Located 5’5km north from Siem Reap, in the homonymous province of Camboya, it is built one of the most fascinating complex of temples in the world. The area of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire in the ninth and fifteenth centuries, was inhabited by small towns from the first century AD, but its golden age began in the 802 AD, when the king Jayavarman II subjected the surrounding tribes creating a unique kingdom, declaring himself as Devaraja or God-King.
Angkor Wat is the largest and also the best preserved of those temples among the settlement of Angkor. It is considered the largest religious structure ever built and one of the most important archaeological treasures in the world. Undoubtedly, you will enjoy getting lost among its many nooks and passageways.
Its name comes from the union of the word Angkor that means “capital” in Cambodian, and the term Wat, which translates as “temple”. Angkor Wat was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site on 14 December 1992. It is so important that even his silhouette is in the country’s flag.
Another famous shrine located near the Angkor Wat is the temple of Ta Prohm, also known as the temple of Lara Croft. The temple is named in this way since the movie starred by Angelina Jolie, Tomb Raider, was filmed and took inspiration there.
Despite his murky and sad past during the period of the Khmer Rouge, where it is estimated that more than a quarter of the population was killed under communist rule of Pol Pot, Cambodia is a country where you can enjoy the friendliness and simplicity of its inhabitants.
Siem Reap province is mainly known for hosting the temple of Angkor Wat. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of things you can do and enjoy once you’re there. Like visiting the Tonle Sap Lake and its floating village. There you can see how’s the daily life of hundreds of families living in a lake. The best option to reach the lake is to hire a tuk-tuk with driver, since the access to the area is a bit complicated. On the other hand, if you’re not a fan of bumps and you get dizzy easily, I do not recommend you go to Tonle Sap lake; but if you go, you will not regret.
On the other hand, if you prefer to make some shopping, the best option is the market of Siem Reap, where you will find shirts, keychains, magnets and countless souvenirs and trinkets for a few dollars. Little tip though Cambodia has its own currency, the Cambodian Riel, it will be much easier to pay with American dollars.
Finally, if you have not had enough and want some party, go to “Pub Street”. This street is the place for excellence where tourist hangout in Siem Reap. There you can take up to 4 pint jugs of beer for $ 2. Without doubt, that’s the place where the feast and good cheer are gathered. Big thanks to my main guys: Greg, JM and Zax! We will be reunited soon bros!
If you’re planning a trip to an exotic country, with stunning scenery and thousands of years of history Cambodia and Angkor Wat are your destiny. So, what are you waiting for?