Cambodia's Angkor Temples

In a country filled with magical temples, dense jungle, resilient, welcoming people, and bugs as a regular part of the diet lies the largest temple complex in the world: Angkor Wat.

Although Cambodia’s Angkor Temples have been on my bucket list for quite some time (as I’m sure is the case with a lot of travelers), I was completely unprepared for what I was in store for. While unbearable heat with very little respite (even the pools were so warm they gave little relief) came as a bit of a surprise; the wild nature of Siem Reap coupled with magical temples and holy sites around every corner makes this captivating country an adventure-seeker’s paradise.

Here are 18 reasons (in photo form) to add Cambodia’s Angkor Temples to your bucket list.

1. The airport is pretty darn cool

Siem Reap
Siem Reap International Airport

2. The street food scene features one of a kind eats

Siem Reap
Fried noodles, bugs, and fish amok are a few Khemer favorites

3. Temples are around every corner

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Angkor Wat Temple

4. The details are stunning

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Carvings at Angkor Wat Temple

5. It’s the largest temple complex in the world

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
The area measures 162.6 hectares and contains over 100 temple sites

6. Take your photo at the center of the universe

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
According to Hindu mythology, the uppermost temple of three at Angkor Wat is the hub of everything that exists.

7. See the world from a different perspective

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Angkor Wat

8. Take in the history of the Khemer empire

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Bayon Temple
Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Carvings at Bayon Temple
Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Facial carvings at Bayon Temple

9. Get in touch with your spiritual side

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Visitors can get blessed by a monk for a small fee at many of the temples

10. Marvel at the amazing architecture

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Tonle Om Gate (South Gate)

11. Explore the temples taken back by nature

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Ta Prohm aka the “Tomb Raider” Temple

11. Marvel at the jewel of Khemer art

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Elaborate carvings at the Banteay Srei Temple
Cambodia's Angkor Temples
Banteay Srei Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva

12. Trek to River of a Thousand Lingas

Cambodia's Angkor Temples
The sculptures carved in the river bed and banks depict Hindu mythological scenes, symbols, and inscriptions which are exposed as the water level in the river decreases.

13. Eat your heart out at the local markets

Cambodia market

14. Take in life of the floating villages on Tonlé Sap Lake

Tonle Sap Lake
Tonlé Sap Lake is the largest lake in SE Asia

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