Angkor Wat is the ultimate expression of the majestic Khmer culture, the largest religious monument in the world and the No.1 Choice of Trip Advisor Travelers for 2018! A monument – a wonder that impresses both because of its dimensions (take a look at the map!) And the incredible detail in its architecture.
Visiting Cambodia and Siem Reap, and in particular World Heritage Temples, is a dream of every traveler, not unfair! The Angkor temple complex, with Angkor Wat, the world’s largest monument to Trip Advisor in 2018, is undoubtedly one of the most amazing things to see and visit! It was a sacred place of many religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, as it was dedicated to Vishnu. This temple is a symbol for Cambodia, since it appears on the flag of the country since 1863 as well as the country’s main tourist attraction. It is the greatest sanctuary of any religion in the world.
A few words
Angkor Wat, the “great city”, was the ancient capital of Cambodia and was built by Emperor Jayavarman VII on the ruins of an earlier city created by Udayadityavarman II and considered the home of the ancient gods.
The Cambodian kings tried to improve the ancestors’ monuments in size, scale and symmetry, topping their efforts in Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building. The temple is the heart and soul of Cambodia and a source of wild national pride. Unlike other Angkor monuments, it has never been abandoned and has been almost continually used since it was built. Angkor Wat is the top expression of Khmer-Xerr culture at the height of their empire and a perfect example of their architecture. The fortified town of Angoor Tom was the capital of the ancient Khmer state in the 12th century.
The design of Angkor Wat and the whole complex is difficult to see when you walk through the monument due to their vastness. Its complexity and beauty attract and distract every traveler. From a distance, Angkor Wat appears to be a giant mass of stone with a long road – a 200-meter trench that leads to the center, but close by is a series of towed towers, galleries, chambers, terraces and courtyards in different levels associated with stairwells! Angkor Wat is famous for having over 3000 charming apsaras (celestial nymphs) engraved on its walls. Each of them is unique!
The height of Angkor Wat from the ground at the top of the central tower is larger than what may be seen: 213 meters. The gallery with the columns defines the boundaries of the first and second levels. The third level supports five towers – four in the corners and one in the middle, and these are the most important architectural feature of Angkor Wat. The stepped levels, one above the other, give the towers a conical shape. The total monument mimics a lotus bud, a symbol of purity !! Several architectural lines stand out in the profile of the monument. Angkor Wat’s smart design allows the view of all five towers from just some angles. They are not visible, for example, from the entrance. Many of the structures and courtyards are cross-shaped. This layout was used to link a part of the monument to another. Roofs were often paved to add height, length or dimension.
A smaller copy of the central towers was repeated at the expense of two prominent areas. The great entrance road reappears on the other side of the monument! During the 20th century, there were works to preserve this temple, which however ceased during the Cambodian civil war and the Khmer Rouge domination between 1970 and 1980.
The general appearance of the miracle temple leaves a sense of romance, beauty and strength! An impressive and grandiose monument, proud, looks like something odorless that has landed itself from the sky! Perhaps it is the most impressive sight in the world of monuments!
Other temples: Continuing the tour you can visit other (many!) Temples, each of which has a special architecture and charm.
Starting from Angkor Thom’s South Gate, you will see the famous Bayon temple with 54 face towers, the elephant garden where Emperor Jayavarman addressed his people and the famous Ta Prohm, who literally embrace him huge tree roots! Maybe most of you know him from Tomb Raider with Andelle Jolie!
Also in the area you can stroll to Lake Tonle Sap, the largest in Asia, and visit the floating villages. Then you can climb to Phnom Bakheng and enjoy the famous sunset overlooking Angkor Wat.
When to go? November to February!
What time to visit? Morning, at sunset or both!
How long will it take to browse? At least 3 hours!
Tip: Ask someone locally to show you the perfect spot to listen to your echo and the best spot for a photo of the temple with a reflection on the lake
AUTHOR: Non Stop Travellers.
SPECIAL THANKS TO travelvibe.eu