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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Best 5 temples for a One Day Itinerary at Angkor - The Gems of Siem Reap
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Best 5 temples for a One Day Itinerary at Angkor - The Gems of Siem Reap

Angkor, Cambodia's ancient temple complex, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that draws travellers from across the globe. With its rich history and stunning architecture, it can be overwhelming to decide which temples to visit, especially if you have just one day. Here's a carefully curated one-day itinerary featuring the best temples to explore in Angkor:


Angkor Wat - The Crown Jewel

Start your day early with a visit to Angkor Wat, the most iconic and well-preserved temple in the complex. As the largest religious monument globally, it's a masterpiece of Khmer architecture. Explore its intricate galleries, and bas-reliefs, and ascend to the upper terraces for panoramic views. The sunrise over Angkor Wat is a bucket-list experience recommended by hotels like FCC Angkor by Avani, so arrive well before dawn to secure a good spot.


Bayon Temple - The Smiling Faces

After Angkor Wat, head to Bayon Temple, known for its enigmatic stone faces that gaze serenely in all directions. This temple is a short drive from Angkor Wat and is situated in the heart of Angkor Thom, the ancient Khmer capital. Wander through the narrow labyrinthine corridors and ascend to the central terrace for a closer look at the faces and intricate carvings. The exact number of stone face carvings that were on the towers is unknown, however, it is estimated that there were about 200 of them back in ancient times. 


Ta Prohm - The Jungle Temple

Ta Prohm, often referred to as the "jungle temple," is a mesmerizing sight and one of the most popular Siem Reap attractions. Nature has intertwined with the temple's ruins, with giant trees growing through its walls. The result is a mystical, atmospheric experience. Explore the narrow passages and courtyards, and don't forget to seek out the famous "Tomb Raider" tree. There are no climbs in this temple, however, the maze-like lower levels provide just enough adventure on their own. 


Banteay Srei - The Pink Jewel

Drive northeast to Banteay Srei, a smaller but exquisite temple known for its intricate pink sandstone carvings. Despite its size, Banteay Srei is a masterpiece of Khmer artistry, featuring detailed bas-reliefs and well-preserved structures. Take your time to admire the delicate craftsmanship that adorns this temple.


Phnom Bakheng - Sunset Serenity

End your day with a visit to Phnom Bakheng, a hilltop temple that offers stunning sunset views over the Angkor complex. The temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god "Shiva" and was built back in the 9th century when King Yasovarman was the ruler. Phnom Bakheng used to be the epicentre of the capital at the time, Yasodharapura. Guardian lions and shrines adorn the pyramid-like structure which gets wider at the top. It is a reflection of Mount Meru, an important part of the dharmic religion said to be the metaphysical and physical centre of the universe. The hike to the top is a bit steep, but the reward is worth it. Arrive early to secure a good spot as it can get crowded during sunset. Watching the sun dip below the temple spires is a magical way to conclude your one-day Angkor adventure.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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