printable version angkor wat temple siem reap cambodia  

List of some of the temples according to the year of construction:

Preah Ko | Bakong | Lolei | Phnom Krom | Prasat Kravan | East Mebon | Pre Rup | Banteay Srei | Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace | Ta Keo | Baphuon | Angkor Wat | Banteay Samre | Srah Srang | Preah Khan | The Elephants Terrace | Neak Pean | Ta Som | Ta Prohm | Banteay Kdei | Bayon | Leper King Terrace

Angkor Wat was built by King Soyavarman II and it was a Hindu temple, though it later became a Buddhist temple, until the present day. It is the main tourist attraction and the biggest temple in Cambodia, followed by Bayon, Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm. Its main entrance lies on the western part of the temple, about 6.5 kilometers/4 miles to the north of the National Road No. 6, which crosses Siem Reap city.

Angkor Wat, which is also known as
the city of temples, is surrounded by an artificial lake that is said to have contained crocodiles in the ancient days in order to protect it from the enemy. It is also the first ancient Khmer temple ever granted an ISO 14001 certificate by the Japanese Quality Assurance (JQA).

Unlike many other Khmer temples, the Angkor Wat entrance is situated on the western side of the temple. This is to symbolize the death of King Soyavarman II - where the west direction means “the death direction”, as well as to dedicate it to the spirit of the King. The King’s body was kept in the middle tower in Angkor Wat.

Visitors will have to cross a
250-meter long causeway before reaching the temple’s external wall. This 12–meter wide causeway symbolizes the “rainbow bridge to reach the Nirvana (heaven)”. When reaching the external wall, visitors will see many holes (scars) caused by the bullets shot by the Siamese soldiers during their invasion many years back.

From the causeway, visitors
will see only 3 towers, although there are actually 5 towers standing inside the Angkor Wat. The 3 visible towers symbolize the three gods in Hinduism, Shiva (the middle tower), Vishnu (on its right or south), Brahma (the left one or north). The central tower is also where the stone coffin of King Suryavarman II is kept.

There are 5 gateways on the external wall of the Angkor Wat. One used to be dedicated for the King and his family, two for the officials, one for the pilgrimages, and the last one for the public. There are also 1500 Apsara dancer carvings on the Angkor Wat external enclosure.

After the external wall, there is a second causeway, which is 350 meters long and the original conditions have been preserved.

Angkor Wat can be extremely hot during the day in the summer, furthermore there are not too many big trees that can protect visitors from the sun. However, there are a few restaurants located across the causeway, should visitors need to buy drinks or food, as well as the parking area for bicycle, at a cost of 500 Riel.

Toilets and restaurants are available near Angkor Café, which is located to the west of the Angkor Wat entrance.

Click the pictures above for more and bigger photos of the temple and click here for more details about Angkor Wat (by the Angkor

If you are interested in reading more article about Angkor Wat, this article "Mystery of Angkor Wat Temple's Huge Stones Solved" from LiveScience may be a good reading (published on 31 October 2012).

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