TOP THINGS TO SEE AT ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA
The national symbol and the heart and soul of Cambodia, Angkor Wat, is one of South East Asia’s vital archaeological sites. This popular ancient temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage alongside with Angkor Thom. Known for its spectacular grand scale and details, this temple is definitely on the list of a lot of tourists.
Fast Facts about Angkor Wat
- Angkor Wat means “temple city”.
- It was built at around 1113 and 1150 AD.
- It is basically the largest religious monument in the world.
- Angkor Wat was the center of an empire that ruled most parts of Southeast Asia – the Khmer empire.
- Angkor Wat serves as a temple and a mausoleum as well, for the King Suryavrarman II. This king is Angkor Wat’s builder.
- Has a central tower that stands 213 foot tall / 65 meters. This tower is the heart of the temple and became a symbolic center of the nation during the early times.
- The said central tower was surrounded by four smaller towers and series of walls.
- There are two entrances; one is on the West that has Lions guarding the way, while the other one from the East is the more modest one.
- Built for the god Vishnu – as a Hindu temple; but became a Buddhist temple sometime in the 14th century.
- Angkor Wat is built by the sandstone blocks from the mountain of Phnom Kulen. It is said to be built by 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants, however, it is still not yet complete.
- The moat around the temple involves a hard work from thousands of people like silt and sands of about 1.5 million cubic meters were moved.
- The ownership of the Angkor Wat is still under debate but right now, since 1990, it is managed by the private company, Sokimex.
Banteay Srei (“Citadel of the Women”)
Important features of Angkor Wat
- A part of the tower depicts some paintings that have just been discovered, like a painting of the music ensemble of a traditional Khmer (pinpeat). Some instruments shown in the scene are xylophones, wind and percussion instruments, and gongs. Moreover, another newly discovered painting is a people riding horses between two things that are believed to be temples.
- Events and stories that depict mythology are carved into this 800-meter long wall. The level of details of this wall is really incredible and fascinating.
- There are about 3000 heavenly nymphs that are carved in its walls. It may be hard to believe but each of those nymphs is unique in its feature.
Top things to see at Angkor Wat
- The Bayon – a temple that has 216 faces of Avalokiteshvara and 54 towers. Best time to see the temple is during the morning after sunrise or the afternoon before the sun sets.
- Elephant Terrace – One of the sites that have the most number of people. The foot terrace of elephants was used as a viewing area for whenever there are public or royal ceremonies.
- Preah Khan – It was a large Buddhist university during the early times, having thousands of teachers at one time.
- Banteay Srei (“Citadel of the Women”) – Compose of pink sandstones that has unique carvings
- East Mebon – Surrounded by water, this temple doesn’t need a moat anymore. It has five towers and you need to make sure to climb the peak of the tower to see the amazing stoneworks.
- Other areas you can visit are the similar structure temples of Ta Prohm and Ta Som, Pre Rup, Preah Ko, Srah Srang, Baksei Chamkrong, and Terrace of the Leper King