Angkor Archaeological Park

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Timings : 5 AM to 6 PM

Time Required : 3 to 5 days

Angkor Archaeological Complex, Siem Reap Overview

Angkor Archaeological Park is a historical site located close to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Located between Tonle Sap river and Kulen mountains, the park spreading over 400 sq km is home to the magnificent remains of the monuments of the Khmer Empire. The structures built between 9th to the 15th century also include ancient capital cities, one of them known to be the largest pre-industrial city in the world.

The Angkor park is among the top attractions in Cambodia is visited by millions of tourists every year. Declared as a UNESCO heritage site, some of the renowned structures in the archaeological park include the Temple of Angkor Wat, the ancient capital city Angkor Thom home to Bayon Temple, known for its hundreds of stone faces, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm, Baphuon and others.

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Angkor Archaeological Complex
Angkor Archaeological Complex
Angkor Archaeological Complex
Angkor Archaeological Complex

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Ticket Details

Foreigners are required to buy an admission pass, called the Angkor pass, which provides access to all the monuments within the archaeological park. It can only be purchased at the official ticket centre, located 4 kilometres away from Siem Reap town. The ticket office is open from 5:00 AM to 5:30 PM every day, where the entrance ticket can be purchased either by cash (US Dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Bath or Euro) or by credit card. Tickets issued after 5:00 PM are only valid from the next day.

There are three types of admission passes available, depending on the number of entries:

1-Day: USD 37 for a day pass

3-Days: USD 62 valid for ten days

7-Days: USD 72 valid for one month

Angkor Archaeological Park History & Significance

The centre of the Khmer empire for over 600 years, Angkor Archaeological site has a rich history. The earliest monument was built in 802 AD by King Jayavarman II, which marked the beginning of the Khmer empire. The Khmer empire reached its zenith in the 12th century under King Jayavarman VII, who is known as the greatest Khmer emperor. He is credited with the construction of Bayon and other temples within the capital city of Angkor Thom that he built. The empire collapsed at the end of the 15th century when the neighbouring Thai Kingdom attacked. The sites were abandoned in the later period and remained undiscovered amidst dense jungles until the end of the 19th century.

The most famous of all the monuments is the legendary Angkor Wat, a massive temple known for its vast galleries of bas-reliefs and five magnificent stone towers with intricate carvings. The ancient walled capital Angkor Thom is among the other popular attractions, home to the stone-faces temple of Bayon. The enigmatic Ta Prohm, engulfed partly by the dense forests is another popular attraction in the archaeological park.

There are many Angkorian monuments outside the Archaeological Park further from Siem Reap including Preah Khan, Beng Mealea and the temple-towns of Koh Ker among the prominent ones.

Places to Visit in Angkor Archaeological Park

The temples in Angkor Archaeological Park are broadly categorized into four groups for the tourists to explore.

The Main site - Angkor Wat Temple and the capital city of Angkor Thom consisting of Bayon, The Terrace of the Leper King, The Elephant Terrace and other temples.

The little circuit in the south- Includes the Victory Gate, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei and Ta Nei temples.

The big circuit in the north and further east - The famous temple Preah Khan is in this circuit along with other monuments Banteay Prei, Prasat Tonle, Snguot, Krol Romeas, Prasat Prei, and Neak Pean.

You get a map describing the details of these circuits when you purchase tickets.

What to wear

Tourists are expected to follow the dress codes while visiting the monuments within the park as a majority of them are religious places. Women need to cover their shoulder at all times and wear knee-length attire. Sleeveless shirts and shorts are also not allowed for both men and women. Note that the rules are strictly followed, and you might be denied entry by the guards if you fail to obey them.

How to reach Angkor Archaeological Park

Located about 6 km from the centre of Siem Reap, Angkor park can be reached in various ways. Tuk-Tuks is the most popular option, which costs about 12 to 15 USD one way and takes about 30 minutes to reach the entrance. Taxis cost about 25 USD. You can also rent bicycles to move around the park, which costs about 5 USD. Motodop rides to the cost about 10 USD one way.

Tips

Plan your trip according to the time you have. It is recommended to cover just the highlights if you have limited time as it can get exhausting due to vast distances and hot weather.

Carry plenty of water and some snacks as there aren't many options to eat.

Wear light clothes, sunscreen and proper walking shoes. Carry an umbrella as well.

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