-tuks, also known as motocarros, provide an easy and fun way to explore the city. At the end of the day, soak your feet in a refreshing pool, letting the fish nibble gently on the dead skin of your feet in what is known as a "fish massage".

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