World-famous as the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat Archaeological Park is the symbol of the Kingdom of Cambodia that appears on its national flag, and also the country's prime destination for travelers. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, the site was gradually transformed into a Buddhist center, which continues to the present day. The complex was designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology, with an expansice system of moat and outer wall bounding galleried temples and a quincunx of towers at the center.
Located in the heart of Siem Reap, Angkor Park is always packed with thousands of day trippers, but the breathtaking ruins dotted throughout the 400-sq km park may take several days for history buffs to explore. Thus, choosing a pass should be one of your concerns. There are three types of ticket: one, three and seven-day passes. If you just want to visit the most popular temples like Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom, one-day passes will be enough. A three-day pass may be better for those keen on off the beaten track and jungle temples away from the tourist trails, while the seven-day passes should be your choice if you’re a scholar of Cambodian history and architecture. Further away temples of Banteay Srei, Koh Ker, Phnom Krom and Beng Mealea could be excellent options.
There are many ways to take in the stunning grandeur of Angkor Wat, each of which will show you the different charm of this religious site. The most popular experience these days is admiring sunset at Angkor Wat. This means that you have to fight with the madding crowds and selfie-sticks, but if you’re lucky enough to catch the right time when the sun peaks from behind the temple’s spires, it is the moment of a lifetime. Another favorite option by young travelers is biking tours around the site. This transport lets you discover some of ancient temples and religious structures away from the center where sometimes welcome your soul only, and also is a great way to enjoy the tranquil countryside of Siem Reap. Other available choices are tuk-tuk, private taxis or hired car. If your travel budget is generous, helicopter and hot air balloon trips can also be fabulous experiences while in Cambodia. Regardless of how you choose to discover Angkor, you will never be disappointed.
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