Photo: Angkor inverted.

Things to see and do



Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Angkor.

General activities


Guidebooks to Angkor

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—but which one should you get? Here are a few that belong on your shortlist. ... Read more about Guidebooks to Angkor .

How to avoid the crowds at Angkor

With more than two million visitors a year flocking to Angkor—a number increasing annually—savvy visitors looking to avoid the crowds quickly realise that what makes the difference between a packed-out temple versus a people-free one comes down to a combination of the right timings and the right ... Read more about How to avoid the crowds at Angkor .

Watching out for the future of Cambodia's past

Dougald O’Reilly is an archaeologist and the founder and director of Heritage Watch, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation of Southeast Asia’s cultural heritage. We chatted with Dougald by e-mail in a conversation that traversed looting, antiquities trafficking, Cambodia’s struggle to preserve its history and, well, he did mention Tomb Raider ... Read more about Watching out for the future of Cambodia's past .

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Hiking, walking tours and itineraries


An Angkor cycling guide

The multitude of temples at Angkor represent a true challenge to even a dedicated temple fanatic. Hundreds of temples lie in wait, some buried in growing jungle, while others sit conveniently right off the main ... Read more about An Angkor cycling guide .

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Angkor: Small Circuit


Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a ubiquitous image across Cambodia, from its position on the national flag to local currency. Cambodians are proud of Angkor Wat, and rightly so. It will not ... Read more about Angkor Wat .

Bakheng

It’s best known as a viewing point for sunset at Angkor Wat and if you’re fond of battling your way through the masses, all with cameras surgically attached to their faces or at a constant arm’s length from their body as though it’s in control of them and not they in control of it, then feel free to join them. The sunset climb of Bakheng should hardly be described as a unique and ... Read more about Bakheng .

Baphuon
400m north of the Bayon, to the west

On July 3, 2011, Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon were in Siem Reap for a special ceremony to mark the official opening of the restored Baphuon ... Read more about Baphuon .

Baksei Chamkrong
About 300m south of Angkor Thom's south gate, on the west side of the road

A small but delightfully proportioned pyramid temple, Baksei Chamkrong is well worth a quick stop if you’re passing ... Read more about Baksei Chamkrong .

Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom's southern gate is around 2km north of Angkor Wat's west gate

Jayavarman VII ruled the Khmer empire from around 1181 to 1220 during which time he decided to strengthen his capital and protect it from further attacks—leading to the walled city of Angkor ... Read more about Angkor Thom .

Banteay Kdei

Close to Siem Reap, with its own unique appeal and much quieter than your average Angkorian ruin, Banteay Kdei offers the perfect antidote the crowds at Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta ... Read more about Banteay Kdei .

Bayon
At the absolute centre of Angkor Thom

The Bayon was the state temple of Jayavarman VII and some of his successors, located at the centre of Angkor Thom and when it was first visited by Western explorers the site was totally overgrown, slowly but steadily being reclaimed by the jungle. ... Read more about Bayon .

Terrace of Elephants
Immediately to the north of Baphuon

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. Try to visit here in early morning, when the elephants catch the morning light ... Read more about Terrace of Elephants .

Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace
To the west (behind) the Elephant and Leper King Terraces

Phimeanakas sits just about at the centre of what was once the Royal Palace compound, which likely began with the construction of the temple around the mid-10th ... Read more about Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace .

Terrace of the Leper King and Tep Pranam
North of the Elephant Terrace

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 ... Read more about Terrace of the Leper King and Tep Pranam .

Preah Palilay
About 200m to the northwest of Tep Pranam

Preah Palilay is believed to take its name from Parilyyaka, a forest that features in the stories of Buddha. ... Read more about Preah Palilay .

Suor Prat and the Khleangs
Opposite the Elephant and Leper King Terraces

The dozen towers that comprise the Suor Prat towers stand directly opposite the Royal Palace enclosure and are placed symmetrically on either side of the royal road leading from the Victory Gate to the Elephant ... Read more about Suor Prat and the Khleangs .

Preah Pithu
About 100m north of the Northern Khleang

Preah Pithu is a collection of five temples, huddled to the north of the northern Khleang, (more or less opposite Tep Pranam), which is largely ignored by most Angkor ... Read more about Preah Pithu .

Prasat Kravan

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. ... Read more about Prasat Kravan .

Ta Prohm

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 ... Read more about Ta Prohm .

Ta Keo

The unfinished massive temple mountain of Ta Keo is almost 50 metres tall and was the first of the Khmer monuments to be built entirely of ... Read more about Ta Keo .

Ta Nei

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. ... Read more about Ta Nei .

Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda

Thommanon underwent a major reconstruction thanks to the Ecole francaise d’Extreme-Orient (EFEO) and is now in remarkable ... Read more about Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda .

Quieter Angkor temples

The Angkor Archaeological Park is littered with hundreds of temples that are not on the hordes’ itineraries, where you can take time, and space, to wander, appreciate and enjoy the handiwork of the Khmer Empire—without huge crowds. Here are a ... Read more about Quieter Angkor temples .

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Angkor: Grand Circuit


The Grand Circuit

The central temples of Angkor are ostensibly split up into two routes—not that you are bound to tour them as such—consisting of the Small Circuit and the Grand Circuit. ... Read more about The Grand Circuit .

Pre Rup

Rather than letting the heaving sunset crowds get you down, mix your temple touring up a bit and include some of the lesser known and consequently quieter temples on the Angkor circuit, like the delightful and much underrated Pre ... Read more about Pre Rup .

Preah Khan

Crumbling ruins, photogenic trees, imposing causeways, an impressive Hall of Dancers, a columned building recalling Roman architecture, detailed carvings, quiet corners… We could go on. Preah Khan, the highlight of the Grand Circuit route, has it all. And with large proportions, its charm is relatively unaffected by its ... Read more about Preah Khan .

Neak Pean

Just off the Grand Circuit between Preah Khan and East Mebon, Neak Pean is an artificial island temple—a hospital built by Jayavarman VII in the middle of the Northern Baray. Its interest lies in its picturesque setting and unconventional design, consisting of a series of complex ponds within the confines of the square laterite ... Read more about Neak Pean .

Banteay Prei

Banteay Prei would have once overlooked a water-filled Jayatataka Baray and for this and its peaceful wooded location with some interesting carvings it’s worth a quick peek if you’re passing ... Read more about Banteay Prei .

Krol Ko

Set north of Neak Pean, overlooking the Jayatataka Baray, the very little-visited Krol Ko falls firmly into the “if you’re in the neighbourhood” category of Angkor ... Read more about Krol Ko .

Ta Som

Ta Som is a compact temple—laterite enclosure wall, reasonably well preserved gopuras and central shrine—all recently renovated. ... Read more about Ta Som .

East Baray

The East Baray, a reservoir built due east of Angkor Thom, is an impressive 7.5 kilometres long by almost two kilometres wide. ... Read more about East Baray .

East Mebon

When you look at East Mebon today, surrounded by grass, trees, a road a matter of metres away it is hard to imagine that when it was actually in use, East Mebon would have been surrounded completely by water and foot access would simply not have ... Read more about East Mebon .

Srah Srang

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 about Srah Srang .

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Angkor: Other


West Baray

There may be no beach in Siem Reap, but we do have a baray which, when you look into it, is arguably much cooler. The West Baray is an enormous reservoir that was most likely constructed during the 11th ... Read more about West Baray .

West Mebon

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 ... Read more about West Mebon .

Ak Yum

A small, crumbling ruin, the temple of Ak Yum lies just off the track along the southern embankment of the West Baray and was clearly heavily damaged during the lake’s ... Read more about Ak Yum .

Banteay Thom
2-3km to the northwest of Preah Khan's west gate

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. Locating the temple is not that easy, but the reward is an Angkorian temple to ... Read more about Banteay Thom .

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Angkor: Roluos Group


Roluos Group

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. The remnants of the first Angkorian capital, Hariharalaya, the temples are found near the contemporary town of Roluos which lends the group its name ... Read more about Roluos Group .

Bakong
Roluos Group

The highlight of the Roluos group of temples, those who come to Bakong are rewarded with sweeping views from a stunning temple complex surrounded by a peaceful ... Read more about Bakong .

Preah Ko
Roulos Group

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 about Preah Ko .

Lolei
Roulos Group

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

Wat Athvea

Wat Athvea isn’t located in the central area of the Angkor Archaelogical Park, lying just outside Siem Reap town in the direction of Chong Kneas floating village on the Tonle Sap ... Read more about Wat Athvea .

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Angkor: Remote


Banteay Srei
32km from Siem Reap

The temple of Banteay Srei or the Citadel of the Women, boasts superbly well-preserved and highly intricate stone carvings that adorn the pink-hued sandstone of the delightfully small and intimate ... Read more about Banteay Srei .

Banteay Samre

Built by Suryavarman II, Banteay Samre is believed to have been completed early in the 12th century, and has an interesting tale behind its construction. ... Read more about Banteay Samre .

Phnom Kulen
40km from Siem Reap

The low-lying sandstone plateau of Phnom Kulen is 40 kilometres away from Siem Reap and the main Angkor Archaeological Park, taking around two hours by car or van. If offers both popular and less-popular ruins, some waterfalls and some terrific ... Read more about Phnom Kulen .

Kbal Spean
50km northeast of Siem Reap

Up amid the jungle on the Kulen Mountain Plateau lies Kbal Spean, not a temple but a natural bridge which lends its name to the river it crosses and the Angkorian site found here, where sacred linga are carved deep into the bedrock riverbed. ... Read more about Kbal Spean .

Beng Mealea
80km from Siem Reap

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 ... Read more about Beng Mealea .

Chau Say Vibol

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. ... Read more about Chau Say Vibol .

Phnom Krom
12km from Siem Reap

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 ... Read more about Phnom Krom .

Phnom Bok
Around 25km from Siem Reap

After Phnom Krom and Phnom Bakheng, Phnom Bok is the third of Yasovarman I’s hilltop efforts from the early 10th century. ... Read more about Phnom Bok .

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Angkor? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Cambodia.


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