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Angkor

Things to see and do

  • Flight of the Gibbon
    4 stars

    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 Gibbon in Thailand and The Gibbon Experience in Laos, the Angkor Archaeological Park ... 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

  • 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

  • Sunset at Angkor Wat Moat
    4 stars

    If the bus loads of travellers that make the eventide pilgrimage to the small hill of Phnom Bakheng are anything to go by, then sunset chasing could be classified as a serious holiday hobby. The hilltop temple – positively mountainous in contrast to the otherwise pancake flat terrain - is not a ... read more

  • Angkor Wat
    5 stars

    Built from 1113 during the reign of King Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took well over 30 years to complete and was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. In size alone Angkor Wat is breathtaking. The outer walls stretch for 1.5km east to west and 1.3km north to south, and the walls are encircled by a ... read more

  • Bakheng
    3 stars

    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 first city of Angkor, Yasodharapura, Bakheng sat at the centre of an earthen-walled enclosure ... read more

  • Baksei Chamkrong
    3.5 stars

    A small but delightfully proportioned temple, Baksei Chamkrong is well worth a quick stop if you're passing by. Set among tall trees it's an oasis of tranquility, with often plentiful birdlife, before you reach the hectic South gate of Angkor Thom. Baksei Chamkrong is one of the few ... read more

  • Angkor Thom
    3.5 stars

    Jayavarman VII ruled the Khmer empire from around 1181 to 1220, with the site remaining in use for hundreds of years after his death. Work commenced on the city more or less as a rebuilding project after the previous state capital was sacked by marauding Chams. While the vast majority of people ... read more

  • The Bayon
    4.5 stars

    The Bayon was the state temple of Jayavarman VII and some of his successors. When it was first visited by Western explorers, the site was totally overgrown, slowly but steadily being reclaimed by the jungle. Under the guidance of the first Angkor Conservator, Jean Commaille, the site was cleared ... read more

  • Baphuon
    2.5 stars

    Work commenced on the Baphuon in the 1960s when the monument's 300,000 stones were dismantled and each one's unique position meticulously recorded by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient (EFEO). Then the 70s — war and the Khmer Rouge — descended and for more than two decades work was ... read more

  • Terrace of Elephants
    3 stars

    As the name suggests, it's carved with lots and lots and lots of elephants. Try to visit here in early morning, when the elephants catch the morning light nicely. Built during the reign of Jayavarman VII and added to by Jayavarman VIII, the Elephant Terrace makes for an interesting stroll, ... read more

  • Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace
    3.5 stars

    Phimeanakas sits just about at the centre of what was once the Royal Palace. The earliest remains here date back to the second half of the 10th century and were built during the reign of King Yasovarman I, while the palace itself is believed to have been built in the 11th century under the guidance ... read more

  • Terrace of the Leper King
    3.5 stars

    Stark naked, Yama sits with one knee raised, surveying the Royal Square. Because it is tainted by discolouration and lichen, the statue was believed to be one of a leper, and the name stuck. The statue is a replica, with the original now held in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. The Leper King ... read more

  • Tep Pranam
    2 stars

    It sits just to the north of the Leper King Terrace and is worth a quick glance for its pleasant tree-filled setting. An active Buddhist temple is at the site.

  • Preah Palilay
    3 stars

    The site is believed to take its name from Parilyyaka — a forest that features in the stories of Buddha. This theory is supported by the range of Buddhist carvings at the site, including one of Buddha calming an enraged elephant and another depicting the offering of forest animals like ... read more

  • Suor Prat
    2.5 stars

    Really only of interest to those who have a pressing need to closely examine every single Angkor site, Suor Prat is believed to date to the early 13th century during the reign of Indravarman II. The purpose of the towers remains unknown. The name Prasat Suor Prat means "temple of the tightrope ... read more

  • Khleangs
    2 stars

    This style — the aptly named Khleang style — is also evidenced at Phimeanakas and Ta Keo. While the two appear to have been constructed as a set, that isn't the case. The northern Khleang was built first, by Jayaviravarman, with the southern following later during the reign of ... read more

  • Preah Pithu
    2 stars

    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. The partly forested and monkeyed location with small moats and ponds dotted around makes for a great setting for some unusual little temples — even if their ... read more

  • Mangalartha
    2 stars

    This is a small single-shrined, sandstone temple set in dense forest. While it's an attractive setting, the temple isn't spectacular albeit with some decent carvings lying around. Its importance lies in it being, with the exception of upgrades to some of the Preah Pithu group, one of the last stone ... read more

  • Krol Romeas
    2.5 stars

    Situated in a wooded area just to the right of the road after leaving Angkor Thom's north gate on the way to Preah Khan, Krol Romeas is not a temple and is thought to have been constructed as an ............. (We'll let you guess!). All that can be seen today is a deep laterite walled enclosure or ... read more

  • Banteay Thom
    2.5 stars

    Head past Preah Khan's west gate then follow the signs down a track to the left to the village of Nokor Krao. Once there, park and follow a footpath for a kilometre or two through paddy and scrubland until you hit the temple. It isn't easy to find but the villagers will guess why you're there and ... read more

  • Preah Khan
    4.5 stars

    Completed in 1191, the fascinating site of Preah Khan was built during the reign of Jayavarman VII and dedicated to his father (he dedicated nearby Ta Phrom to his mother). Inscriptions also make reference to a lake of blood, which could refer to a battle in the area during the expelling of the ... read more

  • Neak Pean
    3 stars

    Situated just off the Grand Circuit between Preah Khan and East Mebon, Neak Pean consists of a central shrine in a pool, probably representing Mount Meru surrounded by the sacred Lake Anavatapta, with four small chapels at the corners of the pool. Being surrounded by a pond, Neak Pean looks a lot ... read more

  • Prasat Kravan
    3 stars

    Unique for Khmer art, the interior of the sanctuaries contain brick bas reliefs of an outstanding standard. At the time of construction, Khmer brickies didn't use mortar but a vegetable compound instead. This has allowed the bricks to sit very close together and further accentuates the appeal of ... 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 Kro
    2.5 stars

    Temples are thick on the ground in this area, indicating just how densely populated these northern suburbs of Angkor Thom were. As with Banteay Prei, the temple is orientated east but would also have had a splendid view to the south across the Jayatataka Baray. Otherwise ditto for Banteay Prei ... read more

  • Ta Som
    2.5 stars

    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 postcards, cold drinks and bamboo flutes as opposed to the previous two, which are void of any vendors. All very scenic and definitely ... read more

  • East Baray
    1.5 stars

    The baray is vast — 7.5km long by almost 2km wide — afer completion it was fed its water via a canal from the Roulos river that emptied into its northeastern corner. When full to a planned depth of 4m the baray held a massive 55 million cubic metres of water. Today there is no water to ... read more

  • East Mebon
    1.5 stars

    Built under the eye of Rajendravarman II, the East Mebon was dedicated in 953 AD and has landing stages at its cardinal points where other temples might have causeways. This is because when the baray was full of water the only way to reach it was by boat. It is a three-tiered temple with five brick ... read more

  • Banteay Samre
    3 stars

    The story goes that a poor Samre farmer by the name of Pou had a particular talent for growing sweet cucumbers. When Pou presented some of the cucumbers to the then-king, he was so taken with them he secured the exclusive rights and commanded Pou to kill anybody who tried to enter his cucumber ... read more

  • Pre Rup
    4 stars

    Completed in 961 AD during the reign of King Rajendravarman, Pre Rup was constructed as his state temple following the establishment of a new capital on the southern bank of the eastern baray — Pre Rup sat at the centre of this new capital. Pre Rup means "turn the body", a reference to ... read more

  • Srah Srang
    3.5 stars

    Srah Srang is a mid-sized baray running out to the east of Banteay Kdei towards Pre Rup. Some 700m long and 300m wide, the baray was constructed during the reign of Jayavarman VII and has an almost sublime beauty to it — Angkor expert Maurice Glaize compared its majestic calm to that of Piece ... read more

  • Banteay Kdei
    4 stars

    Lying to the west of Srah Srang and to the southeast of Ta Phrom, Banteay Kdei is a fusion of Angkor and Bayon styles. In its semi-ruined state, set on spacious, forested grounds, this temple remains one of the most underrated of Angkor's temples. Although the site was extensively cleared ... read more

  • Ta Phrom
    4.5 stars

    The decision by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient to leave Ta Phrom in its original state was inspired, as although on places the trees are slowly destroying the monument, in others they're holding it together. Although there is a fairly well-travelled pathway through the monument, plenty of ... read more

  • Ta Keo
    3.5 stars

    This massive temple mountain is almost 50m tall and was the first of the Khmer monuments to be built entirely of sandstone. Despite its no-frills state , the temple is well worth visiting, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon when the light brings out the warm hues in the sandstone. ... read more

  • Ta Nei
    2.5 stars

    Built in the late 12th century during the reign of Jayavarman VII, Ta Nei is fairly small and was built with a mix of laterite and sandstone. The main point of interest is the often lichen-covered pediments and lintels, some of which remain in reasonable condition.

  • Thomannon
    3.5 stars

    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 originally a walled-in structure, but the outside wall has largely collapsed leaving the gopuras standing alone almost like mini-temples in ... read more

  • Chau Say Tevoda
    3 stars

    The new blocks unfortunately now stick out like sore thumbs but give it a year or two and it should be looking good. Along with its sister temple Thomannon, this is certainly worth a look if you can spare the time between the more famous temples, but if you only have time for one then check out ... read more

  • Bakong
    4 stars

    Those who do come are rewarded with sweeping views, a stunning temple complex and a peaceful atmosphere away from the photo-hungry crowds. Before its reconstruction, little remained of Bakong aside from a pile of rubble atop a small hill. Initial clearing work didn't commence until 1936 and the ... read more

  • Preah Ko
    2.5 stars

    What remains of it today are six small brick towers sitting on a sandstone base along with a handful of outlying building in various state of ruins Each tower is dedicated to one of Indravarman's ancestors, including Jayavarman II (considered to be the founding father of the Khmer empire). The ... read more

  • Lolei
    1.5 stars

    Today the reservoir has been drained and is used for rice cultivation but the island still hosts Lolei and an active wat. While credited to Yasovarman I, the bulk of the basework was done by his father Indravarman I, who built the dyke and placed the island, leaving his son to build the actual ... read more

  • Banteay Srei
    4.5 stars

    Consecrated in 967 AD during the reign of King Rajendravarman, Banteay Srei was never a royal temple. It is thought to have been built by a guru of the king and it is believed that this lack of a royal go-ahead is one of the reasons why it is so small. What Banteay may lack in size it more than ... read more

  • Phnom Kulen
    3 stars

    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 hard-to-reach, crumbling ruins the intrepid traveller can reach the lesser visited sites by moto. The key ... read more

  • Kbal Spean
    3 stars

    Before it leaves the hill though, the water is blessed by flowing over some 100m of sacred linga and Hindu deities that have been carved into its bedrock riverbed. Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma are all in attendance, and the Sanskrit name, Sahasralinga, or "river of a thousand lingas", gives a hint of ... read more

  • Beng Mealea
    4.5 stars

    With a similar overgrown feel to Ta Phrom, the atmosphere at Beng Mealea (which means Lotus Pond) is like no other — don't be surprised to see Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones on site. Badly ruined in places, an elevated wooden walkway has been built throughout the site which makes it more ... read more

  • Wat Athvea
    2.5 stars

    Wat Athvea is part of the Angkor site and an Angkor pass is required to visit. The temple itself is relatively large and after being restored is in very good condition. Built during the reign of Suryavarman II, Wat Athvea bares a passing resemblance to Banteay Samre, though it is devoid of any ... 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 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 approaches to Angkor as ... read more

  • Phnom Krom
    3.5 stars

    As you can't see the temple from ground level, the vast majority of visitors who arrive at Siem Reap via ferry whistle into Siem Reap oblivious to the site. Phnom Krom sits within a 50m square enclosure, upon which are three ruined sandstone towers on a north-south axis. Running from north to ... read more

  • Phnom Bok
    3 stars

    Along with Phnom Krom and Phnom Bakheng, Phnom Bok is the third of Yasovarman I's hilltop efforts. Once used as a strategic military post, Phnom Bok sits at the summit of the highest hill near to Angkor. At well over 200m high, this is considerably higher than Phnom Krom (140m) and Phnom Bakheng (a ... read more

  • West Baray
    3 stars

    Constructed during the reign of Suryavarman I, the baray measures 8km by 2.2km, has an average depth of some 7m and holds in total around 123 million cubic litres of water. As with the East Baray there is a temple island at the lake's centre, the West Mebon. The baray is a very popular picnic ... read more

  • West Mebon
    3 stars

    Built upon the orders of Udayadityavarman II, it is thought that perhaps the central sanctuary here was constructed of wood, as that would explain why there is so little left. One impressive find though was a massive bronze statue of Vishnu found in 1936. The statue is now at the National Museum in ... read more

  • Ak Yum
    3 stars

    The temple lies just off the track along the southern embankment of the West Baray and was clearly heavily damaged during the lake's construction. An inscription from 613 has been found at the site, indicating that probably the first temple on the site dates to either the reign of the great ... read more


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