Angkor Wat

The biggest attraction by far in Cambodia is the lost city of Angkor. For over 600 years from 802 AD this city ruled an empire that covered much of South-east Asia. At its height the city covered over 75 square miles, a size London didn't get to until well into Victorian times. Although most of the buildings were made of timber and have rotted away, the huge canals, lakes and temple complexes still survive, with more being discovered in the surrounding jungles every year.

The main temple in the city is Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world and one of the its most iconic structures. Built by Suryavarman II between 1113-1150 AD its size is overwhelming, only truly appreciated for the first time as you cross the wide stone causeway that crosses the complex's large moat.

Some of the statistics explain why; over 600 metres of detailed bas-reliefs circle the wall of the main temple, its five huge towers shaped like Lotus blossom. (Watch out for the stairs up into the temple, they are steep!) In total over 2,000 carved dancing girls have been counted around the temple itself. Angkor Wat is a place that however long a visit has been anticipated and looked forward too, it will not disappoint.

Many people don't realise that Angkor Wat is just one of many temples and complexes dotted around the old city. Over 70 have been counted and several of these are on a scale that anywhere but in the shadow of Angkor Wat they would be major attractions in their own right. Almost next to it lies Angkor Thom, resplendent under vast carved faces and profiles of the gods.

Ta Prohm is one of the most photographed (and filmed) temples, with many of its walls and courtyards covered by the ancient trunks and roots of jungle trees that have slowly encroached and taken back the land to jungle. It is the ultimate image of the lost city. To the south east of these lie the Roluos group of monuments, the oldest in the city, and to the northeast is Banteay Srei, built in pink limestone.

Safaris visiting this attraction

13 days
From £1905
Cambodia in Style

Put your finger on the pulse and enjoy special experiences that your fellow travellers haven’t even heard of yet.

14 days
From £2105
Cambodia: Beyond the Ordinary

Meet minority villagers and rescued elephants in the country's remote north-eastern provinces, and see fresh sides of Angkor, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

36 days
From £6488
Ultimate Indochina

Travelling through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, you’ll get to appreciate how diverse and unique each country is. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet the locals, sample the varying cuisine, and explore the ever-changing landscapes.

19 days
From £2686
Ultimate Vietnam & Cambodia

Enjoy the cuisines, the culture, the trekking, the beaches, the journey, the vibrant cities, the temples, the warmly hospitable people... oh, and the little matter of Angkor Wat, along with lesser known, far less visited but equally impressive temples!

Map

Angkor Wat