Angkor Wat Tours – Exploring Angkor in Depth

Angkor Wat Tours – Exploring Angkor in Depth

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Angkor Wat is the cultural epicenter of Cambodia. As one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it has been carefully preserved over the centuries. Today, you can still view much of the temple in all of its former glory. Anyone passing through Cambodia must surely take the time to visit Angkor Wat.

The Angkor Wat temples are an otherworldly mix of spirituality, majesty and competition. Each temple was built by an emperor or king who wanted to build a larger or more amazing temple than the previous ruler. Over time, these amalgamation of temples became what we today know as Angkor Wat. Each individual temple has its own personality and its own texture. Individually, they’re a sight to behold. Collectively, they’re breathtaking.

Some of these temples are bizarre. Some are beautiful. Some are spiritual. Some are cruel. No matter what your style is, there’s something here for everyone.

Angkor Wat – The Real Deal

Angkor Wat itself is, naturally, the main attraction. It’s believed by many historians to be the largest religious structure ever built, anywhere in the world. Unlike other temples in Angkor, Angkor Wat has always been preserved. While lesser temples were, at times in history, simply left to find for themselves, Angkor Wat was always well kept and sheltered from harm.

As a result, Angkor Wat today is in incredibly vivid form and looks almost like new. Its interior is surrounded by many spiritual statues and carvings. The monument itself is surrounded by a massive moat.

The Bayon

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Watching the sunrise or the sunset on Angkor Wat is also a phenomenal experience.

Angkor Thom & Bayon

Angkor Thom is an ancient city that once housed over a million people. The city itself is centered around the Bayon.

Bayon is a very unique temple filled with twisting corridors, up and down staircases and towers with all kinds of carvings and gods staring down at passer bys. Bayon is best explored early in the morning, because it’s facing east.

Bayon is located dead center in the city of Angkor Thom. After exploring Bayon, most people choose to visit the rest of Angkor Thom from there.

After Bayon, most people’s top pick in Angkor Thom falls to Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm is the infamous “Jungle Ruins” of Angkor Wat.

In Ta Prohm, you get to witness a vast temple that has been utterly invaded by gigantic trees. Unlike tree overgrowths however, Ta Prohm’s trees have seemingly formed a symbiotic relationship with the temple.

The roots of the trees intertwine with the stones in the monument. They poke through cracks, grow on top of buildings and twist themselves into all kinds of different shapes. It’s an incredible spectacle to see history intertwined with nature in so vivid a fashion. Many of the trees are more than a century old!

Another temple in Angkor Thom, Phnom Bakheng, is infamous for its sunset view of Angkor Wat. If you want to see the photogenic Angkor Wat in all its glory, come to Phnom Bakheng at sunset. The hike is exhausting, but the photos are breathtaking.

Rulous Group & Tonle Sap Lake

The Rulous group has three towers. Each tower was built in celebration of a different Hindu god. The Rulous group sports an incredible view of the sunset, but until Phnom Bakheng it’s not flooded with tourists.

Near the Rulous group is the Tonle Sap Lake, a tranquil and beautiful lake that houses the Fisherman villages.

Want to catch a glimpse of the real fisherman lifestyle? This is the place to do it.

The Many Ethnic Villages of Angkor

Angkor Wat isn’t all just temples and ruins. There’s also plenty of local culture to be enjoyed. Near Angkor Watt are many ethnic villages. You can meet the locals, see their villages and possibly even dine and converse with them.

Near these ethnic villages are a giant man made lake, one of a kind in Cambodia.

Experiencing Angkor Wat isn’t something you can do in a day or two. To really do these ruins justice, at least four or five days is necessary. You’ll get to experience your fair share of nature, history, religion, beauty, local culture and a lot more. Be sure to bring a high quality camera.

Author Bio –Dzung Trinh the author of this article works for TNK Travel, Vietnam. His company offers the best Angkor Wat tours around Southeast Asia. If you’re looking for customized Cambodia package tours, look no further than TNK Travel.