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Updated by Pushpitha Wijesinghe on Jun 24, 2015
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Sights in Angkor Cambodia – Recalling Greatness

Angkor Archaeological Park covering 400 sq km has the remains of several capitals of the Khmers from the 9th to the 15th centuries including the largest pre industrial city in the world, irrigation systems and roads.

1

Angkor Wat

The key attraction here is Angkor Wat dated to the early 12th century. It is among the biggest Khmer monuments and is the largest religious structure in the world. Its architecture combined the temple mountain and the galleried temple with a moat and an outer wall 3.6 km long. Ornate bas reliefs along its galleries have scenes from Hindu myths and the epic Ramayana among others. A system of dykes, canals and reservoirs the largest of which is 5 km long and 1.5 km wide, surrounds the structure. Stay at Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa conveniently close to the Angkor Archaeological Park and other interesting Siem Reap things to do.

2

Angkor Thom

The famed fortified city built by Jayavarman VII was said to have had a population of a million people at its height. The city has 5 entrances, on the north, west and south walls and two in the east wall. In the centre are the city's most important monuments Bayon and Baphuon temples and hundreds of other ruins.

3

Bayon

This distinctive temple in Angkor Thom is dated to the 12th century. This three terraced temple has 54 towers on the topmost terrace adorned with giant faces on all four sides totaling an amazing 216 faces. The base reliefs depicting everyday life, historic events and mythical figures in each of the galleries stretch for more than a kilometer.

4

Baphuon

To the northwest of Bayon it was one of the grandest structures in Angkor Thom. On its western side is a large statue of the reclining Buddha added in the 16th century when the country converted to Buddhism.

5

Ta Prohm

Is as popular as Angkor Wat for the simple reason that it has been swallowed up by the jungle and has trees growing out of it conjuring up images of what it would have been like when the first explorers got here.

6

Preah Khan

This temple was constructed during the time of Jayavarman VII before Angkor Wat. Though large and impressive it is dwarfed by the latter. It is thought to have served as a university.

7

Neak Poan Temple

Meaning entwined serpents, stands on a circular island in the middle of the Preah Khan Barray. It is thought to have been originally designed for medical purposes. Based on the Hindu belief of balance, four connected pools on the four sides outside the main reservoir represent earth, water, wind and fire.

8

East Mabon

This 10th century Hindu temple originally stood in the middle of a large manmade lake. It was built by King Rajendravarman II close to his state temple Pre Rup in honour of his parents and comprises five towers atop three receding terraces. Stylized depictions of lions flank the entranceways to each tier and large free standing statues of elephants are located in the corners of the first and second tiers.

9

Pre Rup

The state temple of the Khmer King Rajendravarman, Pre Rup is a traditional temple mountain of the 10th century. Built in three tiers with five towers on top, it has eight entrance gateways and the East Barray on its south. The towers are embellished with finely carved traditional motifs and flying 'apsaras'. Constructed from brick and laterite the structure has an earthen tone and blends well with its environment.