Places to stay near Angkor Wat
Reviews • 9
Today, post breakfast, we spend the day exploring the Angkor temples. Each display is individual and unique. Witness the splendor of these magnificent creations, with a surprise around every corner. We’ll end the day with dinner at a local restaurant accompanied by an Apsara dance show (traditional Khmer dance performance).
This is the big daddy of them all. The famous silhouette that you have seen on just about every banner, beer bottle and flag greets you at the very entrance, follows you across the moat and grows into an imposing structure by the time you land at its feet. There are two lotus ponds on either side of the main causeway leading to the temple, which is where the famous sunrise and sunset pictures are all clicked. Go ahead and click one for yourself. Sure it may be exactly identical to a million others, but its not every day that you find yourself watching daybreak at the greatest temple complex the world has seen. Its okay to be excited.
This tour of Angkor begins with the appreciation and admiration of the grand temple complex of Angkor Wat and the nearby Angkor Thom, including the magnificent Bayon ruin. Very often are travellers seen to explore the enigmas and romanticism of the tree-invaded monastery of Ta Prom. While scholars and historians say its religion was Hindu, we can clearly see the sanskritic dedications to the Hindu deities- Shiva and Vishnu, all over the temple walls. As we step further into its mystery and enchanting walls, you'll notice how each temple in the complex consists of towers pillared around its four corners, significant of their philosophy of a four-sided universe with a mountain at its center.
After you land in Siem Reap and settle comfortably in your hotel, we first begin with a major attraction and one of the biggest landmarks in Cambodia, the Angkor Wat. Built by the Khmer king in the 12th century it is the biggest temple complex in the world and in many ways is symbolic of Cambodia (appearing on its national flag). This place translated into the "City Of Temples" contains a mix of Hindu and Buddhist Mythology. We explore the various structures inside the complex till sunset.
This monument qualifies as one of the largest monuments from the Khmer times. King Suryavarman II around the beginning of the 12th century built it. The sculptures are believed to be of the temple where Lord Vishnu was worshiped. But some scholars suppose that it was built as a tomb for the king after he died. The magnificence of this place is unrivaled. It took me some time to absorb the beauty and the architecture of this place. This is definitely one of the most remarkable structures I have seen. Travel Tip - I would suggest you read up on this place’s history and also about the structures before you visit.
With the free time we had until departure, we woke up at the crack of dawn and ventured out to the Mother of all temples, Angkor Wat. Believed to be the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers, this gigantic complex was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, and is the most famous temple at Angkor.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Angkor Wat is the reason most people visit Cambodia. Angkor Wat was first a Hindu, then subsequently, a Buddhist temple complex in Cambodia and is the largest religious monument in the world. The entire complex is seeped in history and mysteries and has some of the best religious architecture on offer. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and is the country's prime attraction for visitors. The entire temple complex is huge and it is impossible to cover it in one day. You can buy passes valid for a single day, three days or a week. Do not miss the sunrise. One warning: Beware of the monkeys. They swarm the place and will grab stuff out of your hands.
Best sunrise I've ever seen in my life. In fact, I loved watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat so much I got out of bed at 4am every morning I was there to see it. Angkor is the earthly representation of Mt Meru, the Mt Olympus of the Hindu faith and home to ancient gods. The walled city of Angkor Wat is widely believed to be the largest religious structure in the world. Most of Angkor’s great temples were abandoned to the jungle for many centuries until a massive restoration took place in the 1960’s. But it was not until the years of brutal Khmer Rouge rule and civil war ended in the 80’s that Angkor Wat emerged as a viable tourist destination. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and was removed from UNESCO’s endangered list in 2003. The temples of Angkor are the capital of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer empire. As staggering as Angkor Wat is, I was surprised to discover the sheer volume of temples and diversity of design from era to era that dot the extended Angkor area. You could quite literally spend weeks exploring them all. But with only three days, I had to economize on the sightseeing. In addition to Angkor Wat, I chose to visit Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.
Angkor Wat is the central, most well known temple of the Temples of Angkor but there are about 35 temples in total. Its so vast, you're going to need at least one full day to explore this world heritage site and maybe even return for another trip. A lot has been said and written about the Temples of Angkor and I was hesitant that I might find it too touristy for my liking. However it is nothing of the sort and you're sure to be awestruck by the beauty and majesty of the place. I found myself lackadaisically wandering about and snapping shots of all the beauty before me. Besides Angkor Wat, also visit Ta Prohm colloquially known as the "Tomb Raider Temple". A one-time Buddhist monastery and university, Ta Prohm now seems like a temple the jungle wants to reclaim. It’s absolutely gorgeous and makes you feel a bit like Indiana Jones. Preah Khan is the largest temple but not as impressive as the others. There's also Bayon and Ta Keo. Make sure to go in the off-season so that you can enjoy the temples in solitude.