Angkor Wat Travel Guides

Angkor Wat location mapLocated six kilometers north of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. The temple’s balance, its composition and beauty makes the lost city of Angkor one of the finest monuments in the world. In 1992, Angkor Wat was declared as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

The Sites

Constructed by King Suryavarman 2, Angkor Wat is a huge pyramid structure. The compound at Angkor Wat covers an area of 1,500 by 1,300 m and is surrounded by a vast moat 180 m wide, 65m high and divided in 3 layers. Along the causeway leading to the enormous entrance gate are balustrades shaped as giant serpents, which are believed to represent emblems of cosmic fertility. The most famous decoration of Angkor is the heavenly nymphs (Apsara) distinctively rendered on the walls. The central temple complex is an 800 meters long bas-reliefs, includes the Battle of Kurukshetra, the Army of Suryavarman II, Heaven and Hell, Churning of the Ocean of Milk, Elephant Gate, Vishnu Conquers the Demons, Khrisna and the demon King, Battle of the Gods and the Demons and the Battle of Lanka. The northern reflecting pool in front is the most popular sunrise location.

When to go?

The cool dry season is said to be the best time for visits to Cambodia. But for temples exploration, the wet season (from May until Oct) is also a good time as the moats will be full and the foliage lush, though being very soggy. In addition, to maximize the effect it is suggested that the first trip to Angkor Wat be made in optimal lighting conditions, usually around one to two hours in the afternoon when the sinking sun lights up its west-facing main gate. Many tourists also come just before dawn to see the first lights bounce off the magnificent temple when the sun peeps through the horizon. Sunrise at Angkor Wat is also a great sight to witness.

Travel tips

Angkor Wat travel guides, Angkor Wat tours in Cambodia

Touring the temples is a hot and sweaty job, so wear light, airy, covering clothing to protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes. The sun can be intense so bring a hat, sunglasses and perhaps sunscreen. Consider buying a traditional Khmer scarf (krama) to keep the sun off your neck. Carry a raincoat during the wet season, though you will probably only need it in the afternoon. You should have mosquito repellent for sunrise and sunset hours. Wear practical shoes for climbing narrow steps and walking on uneven surfaces.