What to See in at the Siem Reap Ruins in Cambodia
The temple ruins of Angkor Wat are perhaps the most famous tourist attractions in Cambodia. Indeed, the religious monument is a UNESCO heritage site and until recently was an endangered site. These ruins are near the modern day city of Siem Reap. However, most tourists are unaware that Angkor ruins cover almost 400 square kilometers. This capital of the ancient Khmer empire has over 1,000 temples each of which is a marvel to look at.
This is the grandest of the temples at Angkor. It is also the world’s biggest religious monument. The walls extend for 3.6 km and enclose a large wide open space that brings a sense of tranquillity to the whole area. The sides of the main temple are covered with intricately done bas-reliefs telling different Hindu stories.
This temple complex is famous for the giant bas-relief face sculptures carved on the temple walls. There are as many as 200 of these faces in different states of disrepair and some have disappeared completely. There are stairs to the top level from where you can see the surrounding area.
This temple was part of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. The temple has steep stairs on both sides although some have been closed for restoration purposes. The view from the top overlooks the ruins of the ancient city of Angkor Thom.
This temple is relatively smaller than the others. However, most of its carved decorations are still intact making it a wonderful attraction. The small size makes it possible to explore much of it in a short time.
This is believed to be among the oldest temples in the Angkor area. Some experts say it might have first been built of sandstone. Unlike other temples, Ta Keo does not have extensive decorations which give it a bigger look. It is a five-tiered complex that is very interesting to explore.
This temple has largely been left in ruins so that tourists can appreciate the passage of time of these temples. It is covered by different vegetation. The Tomb Raider movie was partly shot here which sparked interest in the Angkor ruins.
These ruins are in the same design as Ta Prohm but they have been restored and much of the vegetation has been removed. The layout is simple and easy to explore which can help give an idea of how the bigger temple complexes were laid out and improved on.
There are many other less famous sites to visit and could be best explored using a local guide. Prepare to walk a lot.