The Angkor complex, the Angkor Wat and other mysterious Angkor temples, is a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cambodia. This Cambodia’s prime tourist attraction stretches over 400 square kilometers (155 square miles) including forested area, and it is a complex of elaborate Khmer temples, reservoirs, canals, dykes and an extensive system of waterways from the Khmer Empire. Explore the mysterious temples of Angkor with Incense Travel and a personal guide to get the most out of your visit.
Located in Cambodia’s northern province of Siem Reap, Angkor is home of the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Kingdom from the 9th to the 15th century. The site includes the famous temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon and many others, and they all standing within the jungle with countless sculptural decorations and impressive monuments.
Inhabited by one million people practicing agriculture and more specifically rice cultivation, Angkor is known as the greatest city in the ancient world. Recent discoveries have led scientists to believe that the population and its system of temples is actually a lot larger than originally thought.
The center of the fascinating Angkor complex is Angkor Wat, which is the largest religious monument in the world measuring 1,6 square kilometers (0,6 square mile). Angkor Wat as built by the famous Khmer King, Suryavarman II, as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu, and then gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple at the end of the 12th century. However, the ancient sacred site was left abandoned and neglected for 700 years. It’s today known as the best-preserved temple in the area, the top of high classical Khmer architecture style. Angkor Wat has become a symbol of Cambodia, and the country’s prime attraction for travelers.
The feat of engineer took 300,000 builders and artisans 32 years to complete, and the entire site was built without the use of mortar. Though all the stones were assembled before the relief carvings on every single surface were carved, can you imagine the expertise and patience that went into each of its extensive bas-reliefs and numerous devatas adorning its walls?
The magnitude of Angkor Wat is hard to describe in words and photographs. The temple is 65m tall (213ft), as high as the Notre Dame Cathedral and used as much stone as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
While the temple of Angkor Wat is impressive, it’s also a must to explore the nearby temples. It’s best to visit Angkor Wat at dawn, when the crowd was not big, take the photos and move on to other interesting sites. Perhaps it takes day to explore all Angor temples, but some are amongst the most popular for you to live out your Indiana Jones dream for a few days.
Angkor Thom, Ta Keo and Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider temple) are worthy of exploring. The so-called jungle temple, Ta Prohm, is one of the most popular temples and it has been left mostly the way it was found. The Angkor Thom, meaning the Great City, is an epithet as meaningful today as when it was built in the 12th century. It is not just one temple, but truly an urban complex comprised of a variety of buildings.
To get the best of Angkor temples exploring, temple hop through Angkor with our journey to the temples of Angkor. Our guides are some of the best in their business, they are capable to provide an in-depth history and background to the temples, and also able to time your tour so that you can see Angkor Wat without the crowds. For an ultra-exclusive look at the temples, Incense Travel can also arrange a helicopter, hot balloon ride and a private dinner at one of the temples for the ultimate luxurious VIP experience.
Contact us for more information about our journeys to Cambodia, and it’s very easy to combine the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor with the highlights of Vietnam and Laos into your luxury journey to Indochina.