The Angkor Wat is a testament to the genius and creativity of the Khmer Empire that ruled over Cambodia between the 9th and 15th centuries. Located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, it is the largest religious monument in the world, spread over an area of 162.6 hectares. Built as a Hindu temple and later transformed into a Buddhist temple, it is a symbol of the religious harmony that existed in the Khmer Empire.
The Angkor Wat attracts millions of tourists every year, and here are the top ten reasons why you should visit this magnificent monument.
- The Splendor of Architecture: The Angkor Wat is a masterpiece of architectural design and engineering. Its intricate carvings, bas-reliefs, and towering spires are a visual feast for the eyes. Marvel at the symmetry of the temple, the intricacy of its decoration, and the beauty of its design.
- The Historical Significance: The Angkor Wat is not just a temple; it is a living testimony to the Khmer Empire’s glory and grandeur. Explore the temple’s many chambers, and learn about the Hindu and Buddhist influence that shaped its construction.
- The Sunrise and Sunset Views: Watch the sunrise and sunset over the Angkor Wat, and experience a moment of awe-inspiring beauty. The temple’s reflection in the surrounding moat creates a stunning visual effect that will leave you spellbound.
- The Spiritual Experience: The Angkor Wat is a place of spiritual significance for the Cambodian people, and it is still used as a place of worship by Buddhist monks. Immerse yourself in the temple’s serene ambiance, and experience a sense of peace and tranquility.
- The Intriguing Legends: The Angkor Wat is shrouded in legends and mysteries. Explore the temple’s many chambers and corridors, and listen to the tales of gods and demons, kings and queens, and heroes and villains that make up its rich history.
- The Stunning Bas-Reliefs: The Angkor Wat is famous for its intricate bas-reliefs, which depict scenes from Hindu mythology and the Khmer Empire’s history. The carvings are so detailed that they appear to come to life before your eyes.
- The Magnificent Central Sanctuary: The central sanctuary of the Angkor Wat is a towering structure that houses a statue of the Hindu god Vishnu. The statue is believed to be the largest religious monument in the world, and it is a sight to behold.
- The Surrounding Temples: The Angkor Wat is just one of many temples in the area, and each one is unique and worth exploring. Visit the Bayon Temple, the Ta Prohm Temple, and the Banteay Srei Temple, and discover the beauty of Khmer architecture and design.
- The Cultural Experience: The Angkor Wat is not just a monument; it is a symbol of Cambodian culture and heritage. Explore the local markets, taste the delicious Cambodian cuisine, and learn about the country’s customs and traditions.
- The Photographic Opportunities: The Angkor Wat is a photographer’s paradise. The temple’s intricate carvings, towering spires, and stunning reflections in the surrounding moat make it a perfect subject for photographs.
In conclusion, the Angkor Wat is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and architecture. Its grandeur, beauty
What is Angkor wat
Angkor Wat is a massive temple complex located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Built by the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries, it is the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Originally built as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu, it was later transformed into a Buddhist temple. The Angkor Wat is known for its stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and rich historical and cultural significance. It attracts millions of visitors every year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.
History of Angkor Wat
The history of Angkor Wat dates back to the early 9th century when the Khmer Empire ruled over Cambodia. The Khmer king, Suryavarman II, commissioned the temple to be built as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu. The temple was designed to be a representation of Mount Meru, the sacred Hindu mountain that is believed to be the centre of the universe.
Construction of Angkor Wat began around 1113 AD and took an estimated 30 years to complete. It is said that over 300,000 workers and artisans were involved in its construction. The temple complex covers an area of 162.6 hectares and was built using sandstone quarried from nearby mountains.
Over the centuries, Angkor Wat went through several changes and was eventually transformed into a Buddhist temple. The exact reason for the transformation is unknown, but it is believed that it may have been due to the changing religious beliefs of the Khmer kings.
In the 15th century, the Khmer Empire began to decline, and Angkor Wat was gradually abandoned. The temple was left to the elements and became overgrown with vegetation. It was rediscovered in the 19th century by French explorers and has since been restored and preserved.
Today, Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist destination. It is considered to be one of the most significant archaeological sites in Southeast Asia and is a symbol of Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage. Its intricate carvings, stunning architecture, and historical significance continue to captivate visitors from around the world.
How to visit Angkor Wat
If you are planning a visit to Angkor Wat, here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip:
- Get your visa: Visitors to Cambodia need a visa, which can be obtained online or upon arrival at the airport. Make sure to have your visa arranged in advance to avoid any delays.
- Choose your season: The best time to visit Angkor Wat is during the dry season from November to March when the weather is cooler and less humid. The rainy season from May to October can make exploring the temple complex challenging.
- Plan your itinerary: Angkor Wat is a vast temple complex with many temples and sites to explore. Plan your itinerary in advance to make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Hire a guide: Hiring a guide can help you better understand the history and significance of Angkor Wat. Guides are available at the entrance of the temple complex, or you can arrange for one in advance.
- Dress appropriately: Angkor Wat is a sacred site, and visitors are expected to dress appropriately. Cover your shoulders and knees, and wear comfortable shoes for walking.
- Bring water and sunscreen: The temple complex is expansive, and you will be walking in the sun for most of the day. Bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the heat.
- Take your time: Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most significant archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Take your time to explore and appreciate the temple complex fully.
- Respect the culture: Angkor Wat is a place of spiritual significance for the Cambodian people. Respect the local culture and customs and be mindful of your behavior while visiting the temple complex.
Overall, a visit to Angkor Wat is a unique and unforgettable experience. With proper planning and preparation, you can explore the temple complex and immerse yourself in Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.
How do you get there?
Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and can be reached by plane, bus, or taxi.
By plane: Siem Reap International Airport is the nearest airport to Angkor Wat, and many airlines offer flights to and from the airport. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to take you to your hotel or directly to Angkor Wat.
By bus: Siem Reap is well-connected by bus to other cities in Cambodia and neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Many bus companies operate services to Siem Reap, and the journey can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.
By taxi: Taxis are available for hire from Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, to Siem Reap. The journey takes around 6 hours, and the cost can vary depending on the type of taxi and the time of day.
Once you reach Siem Reap, there are several options for getting to Angkor Wat. Tuk-tuks, which are small motorised vehicles, are a popular mode of transport in Siem Reap and can be hired to take you to the temple complex. Taxis are also available, or you can rent a bicycle or motorbike to explore the area at your own pace. Many hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap also offer guided tours to Angkor Wat, which can be a convenient way to explore the temple complex.
Where to stay nearby
Siem Reap, the city closest to Angkor Wat, offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are some recommendations for places to stay near Angkor Wat:
- Shinta Mani Angkor – This luxury hotel is located just a 15-minute drive from Angkor Wat and offers stylish rooms, an outdoor pool, and a spa.
- Park Hyatt Siem Reap – This elegant hotel is located in the heart of Siem Reap and offers luxurious rooms, a spa, and an outdoor pool.
- Golden Temple Hotel – This boutique hotel is just a short walk from the centre of Siem Reap and offers comfortable rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a swimming pool.
- Tara Angkor Hotel – This mid-range hotel is located just a 10-minute drive from Angkor Wat and offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a spa.
- Angkor Palace Resort & Spa – This 5-star resort is located just a 15-minute drive from Angkor Wat and offers luxurious rooms, an outdoor pool, and a spa.
- Sokha Angkor Resort – This 5-star resort is located just a 10-minute drive from Angkor Wat and offers luxurious rooms, multiple swimming pools, and a spa.
- Le Meridien Angkor – This luxury hotel is located just a 15-minute drive from Angkor Wat and offers stylish rooms, an outdoor pool, and a spa.
These are just a few of the many accommodation options available in Siem Reap. When planning your visit to Angkor Wat, be sure to research and compare different hotels and guesthouses to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.
Key features of Angkor wat
Angkor Wat is known for its stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and rich historical and cultural significance. Some of the key features of Angkor Wat include:
- The main temple complex – The main temple complex of Angkor Wat is an expansive and intricate structure, featuring several towers and courtyards.
- The central sanctuary – The central sanctuary of Angkor Wat is a towering structure that houses a statue of the Hindu god Vishnu. The statue is believed to be the largest religious monument in the world.
- The bas-reliefs – The temple is famous for its intricate bas-reliefs, which depict scenes from Hindu mythology and the Khmer Empire’s history. The carvings are so detailed that they appear to come to life before your eyes.
- The moat – The temple complex is surrounded by a massive moat, which is over 5 kilometres long and 190 metres wide. The moat is believed to have served as a defensive measure and also helps to keep the temple complex cool.
- The library – The temple complex features several smaller structures, including a library, which is thought to have housed important texts and documents during the Khmer Empire.
- The gates – The temple complex features several gates, including the main entrance, which is flanked by giant statues of gods and demons. The gates are adorned with intricate carvings and bas-reliefs.
- The reflection – The temple complex is surrounded by a reflective moat that creates a stunning visual effect when the temple is illuminated during sunrise or sunset.
- The galleries – The temple complex features several galleries, which are adorned with carvings and bas-reliefs that depict scenes from Hindu mythology and the Khmer Empire’s history.
Overall, the key features of Angkor Wat reflect the temple’s stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and rich historical and cultural significance. These features make Angkor Wat a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and architecture.