Angkor Wat and the Lost Temples of Cambodia: Discover the impressive Hindu constructions of the Khmer Empire.
Perhaps you remember the temples that served as the setting for the film 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' or 'In the Mood For Love'. If you thought they were simply decorated for the occasion, then you are wrong! These are the magnificent Hindu constructions of the Khmer Empire located in the city of Siem Reap (in the homonymous province of Cambodia) specifically in the Angkor region, which houses successive capitals of the also called Angkorian Empire.
A piece of history declared a World Heritage Site that has become a tourist destination that receives millions of people a year, and without a doubt leaves more than one completely impressed. If you are thinking of a destination full of history and adventure for your next trip, we recommend you enjoy the wonders that this "lost" city offers.
But the journey starts right here!
Join us on this impressive adventure and discover a little more about what awaits you in Angkor, Cambodia.
A BIT OF HISTORY ABOUT ANGKOR, CAMBODIA
What adventurer wouldn't love to go exploring one morning and return home having discovered a lost city?
According to legend, Heri Mahout (French naturalist) came home one day having “discovered” Angkor Wat in the 19th century: the main temple of the Angkor settlement in the city of Siem Reap (Cambodia), which had been covered and buried almost completely by the jungle nature.
Sounds like a movie story, and probably is. The first documented visit to this temple by a Western explorer is known to have been in 1586, when Antonio da Madalena, a Portuguese Capuchin friar, arrived at Angkor. His collections were later collected by the historian Diogo do Couto, who in turn inspired many other pioneers to visit the ruins and document them.
However, Heri Mahout's visit in 1860 did indeed inspire popular visits to Angkor with the vivid descriptions and drawings of her left in her personal travel notebook, which would be published in Paris eight years ago. later.
Finally, the largest religious complex in the world that we know today was largely restored, preserving as much of its original elements as possible, and opened to the public. Today it is one of the most visited historical and tourist destinations annually, and a source of architectural inspiration that every adventurer should visit.
WALK THE TEMPLES
- You will have to get from the city to the temples by haggling a bit on the prices of the so-called Tuk-tuks, which will range between $20-30 or you can pay a little more for a taxi, around $40 a day.
- Ticket prices may vary depending on the season and the number of days you buy (1, 3 or 7 days) to do the tour. They can vary from $37 to $72 approximately. Remember that there are more than 1,000 temples, so it will be advisable to opt for a visit of several days. You can do the tour on your own or with tour groups.
- We cannot forget that these are sacred places, so you must be very aware of the clothing you wear. The regulations can be very strict in this regard, both for women and men. Your knees and shoulders must be covered with clothing to be able to enter and tour the place.
- Sunrises and sunsets are an essential part of the tour, so you should consider them and include them in the route inside the temples.
- Keep your ticket at all times, as they may ask you for it again along the route as part of the security protocol.
- There is a lot of humidity and sun, so we recommend you take water with you, a towel to help with sweating and sunglasses to protect you during the trip.
- Finally, to think that this place with such architectural and archaeological richness and iconic devouring roots will leave you breathless. Get ready for an adventure trip you will never forget and remember to take a camera with you.
This complex contains many impressive temples, but without a doubt the main and most important is the Angkor Wat archaeological center. It is perhaps the largest religious structure ever built, and it served the Khmer Empire in the 12th century as a political and religious center.
This complex of more than 1000 temples, tombs and palaces is given by the surrender to the cult of the Hindu gods during the reign of Jayavarman II, glorifying the ancient kings of the kingdom of Cambodia.
From the first moment you set foot in the temples of Angkor Wat, you feel the rich history in the environment and each breath takes you back to a mysterious story, to a memory of the past that was once lived there and that right now you travel with your illusion of knowing more.
Nature and humanity come together as one and merge into a new monument: sanctuaries and stone faces covered with roots and plants that demonstrate the force of nature to retake what is its own, leaving the reflection of what is that this civilization once was and lived.
Just 5.5 kilometers from the city of Siem Reap you can walk the enigmatic corridors that make up and connect Angkor, which is a journey through time, all the while watched over by the "singhas" (guardians of the temple) and other mythological stone figurines that accompany us during the dusty and mysterious journey such as the so-called "Apsaras" or divine nymphs.
It is true, you will need several days to complete the tour, but it is worth living the experience inside and around these wonderful ruins, worthy of admiration.
The circuit formats vary within the route of the place. You can opt for the so-called Big Tour or the Small tour, (the long circuit and the short circuit respectively) although the latter of "short" does not have much. If your tour guide allows it, you can choose to request the tour in the opposite direction to avoid crowds of tourists.
Angkor Wat has 5 towers plus a central tower that is, according to Hindu mythology, the mere center of the cosmic universe. In addition, they claim to be aligned with the constellation of Draco, as are the pyramids of Egypt, in their case, with Orion.
".a construction so extraordinary that it is not possible to describe it in writing, especially different from any other building in the world. It has towers, decoration and all the refinements that human genius can conceive" - Diogo do Couto
ACCOMMODATION AND FUN IN THE CITY
The city of Siem Reap is very adapted to tourism and has many accommodations, restaurants and entertainment only about 20 minutes from the temples.
You can find quite cheap hotel options in the city, which will leave the name of its culture high without having to oust you.
We recommend looking for an accommodation close to Pub Street in the city center, which is full of activities during the day and also has excellent nightlife. This place is full of bars, food stalls, restaurants and shops to buy all kinds of souvenirs, including massage sessions. Don't worry, it will be very easy to get there by tuk-tuk if you can't find accommodation near the site.
Angkor is also noted for its people and their friendly personality. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about other cultures that can enrich your own.
Both the city and the tour to the temples will make this experience an adventure to remember, and even repeat! Dare you too to live this extraordinary experience.