One of the most revered, holiest, and important archeological sites in Southeast Asia, and perhaps the world, is the magnificent Angkor Wat ruins. This site was listed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list, and is a must see while spending time in the Southeast region of Asia. This temple is the world’s largest religious building and provides many sites within a 400 square kilometer forested area.
Symbols and motifs of the temple
This Khmer temple is filled with highly symbolic features such as the linga (phallus) which adorn nearly every building and room of this temple. Also the baray, or water reservoir, is something that is still perplexing to archeologists today due to it’s grand scale and lack of outlets.
This magical Hindu inspired temple is full of repeated motifs such as Apsara which is the ideal of female beauty, the Kala which is meant to guard against evil, and Naga, the serpent-headed mythical creature which stands upright and guards each guardrail and entrance to Angkor Thom.
This majestic temple rests only about 20 minutes North of the city Siam Reap. Sectioned off into different areas there is a day’s worth of sites to be seen here! The most famous is Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. This is the grandest of all the temples on site and the ancient capital is just next door.
The Big Circuit contains more sites heading out North and East of the main site, and the Little Circuit shows more ancient ruins just East of Angkor Thom. There are more sites and ruins scattered about more than 20 km away from the main temple of Angkor Wat for you to enjoy.
For a fee of $20 you can enjoy exploring these temples for the whole day. The temple is tricky to navigate due to the lack of signs posted. Be sure to remember where your driver has parked as there are many entrances and exits.
While exploring this holy and beautiful site please remember to be respectful. This is a holy place for all Cambodians and dressing appropriately is a must. Please cover your shoulders and either wear trousers or a skirt that is past your knees. No hats are to be worn inside the temples.
There are steep climbs at certain points and the heat will be likely be intense so be sure to bring plenty of water.