Journey through an ancient Kingdom steeped in history. Explore the laid back capital of Phnom Penh, visit the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor on the jungle plains of Siem Reap, and relax on the beaches of Sihanoukville and Kep. There is so much to see when you visit Cambodia. Whether you want to tour the temples, explore the cities or laze on a pristine beach, we design tailor-made luxury holidays to Cambodia that suit you.
The temples of Angkor Wat: a must on any bucket list!
Put simply, the Angkor temples should be on everyone’s bucket lists! Millions of tourists flock to the Angkor temples every year and spend hours, or even days, exploring them. The site is considered one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world. So what are the Angkor temples? And why are we this certain that they should it be on your bucket list? Take a read of the below to find out why….
Situated within the North West corner of Cambodia is the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can find the Angkor temples. These are a complex of magnificent temples scattered around dense forests and standing proudly high above the paddy fields. Angkor Wat itself is the pièce de résistance and is widely famed as the most incredible of them all.
As well as being a beautiful site, the history of the temples is also something to note. Built in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom, and its beauty and state of preservation is something to behold. The site stretches over 400 square kilometres, and contains the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th century, including the famous Angkor Wat, the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm; all examples of an exceptional civilization.
For an awe-inspiring experience (and some envious photos) rise in the early hours of the morning, and witness one of the best sunrises you’ll ever see over one of the most beautiful temples in the world – Angkor Wat. After you’ve taken your incredible set of photos, have your breakfast in one of the many on site cafes and continue exploring – you will not want to stop! A lot of tourists come specifically for sunrise and then go back to bed, so if you stay you could have the site pretty much to yourself.
Once the sun has risen, it’s time to really explore Angkor Wat. Make sure you check out the Gallery of 1,000 Buddhas (Preah Pean), sit on a ledge on the second level and enjoy the view of the main towers, and climb the incredibly steep stairs to the third level to take in the spectacular views 50m above the ground. Trust me, you won’t want to come back down. Once you’ve braved the descent from the third level, take a look at the bas-relief on the outer walls, and explore the monastery, south causeway and the library.
If you ever decide you’ve finished exploring Angkor Wat, head straight onto the ancient city of Angkor Thom – that reached a population of 1 million in the 12th century. There are three main temples you need to see: The Bayon temple, with its 54 faces carved into the rock; the Baphuon, where you can climb a very steep staircase and be rewarded by a serious sense of accomplishment; and the terrace of Elephants, where the King once made his proclamations to the people. Next, explore Ta Prohm to ignite the Indiana Jones in you. The temples are invaded by tree roots, which only extenuate the site’s history. As well as being The Temple of Doom for Indiana Jones, Ta Prohm is the backdrop for Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider. It is a hugely popular temple with tourists, but there is so much to be discovered; look for a hidden corner and you’ll really feel the temple’s impressive ambiance. If at this point you’re not feeling ‘templed out’, there are many more temples to visit. Do use this time to take in the full scope of architectural styles that the site has to offer. None will disappoint!
Want to discover this ancient archeological site?
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