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Angkor

Things to see and do

Angkor: Small Circuit

  • Angkor Wat
    5 stars

    Angkor Wat, or the city that became a pagoda, is the single largest religious monument in the world. ... read more

  • Bakheng
    3 stars

    The Bakheng sits atop the highest point in the area midway between Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. From the 70-metre high summit enjoy spectacular views over Angkor Wat to the east, the sunset to the west and all the way to Tonle Sap and Phnom Bok to the northeast. As the first state temple of the ... read more

  • Baphuon
    2.5 stars

    If it had remained standing, Baphuon would be by far the tallest of the monuments at Angkor. Once a temple mountain, Baphuon was little more than a rabble of rubble when restoration work at Angkor first began. Work commenced on the Baphuon in the 1960s when the monument's 300,000 stones were ... read more

  • Baksei Chamkrong
    3.5 stars

    A small but delightfully proportioned pyramid temple, Baksei Chamkrong is well worth a quick stop if you're passing by. ... read more

  • Angkor Thom
    3.5 stars

    Jayavarman VII ruled the Khmer empire from around 1181 to 1220 during which time he decided to strengthen his capital -- leading to the walled city of Angkor Thom. ... read more

  • Banteay Kdei
    4 stars

    Far fewer visitors make it to the impressive Banteay Kdei than to nearby Ta Phrom, so take advantage of the thin crowds by spending more time here to really take in the feel of the place. Lying to the west of Srah Srang and to the southeast of Ta Phrom, Banteay Kdei is a fusion of Angkor and Bayon ... read more

  • The Bayon
    4.5 stars

    Certainly one of the most written about and photographed of the monuments at Angkor, the Bayon is one of the most unusual religious monuments in the world. The Bayon was the state temple of Jayavarman VII and some of his successors, located at the centre of Angkor Thom. When it was first visited by ... read more

  • Terrace of Elephants
    3 stars

    As the name suggests, The Terrace of the Elephants is carved with lots and lots and lots of elephants and along with the Terrace of the Leper King, comprises the Royal Terraces. ... read more

  • Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace
    3.5 stars

    A rambling and well-forested enclosure, Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace provides a fascinating glimpse into how the Khmer god-kings lived their lives. Phimeanakas sits just about at the centre of what was once the Royal Palace compound, which likely began with the construction of the ... read more

  • Terrace of the Leper King
    3.5 stars

    Commencing where the Elephant Terrace left off, and believed to date to the 13th century, the 6m-high Terrace of the Leper King is so named for the statue of Yama, the God of the Underworld, atop it. ... read more

  • Tep Pranam
    2 stars

    Thought to date back to the 15th or 16th century, this large seated Buddha makes use of re-used stone blocks in its body and remains an active site of worship among local Khmers. It sits just to the north of the Leper King Terrace and is worth a quick glance for its pleasant tree-filled setting. An ... read more

  • Preah Palilay
    3 stars

    Preah Palilay is believed to take its name from Parilyyaka, a forest that features in the stories of Buddha -- and this theory is supported by the range of Buddhist carvings at the site. ... read more

  • Suor Prat
    2.5 stars

    The dozen towers that comprise the Suor Prat towers stand directly opposite the Palace enclosure and are placed symmetrically on either side of the royal road leading from the Victory gate to the Elephant Terrace. Really only of interest to those who have a pressing need to closely examine every ... read more

  • Khleangs
    2 stars

    Set opposite the Royal Enclosure, behind Suor Prat and placed symmetrically on either side of the royal road to the Victory gate, the distinctive north and south Khleangs gave birth to their own style. This style — the aptly named Khleang style — is also evidenced at Phimeanakas and Ta Keo. ... read more

  • Preah Pithu
    2 stars

    This collection of five temples, huddled to the north of the northern Khleang, (more or less opposite Tep Pranam), is largely ignored by most Angkor visitors. However, if time allows, it is well worth a wander through, and you'll have the advantage of having the place pretty much to yourself. ... read more

  • Mangalartha
    2 stars

    A pleasant stroll takes you to Mangalartha — take the track leading to the East gate of Angkor Thom and some 200-300m before arriving you'll see a track branching off to the right. This is a small single-shrined, sandstone temple set in dense forest. While it's an attractive setting, the temple ... read more

  • Prasat Kravan
    3 stars

    Set just off the road from the east gate to Angkor Wat to Banteay Kdei, with its five squat brick sanctuaries Prasat Kravan looks like a bit of a drab affair, but the real attraction is within. Unique for Khmer art, the interior of the sanctuaries contain brick bas reliefs of an outstanding ... read more

  • Sunset at Angkor Wat Moat
    4 stars

    If you’re looking for a serene environment to pause and perhaps even contemplate life a little, one alternative sunset spot well worth considering is the north-east corner of the moat of Angkor Wat. If the bus loads of travellers that make the eventide pilgrimage to the small hill of Phnom ... read more

  • Ta Prohm
    4.5 stars

    Ta Prohm, of Tomb Raider fame and often referred to as the ‘one with the trees’, is a phenomenal example of the interplay between man and nature and should not be missed. ... read more

  • Ta Keo
    3.5 stars

    This unfinished massive temple mountain is almost 50 metres tall and was the first of the Khmer monuments to be built entirely of sandstone. ... read more

  • Ta Nei
    2.5 stars

    This rarely-visited site is as much an excuse for a walk through the woods as a site in its own right. Make the effort to get here and chances are you'll have it to yourself. ... read more

  • Thommanon
    3.5 stars

    Thommanon underwent a major reconstruction thanks to the Ecole francaise d’Extreme-Orient (EFEO) and is now in remarkable condition. Thomannon underwent a major reconstruction under the watchful eye of Groslier in the 1960s and is now in remarkable condition. Like many monuments, this was ... read more

  • Chau Say Tevoda
    3 stars

    Along with its sister temple Thomannon just over the road, Chau Say Tevoda is worth a look if you can spare the time between the more famous temples. ... read more

Angkor: Grand Circuit

  • The Grand Circuit
    4.5 stars

    Picking a few from the collection of temples that sit on the Grand Circuit fits very well into a half-day tour and should be high on your list of places to visit after the big three. ... read more

  • Pre Rup
    4 stars

    Pre Rup is a temple-mountain with the central pyramid comprising three levels atop a two-level base. Built of laterite, brick and sandstone, the early morning and warming afternoon light plays beautifully on the temple's stone. Completed in 961 AD during the reign of King Rajendravarman, Pre Rup ... read more

  • Krol Romeas
    2.5 stars

    In a wooded area just to the right of the road after leaving Angkor Thom’s north gate, Krol Romeas is not a temple and is thought to have been constructed as an arena of some sort. Situated in a wooded area just to the right of the road after leaving Angkor Thom's north gate on the way to Preah ... read more

  • Preah Khan
    4.5 stars

    Crumbling ruins, photogenic trees, imposing causeways, a columned building recalling Roman architecture, detailed carvings, quiet corners… Preah Khan, the highlight of the Grand Circuit route, has it all. ... read more

  • Baray Reach Dak Community Tour
    4 stars

    Baray Reach Dak (northern baray) community tours offers a wholly different perspective on Angkor's wonders via three guided routes. The northern baray (reservoir) is still somewhat of a secret to tourists. What was once part of the complex Angkorian hydraulic system until recently it lay dry, ... read more

  • Neak Pean
    3 stars

    Neak Pean was a hospital built by Jayavarman VII in the middle of the Northern Baray; its interest today lies in its picturesque setting and unconventional design. ... read more

  • Banteay Prei
    2.5 stars

    Banteay Prei lies just to the north side of the Grand Circuit, roughly between Neak Pean and Ta Som and for its peaceful wooded location and some interesting carvings it's worth a quick peek if you're passing by. A central sandstone clad tower has interesting lintels, and there's two secondary ... read more

  • Krol Ko
    2.5 stars

    Temples are thick on the ground in this area, near to Neak Pean on the Grand Circuit, indicating just how densely populated these northern suburbs of Angkor Thom were. ... read more

  • Ta Som
    2.5 stars

    Ta Som is a compact temple recently renovated. Of particular note is the much photographed eastern gopura, covered in tree roots. This is the third Jayavarman VII temple in a row along the north side of the Grand Circuit road, but this one's a bit larger, a bit more popular and does possess ... read more

  • East Baray
    1.5 stars

    Built by Yasovarman I to guarantee a reliable water supply for his new city at Yasodharapura, the East Baray is now dry. ... read more

  • East Mebon
    2.5 stars

    East Mebon is especially noteworthy for its large elephant statues positioned at the corners of its pyramid’s levels; while more head to Pre Rup for sunset, East Mebon offers a similar atmosphere. Built under the eye of Rajendravarman II, the East Mebon was dedicated in 953 AD and has landing ... read more

  • Srah Srang
    3.5 stars

    Srah Srang, meaning ‘royal bath’, is a mid-sized baray opposite the east entrance of Banteay Kdei that runs out towards Pre Rup. ... read more

Angkor: Other

  • West Baray
    3 stars

    Even bigger than the East Baray, the West Baray is the largest artificial lake in the area and to this day remains nearly half full of water, providing locals with a great spot to swim and picnic. Constructed during the reign of Suryavarman I, the baray measures 8km by 2.2km, has an average depth ... read more

  • An Angkor cycling guide
    3.5 stars

    The multitude of temples at Angkor represent a true challenge to even a dedicated temple fanatic ... read more

  • Angkorian traffic woes
    3.5 stars

    Any recent visitor to the famed temple complex of Angkor Wat must find themselves wondering how many aeons ago all those wistful pictures of a deserted causeway bar a solitary dashing monk were ever taken ... read more

  • Banteay Thom
    2.5 stars

    Banteay Thom is a charming temple where the principal appeal is its rural setting; it’s reached only by sandy tracks through paddy and scrubland where you’re likely to bump into a farmer, ox-cart or nobody en route. ... read more

  • West Mebon
    3 stars

    Built atop an artificial island in the waters of the West Baray, other than two still-standing gopuras there isn't all that much else left to see of the original West Mebon. Built upon the orders of Udayadityavarman II, it is thought that perhaps the central sanctuary here was constructed of wood, ... read more

  • Ak Yum
    3 stars

    A small, crumbling ruin, the temple of Ak Yum lies just off the track along the southern embankment of the West Baray and was one of the most historically important in the area. The temple lies just off the track along the southern embankment of the West Baray and was clearly heavily damaged during ... read more

Angkor: Remote

  • Banteay Srei
    4.5 stars

    Undoubtedly Angkor's most beautiful, yet smallest temple, the soft pink sandstone and exceptional carvings of Banteay Srei or "Citadel of Women" never fail to delight. ... read more

  • Phnom Kulen's less visited sites
    3.5 stars

    Moss-swathed temples ensconced in jungle are waiting to be found on Phnom Kulen, “Mountain of the Lychees”. ... read more

  • Banteay Samre
    3 stars

    Banteay Samre translates as citadel of the Samre, a group of people who populated the Kulen hills to the northeast of Siem Reap. ... read more

  • Phnom Kulen
    3 stars

    Phnom Kulen offers a waterfall, Cambodia's largest reclining Buddha and ancient river carvings. The low-lying sandstone plateau of Phnom Kulen is around 40 kilometres away from Siem Reap and the main Angkor Archaeological Park, taking around two hours by car or van. Sprinkled with many ... read more

  • Kbal Spean
    3 stars

    Along with Phnom Kulen, Kbal Spean is regarded as an auspicious location as it is from this hill that Kbal Spean river flows down to join the larger Siem Reap river. ... read more

  • Beng Mealea
    4.5 stars

    One of our favourites, Beng Mealea sits on the ancient royal road from Angkor Wat to Preah Khan (in Preah Vihear province) and was built during the reign of Suryavarman II. ... read more

  • Chau Say Vibol
    2.5 stars

    A remote, very rarely visited but atmospheric site quite unlike any of the other temples in the Angkor area, Chau Say Vibol (also Chau Srei Vibol) must have been a large, imposing and important site in its day. Now it's a a total ruin. The fact that it was clearly a strategic point, guarding the ... read more

  • Phnom Krom
    3.5 stars

    A hill top temple with the same layout as Phnom Bok, also built by Yashovarman I, Phnom Krom’s temple may be less spectacular today due to its more ruinous state, but the vantage point overlooking the Tonle Sap Lake provides a good reason to visit. ... read more

  • Phnom Bok
    3 stars

    Once used as a strategic military post, Phnom Bok sits at the summit of the highest hill near to Angkor. At well over 200 metres high, it makes for a wonderful change to the otherwise pancake-flat terrain. ... read more

Angkor: Roluos Group

  • Roluos Group
    4 stars

    The Roluos group of temples consists of Bakong, Preah Ko, Lolei and Prei Monti, making for an easy half-day tour from Siem Reap either in the morning or afternoon. ... read more

  • Bakong
    4 stars

    The results of the painstaking reconstruction of the Bakong are impressive, but fewer tourists make it here due to its location 14 kilometres from Siem Reap, off the main road to Phnom Penh. The highlight of the Roluos group of temples, those who come to Bakong are rewarded with sweeping views from ... read more

  • Preah Ko
    2.5 stars

    Preah Ko — The Sacred Bull — is one of a handful of sites that make up the Roluos group of temples, moments from impressive Bakong. ... read more

  • Lolei
    2 stars

    Lolei is a small temple worth stopping by briefly if you’re visiting Bakong and Preah Ko – the main temples in the Roluos group – for a half-day tour from Siem Reap. ... read more

  • Wat Athvea
    2.5 stars

    A surprisingly and unfortunately overlooked temple lying in the suburbs of Siem Reap town, Wat Athvea is a few kilometres out of the centre, within the grounds of a modern wat. Wat Athvea is part of the Angkor site and an Angkor pass is required to visit. The temple itself is relatively large and ... read more

Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

  • Angkor Gondola
    3.5 stars

    Angkor Gondola, also known as Kongkear boats, offers a serene boat ride on the calm moat of Angkor Thom. An attractive backdrop is provided by the laterite walls of this ancient city which creates a photogenic and memorable setting for a gentle cruise, lasting around 40 minutes as you drift ... read more

  • Balloon flights over Angkor
    3.5 stars

    This German-built, helium-filled yellow globe has been taking passengers up and down on its long leash for years. ... read more

  • How to avoid the crowds at Angkor
    4 stars

    It’s surprisingly straightforward to find empty moss-swathed Angkorian temples to yourself, if you’re prepared to make only a little extra effort. Here's how! ... read more

Day trips

  • Flight of the Gibbon
    4 stars

    A highly memorable and fun way to experience an otherwise unseen aspect of Angkor. Acrophobics may not appreciate the liberating adventure of hurling themselves from the treetops along zip lines and canopy walkways – but everyone else will. Following in the successful footsteps of Flight of the ... read more

General activities

Natural attractions

Temples

  • Siem Reap temples to visit for free
    3.5 stars

    If even after Angkor, you think you might have room for one or two temples more but don’t quite have the cash to cover it, despair not. ... read more

  • Avoid the crowds at Ta Prohm: go to Preah Khan
    3.5 stars

    Preah Khan has lived long in the shadow of its older sister, Ta Prohm. But as the hordes pore over the broken paths and scaffolding of the older temple, the very fact that Preah Khan is so often overlooked has become an integral part of its attraction ... read more

  • Quieter Angkor temples
    4 stars

    More than two million people will come to Cambodia before this year is out, and it’s a number that’s projected to keep rising as the years roll on. ... read more

  • Guidebooks to Angkor
    3.5 stars

    If you wander into Monument Book Store on the riverside to the south of Old Market, you’ll discover, among many others, about half a dozen shelves piled high with guidebooks to Angkor. ... read more


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