Temples of Angkor – Angkor Wat and Friends

The temples of Angkor are Cambodia’s most famous tourist attraction, a huge  temple complex built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. The ruins of Angkor are located among forests and fields and number around 1000, ranging from piles of ruble to the world’s largest single religious monument, Angkor Wat.

There’s a number of ways to visit the temples but we opted for hiring a tut-tut driver to take us there and between the temples, the vastness of Angkor means you could spend days exploring the temples (if you have the stamina and interest). As time was short we opted for a day.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors. The temple combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple. Angkor Wat was the first point of call on our tour, the temple is huge and you could probably spend a day exploring it alone, there’s lots of steep steps and nothing much to hold on to so be careful, head out the back of the temple for a great view of the temple without the streams of tourists on the main entrance.
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Entrance to Angkor Wat, expect to share it with others

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Views of Angkor Wat’s rear side

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Steep steps at Angkor Wat

Angkor Thom

Covering 9km sq, Anchor Thom meaning “Great City” was the last capital of Khmer Empire. The main temple of this area is the Bayon, a plethora of gigantic carved faces that appear to be in a constant state of bliss. Just behind this temple is Baphuon, a three tiered temple mountain, currently undergoing reconstruction, you can scramble up the 34 meter temple if your feeling brave.

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Ta Phrom

Although the most famous, Angkor Wat is trumpt by the Ta Phrom, unlike the other temple ruins, Ta Phrom has been left much in the way it was found, surrounded by jungle with trees growing out of the ruins, its incredibly atmospheric and  you can almost imagine what it must have felt like for explorers to firr=st uncover the ruins. It is easy to see why Ta Phromis  one of the most popular temples with tourists.

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From TaPhrom we visited some relatively small and nondescript temples of Neak Pean and Prean Khan before climbing  the Bakheng hill to watch the sunset behind Anchor Wat.

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Benedict Adam

Trying to travel with the ethos of a backpacker, no matter of budget, whether I'm across the other side of the world or over the road.

  5 comments for “Temples of Angkor – Angkor Wat and Friends

  1. May 13, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Wow, is that really a tree? they look like giants from the L.O.R. movie. are they true?

  2. July 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Agree with you Toowoomba Australia, it’s an awesome treesome on the temple. It seems like an oldage giant beautiful temple made of tree roots only.

  3. July 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Wow! You have some amazing Pictures!

  4. September 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Nice pics and nice article. They’ve begin a big restoration of Ta Phrom and i hope they will not changing it too much. Like you, I’m always impressed when i visit it, much more than Angkor Wat. I love Cambodia…

  5. Mark
    July 2, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Wow! Those trees are big! I really wonder how those trees managed to grow on top of ruins! :D Those photos of yours are as nice as this article :D

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