Visit Angkor Wat - "city of temples" in Cambodia
Posted By : Threeland Travel / Cambodia Travel Guide
Cambodia is a beautiful country located right next to Vietnam and has a long border with the Western provinces. The distance from Ho Chi Minh City to your country's capital is only 240km by road, making it very easy for trade and travel between the two countries. Despite its small area, Cambodia does not lack world-class tourist destinations. Today, Threeland Travel will take you to explore one of the seven natural wonders called Angkor Wat located in Siem Riep province, 315km northwest of the capital Phnompenh.
Some information about Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia and is also the largest religious monument in the world. This complex has an area of 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2). At first, the project was built as a Hindu temple of the Khmer empire, then gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple. In the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (present-day Angkor), Khmer King Suryavarman II built Angkor Wat, which became the capital of the Khmer empire and also his mausoleum. Unlike the traditional kings of the previous Shaiva Sect, Lord Vishnu is worshiped here. Angkor Wat is the best-preserved temple and one that still retains its position as a religious center.
The temple is truly the pinnacle of Khmer architectural style. Currently, Angkor is a symbol of Cambodia and appears on the country's national flag.
Angkor Wat is an area with many extremely important ancient structures and is also the southernmost of the main Angkor monument cluster. There is a legend that Angkor Wat was built on Indra's orders as a palace for his son.
Design and construction began in the first half of the 12th century, under King Suryavarman II. António da Madalena was the first European to set foot here and described it as an extraordinary architecture that cannot be described with pen and paper. Here there are towers, decorations with all the sophistication that humans can imagine.
Angkor Wat was not completely abandoned at the end of the 17th century and had a function as a Buddhist temple. Japanese Buddhist pilgrims may have made small settlements here as evidenced by fourteen inscriptions dating from the 17th century.
The temple is truly a pride of Cambodia. The image of Angkor Wat has appeared on the country's national flag since its launch in 1863. Unesco nominated the temple as a world heritage site in 1992, Angkor Wat has an important role in the formation of Angkor Wat. The concept of modern cultural heritage and globalization of cultural heritage.
The temple is a combination of two basic features of Khmer architecture. It is a mountain temple architecture with long, narrow corridors. This type of architecture symbolizes Mount Meru, home of the gods in Hinduism. The three-storey main hall with rectangular architecture is located between a moat and a 3.6km long wall, connected by many deep corridors. The complex of 5 towers with a central tower and four square towers is the center of the temple. Angkor Wat faces west, completely different from other Angkor style temples. To date there has been no unified explanation of what this means. The richness of the majestic architecture and harmony of sculpture, along with the large number of gods meticulously decorated on the stone walls, have made Angkor great.
“Angkor Wat” is a name that means “city of Temples” in Khmer. Angkor has an extremely large irrigation system that provides drinking water and replenishes groundwater here. The Temple City survived on sandy land thanks to stable underground water.
Transportation to Siem Reap and travel to Angkor Wat
From Vietnam there are many ways to go to Siem Reap. The first choice is for those traveling by plane. In Ho Chi Minh, you can book a direct flight to Siem Reap airport with a round-trip price of about $300. If you depart from Hanoi, you can transit in Ho Chi Minh or Phnom Penh.
The second option is to travel by bus. Currently, there are many buses departing from the center of District 1 with many bus companies such as Open bus, Sapaco with ticket prices ranging from $50 round trip.
At Angkor Wat, I recommend that you rent a tuk tuk and negotiate a price with the driver in advance so that they can take you to visit all the prominent places, because walking or renting a bicycle will not take you 1 day to visit all famous places.
Tuk tuk drivers know clearly how long it takes to travel to each destination, so they will help you arrange the most reasonable schedule. The price to rent a tuk tuk for a whole day will be about 20 USD depending on the price agreement of each person.
One thing to note is that the driver will let you get off to go into the temple and wait outside, so if you don't want to get lost, you should pay attention, remember the driver's name and face, and take a photo of the car.
Where to buy tickets to visit Angkor?
You can buy tickets to visit Angkor right before starting the tour by buying tickets directly or at the ticket office. A small note is that if you want to see the Angkor sunrise, you should wait in line to get tickets early. Please bring cash and passport to buy tickets.
Angkor tour tickets will have your name and photo. In some temples, security will check tickets so you need to bring your ticket with you.
Ticket price to visit Angkor Wat
All tourists except Cambodians visiting Angkor are required to buy tickets. There are 3 ticket classes with the following prices:
1-day ticket: 37 USD
3-day ticket: 62 USD (valid for 1 week)
7-day ticket: 72 USD (valid for 1 month).
Opening hours: From 5:00 - 17:00
In addition, another option is that you can buy a 1-day tour to visit Angkor. The tour will include door-to-door transportation, entrance tickets, drinks, cold towels, and tour guide.
Top 4 most beautiful temples of Angkor Wat
The Angkor temple area is about 400km2 wide with many large and small temples. You should refer to the prominent locations of the temples in advance to decide your sightseeing route.
This is the most important temple and also has the largest area of the Angkor area. With the most majestic architecture in the entire complex and the main entrance facing west, straight towards the setting sun. Angkor Wat Temple has 398 rooms connected by 1,500m of corridors. Above are 5 consecutive towers with 3 architectural floors, including the tallest tower up to 65m, 4 sub-towers up to 40m high. The road leading to the main gate of Angkor Wat is also made of boulders, 230m long, 5m high and nearly 10m wide compared to the lake water on both sides of the temple.
Located in front of a large lake, Angkor Wat appears majestically, making me overwhelmed as soon as I set foot here. The image of the entire temple is reflected in the beautiful blue water under the sunrise. This temple always attracts tourists to visit and take pictures. To see the temple from a different angle, you can climb the stairs, but this area will require a long queue.
The temple was built by King Jayavarman VII in the center of Angkor Thom around the 12th century. Bayon Temple stands out with 54 large and small towers, each sculpted with 4 faces of the god Lokesvara and facing four different directions.
Bayon Temple's architecture has a Buddhist style because King Jayavarman VII was a Buddhist. However, the temple was changed somewhat after the king's death and took on a Hindu style. Bayon Temple was abandoned for a very long time until 1995, when the temple was restored thanks to Anastylosis's techniques.
Bayon Temple is currently considered one of Cambodia's architectural masterpieces. The temple has an area of 9km2 and has no fence surrounding it. From the Angkor Thom city gate to the main gate of the temple is about 1km long. Bayon Temple structure consists of 3 floors, the lower two floors are designed in a square shape with countless reliefs depicting famous battles or king parades engraved on the walls.
Ta Prohm Temple
The temple is better known through the movie Tomb Raider released in 2001. An almost completely ruined temple but known for many mysteries. The roots of giant trees clinging to the rocks look like giant pythons. The temple was built in 1186 and is located to the east of the Angkor Thom complex.
Anyone who comes to Ta Prohm must be amazed by the beauty of the temple. Ancient fig trees and rice trees grow through the cliffs, their roots cover the outside of the temple walls, and Ta Prohm is often compared to a fairy tale.
Anyone who comes to Ta Prohm must be amazed by the beauty of the temple. Ancient fig trees and rice trees grow through the rocks, their roots cover the outside of the temple walls, and Ta Prohm is often compared to a fairy tale.
The best time to see all the beauty of the temple is early in the morning when there are very few visitors. A ghostly feeling in the scenery of ruined towers will definitely be an unforgettable experience for your travel journey.
Ta Keo Temple
The temple was built in 977 by King Jayavarman V to worship Lord Shiva. Ta Keo Temple was struck by lightning and was forced to stop when the stones were arranged but not yet sculpted. At the same time, internal war broke out and King Jayavarman V suddenly died. Therefore, the temple has not been built since then.
Ta Keo Temple is 21.6m high and is the highest temple in the Angkor Thom complex. The temple is located in a plot of land 122m long, 106m wide, and a moat surrounding the outside is 255m long. However, this moat collapsed and was destroyed. The main material used to build the temple is Sandstone in the Khmer ziggurat architectural style. The highest floor of the temple has 5 towers with 4 auxiliary towers located at the 4 corners and 1 tower located in the center.
The best time to watch Angkor sunrise and sunset
- To watch the sunrise at Angkor, you should wake up early and line up. The number of people welcoming the sunrise is very large, so it's best to wake up early. The best time is 5 am. The reflection between the water, the temple, the clouds and the glimmering rays of early morning light create a truly beautiful scene.
- To watch the sunset, you should be at Bakheng hill or a suitable location at 5pm. The number of tourists watching the sunset is also very large, so you can take advantage of going a while earlier.
- With 3-day and 7-day tour tickets, it is easy for you to arrange time to watch the sunrise and admire the sunset at Angkor. However, for those who buy a 1-day ticket, the morning schedule to watch the sunrise and then watch the sunset in the afternoon will be very tiring. You should buy tickets and catch the sunset the day before, then go home to rest, and come back early the next morning to catch the sunrise. Thus, you can watch the sunset on the first day of arriving at Angkor and watch the sunrise on the second day. This is the most convenient way.
A few tips to know when visiting Angkor Wat
- Angkor Wat tickets will be valid from the day you purchase the ticket, unless you buy the ticket after 5pm then the ticket is valid starting from the next day.
- You can visit Angkor Archaeological Park any day of the week after 5:30 pm for free and no tickets are required.
- Avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat on weekends, and most people visit Angkor Wat in the morning.
- Be sure to dress modestly before entering any temple.
- Always keep your tour ticket with you because security will check your ticket before you enter each temple.
- Prepare drinks and snacks outside before entering Angkor because food and drinks are very expensive inside.
Threeland Travel wrote this article on touring Cambodia with the intention of it being useful and fascinating to you for your trip arrangements in 2023. Allow Threeland Travel to assist you in organizing your trip to Cambodia. We can handle everything from ticket purchases to housing and transportation, and we can customize your schedule to meet your goals and budget. Visit our website or contact us right now to learn more about our packages and special deals. Don't pass up the chance to see Cambodia with Threeland!