I have been lucky enough to visit Angkor Wat many times. As I have visited so many times, I fully understand why Angkor Wat is worth visiting.
Angkor Wat is worth visiting. Even for people who may not be history buffs, I believe that Angkor Wat is still a great place to visit. There are so many reasons why anyone traveling to Cambodia or Southeast Asia should be sure to visit Angkor Wat as part of their trip.
There are many reasons why I feel Angkor Wat is worth your time and effort to visit. As I have traveled to Angkor many times, here are my top 12 reasons why a visit to Angkor Wat Cambodia is worth it.
Top 12 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Angkor Wat Cambodia
Angkor Wat – Billed Eight Wonder of World
Some bill Angkor Wat as an eighth wonder of the world; Angkor Wat did not make the list of being one of the official new seven wonders.
Angkor Wat is billed as the eighth wonder of the world as many feel it deserves to be recognized along with other great structures as the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, The Great Wall of China, or the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
The Angkor Wat temple complexes magically rise out of the beautiful and lush jungles surrounding the temple structures. The beauty of the Angkor Wat temple complexes and how the temple structures were made ensure the Angkor Wat temple complexes are a significant cultural and historical site.
Angkor Wat Is An UNESCO World Heritage Site
UNESCO has recognized the Angkor Wat Temple complexes as a world heritage site. UNESCO lists Angkor Wat as one of the most important archeological sites in South-East Asia.
As UNESCO has listed the site as a world heritage site, they have also set up a wide range of programs to safeguard the Angkor Wat site and its surroundings.
The Angkor Wat is one of the largest archaeological sites in operation in the world. Tourism is important to the site, but so are all the archaeological and research projects that continue to be undertaken at Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat Is Rich in History
Angkor Wat literally means “city of temples” and is a magical place to visit. The Angkor Wat temple complexes show the remains of the once magnificent and powerful Khmer Empire. The height of the Khmer Empire in Angkor Wat was from the 11th to 12th century.
For many centuries the Angkor Wat area was the center of the Khmer Kingdom. Angkor Wat’s history shows us how important this area was to the Khmer Empire because of its cultural, religious, and symbolic value.
To discover more about the history of Angkor Wat, you can read How Old Is Angkor Wat? 12 Facts About Angkor Wat Cambodia by clicking here.
Angkor Wat Has Amazing Architecture
You cannot go to Angkor Wat and not be awe-inspired by the architecture. The architects of the vase temple complexes were true artisans.
Angkor has over 72 major temples in the Angkor Wat area. This 72 number does not include the hundreds of minor temples scattered throughout the area. You could literally spend weeks looking at every temple complex and probably not see them all.
Besides the amazing architecture of the temples, the Angkor Wat area is also rich in art and artifacts. The Angkor Wat temple has over 1,860 carved apsaras, hundreds of meters of bas reliefs depicting Hindu legends and scenes from contemporary life.
Angkor Wat Is A Large Religious Complex
Whether you are religious or not, Angkor Wat is amazing for anyone to visit. It is considered to be one of the largest religious structures or complexes in the world. Angkor Wat gives us a glimpse into Cambodians’ lives during the 12th century and how important the region was.
What most people may not realize is that the temples were built for a Hindu God, Vishnu. Emperor Suryavarman II, who was created to be the architect, and mastermind of Angkor Wat, was also a practicing Hindu.
Experience Ancient City Planning
The Angkor Wat site is massive as it extends over 400 square kilometers. Angkor Wat area has temple complexes and hydraulic structures that include basins, dykes, reservoirs, and canals. It shows that there was once a well-developed water and communication route.
The Angkor Wat area shows some advanced city planning for its days. The remains of Angkor Wat show us the high level of social order and ranking of the Khmer Empire. It shows us a city and area that had well-thought-out planning.
Rich in Experience
Angkor Wat promises to offer you some vibrant experiences. I like to say that Angkor Wat shows the very best of Cambodia because you get to see firsthand how magnificent the Khmer civilization was during the time of Angkor Wat.
During the height of Angkor Wat, the area was the center of Southeast Asia. The famous Khmer Emperor Suryavarman II was known to be a great diplomat. Even visitors from as far as way as China came to Angkor Wat in the 12th century.
For so many years, Cambodia experienced such brutality as the killing fields and Khmer Rouge. Still, Angkor Wat gives us a chance to experience how advanced this Khmer culture was during this time period.
Go Off The Beaten Track
What makes the Angkor Wat Temple complex park so interesting is that the Angkor Wat Park is a park that has inhabitants. Many villages surround this architectural monument, and for some of the inhabitants, their families have lived in the area since the Angkor era.
This is why you will still find some people living in the area and even rice continuing to be cultivated.
One of my favorite things to do when I go to Angkor Wat is to get off the beaten track and see some of these less-traveled villages and areas. Some of our best experiences have been with the Cambodian people – many school-age children- we met while exploring the Angkor Wat area and park.
Cycle Around Angkor Wat
Cycling around the Angkor Was Temple complexes is a great way to see and experiences some amazing ancient Cambodian temple complexes up-close and personal. Cycling around Angkor Wat is one of my favorite ways to see the temple complexes.
When you cycle around Angkor Wat, you will have the freedom to see Angkor Wat at your own pace and will see things that you could never see in a car, bus, or even a tuk-tuk.
If you are not much of a cyclist or do not want to cycle due to the heat or the roads, my next suggestion would be to take one of Cambodia’s famous tuk-tuks around Angkor Wat.
By clicking here, you can read more about cycling Angkor Wat by reading Why Every Cyclist Should Ride Around Angkor Wat Cambodia?
Angkor Wat Offers Amazing Photos
Angkor Wat is a photographer’s dream; all the temple complexes and the surrounding areas are filled with prize-winning photos waiting to happen. The sunsets and sunrises are magical, but you can film many other things around the temple complexes.
Everything from the lilies coming out of the water to monks walking around the temple complexes or the elephants walking by. There are so many amazing photos and subject matter of interest for any photographer. If you love photography and taking amazing photos, Angkor Wat is a must-visit historical site.
Purchase Angkor Wat Park Tickets For 1 day, 2 days or more
When you travel to Angkor Wat, you can decide to have a one-day, two-day, or even a seven-day pass. How many days you want to spend at the Angkor Wat park is up to you.
Unless you are a Cambodian national, you must purchase a ticket to enter the park; you must purchase tickets from the Angkor Wat Ticket offered near the park. Tickets are valid for the number of days you decide to purchase them.
I will usually purchase a ticket for one or two days for the park, even if I spend a few more days in the area. Besides Angkor Wat, also in the Siem Reap area is the Tonle Sap floating village that is really worth seeing how there is an entire village on the boats.
There are many fun markets, shops, and even artisan workshops that you can also visit in the area. If your feet are tired, stop into a massage parlor to get a foot massage.
Angkor Wat Has Magical Sunrises and Sunsets
Sunrise or sunset at Angkor Wat is magical. I have personally experienced both the sunrise and sunsets of Angkor Wat.
One of my favorite memories was when I did the Angkor Wat bike race for charity, and we would get to Angkor Park before sunrise. Just as the sun was rising, the race would start. It was magical to see the sun rising over all the Angkor Wat temple complexes.
There would be monkeys at the side of the road watching us cycle past. Some of the monkeys let out a large laughing sound, almost like they were laughing at getting up so early to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat is one of my favorite places in southeast Asia. I have been there several times and never have tired of it. There are so many wonderful things you can see and explore at this magnificent historical site.
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How Old Is Angkor Wat? 12 Facts About Angkor Wat Cambodia
Angkor Wat was founded in the 12th century by the Khmer Empire; the Angkor Wat complex is over 1,000 years old. Even though the complex is over 1,000 years old for many years, the world did not know it existed as it was buried in the dense Cambodian jungles.
You can read more at How Old Is Angkor Wat? 12 Facts About Angkor Wat Cambodia by clicking here.
What Was The Main Religion in Cambodia Before Buddhism?
Before Buddhism was so prevalent in Cambodia, the main religion was Hinduism. In fact, Hinduism was the state religion of Cambodia for over 1000 years. The Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was originally built as a Hindu temple.
You can learn more by reading What Was The Main Religion in Cambodia Before Buddhism? by clicking here.