Exploring Angkor

23

Nov
2021

Exploring Angkor

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Set among dense green forests and neat rice paddies, the massive monuments of Angkor are the most remarkable architectural masterpieces in Southeast Asia.  Located north of Siem Reap town, in Siem Reap province, the vast Angkor Wat complex, with its imposing  towers, and the great city of Angkor Thom, with its impressive causeway and the gigantic smiling faces of the Bayon, are breathtaking sights, especially at sunrise or sunset. Farther north are the smaller yet unique temples of Preah Khan and Preah Neak Pean. To the east of Angkor Thom is the magical Ta Prohm, with large trees growing through the temple walls. Farther out, the pink sandstone structure of Banteay Srei lies to the northeast, while to the south east are the temples of the Roluos Group, the oldest in Angkor.

SIGHTS AT A GLANCE

Towns, Cities, and Villages

Chong Kneas
Kompong Khleang
Kompong Phhluk
Siem Reap

Historical Sites

Angkor Wat
Angkor Thom
Banteay Kdei
Banteay Srei
East Baray
Phnom Bakheng
Prasat Kravan
Preah Khan
Preah Neak Pean
Pre Rup
Roluos Group
Srah Srang
Ta Prohm

National Parks and Preserves

Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary

GETTING AROUND

The temples at Angkor require both time and motorized transport to visit. It is possible to visit the main sites by motor cycle, but the most comfortable way to travel in this hot and dusty area is in an air-conditioned car with a driver. In Colonial times, the French defined two circuits, both starting at Angkor Wat, which are still used today. The 11-mile (18-km) “small circuit” takes at least a day and covers the central temples of the complex, continuing to Ta Prohm, before returning to Angkor Wat by way of Banteay Kdei. The “great circuit,” a 17-mile (27-km) route, takes in the small circuit as well as the outer temples, going past Preah Neak Pean to Ta Som before turning south to Pre Rup. This takes at least two full days.

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