Weather :

Timings : 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily.

Time Required : You can explore the temple and the surrounding area in a day. It will take around 2-3 days to explore the whole park apart from Angkor Wat at a slow pace.

Entry Fee : 1-Day: USD 37 for a day pass 3-Days: USD 62 valid for ten days 7-Days: USD 72 valid for one month

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Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Overview

In Northern Cambodia lies one of the largest monuments in the world. Angkor Wat is a treasured Buddhist temple and the allure of the Angkor Archaeological Park. Located 6 kilometres north of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is considered as the gateway to the ruins of Angkor. This temple is a national icon and source of pride for Cambodia, and is also proudly displayed on the national flag.

The city of Angkor in which lies the Angkor Wat temple was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II of the Khmer empire. The park is spread across an area of roughly 400 square kilometers, making it the largest pre-industrial city in the world. The park shouldn’t be considered as just a collection of different temples and monuments. Angkor was a well-established city, and the temples were a part of that flourishing city. The main temple among them all was Angkor Wat, which has been rebuilt many times by different kings of the Khmer empire and later the kings of other dynasties according to their preferences. The ruins of Angkor feels like you’ve entered a completely different world where the lines of reality and fantasy have become blurred.

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Architecture

The pointed towers which rise from the base are the classic example of Khmer architecture of the 12th Century. Sandstone is used as primary construction material rather than brick or laterite. Wat means temple in Thai but the east-west orientation of the structure is atypical of temples. Scholars believe that the temple may have been constructed by Suryavarnam to be his final resting place. Bas-reliefs at Angkor Wat read counterclockwise, an indication that the temple is associated with funeral rituals.

Angkor Wat temple has a 65 meters central tower which is surrounded by four smaller towers and a series of enclosure walls. The layout is similar to that of Mount Meru, a legendary place in Hindu mythology that is said to lie beyond the Himalayas and be the home of the gods.

One of the most exciting and mystical elements of the temple is the location. Angkor Wat is located at 13.41 degrees north in latitude and that the north-south axis of the central tower's chamber is 13.43 cubits long. Historians have debated that this location is not an accident. This location is along the axis of the earth, in the centre to be precise. In the central sanctuary, Vishnu is not only placed at the latitude of Angkor Wat, but he is also positioned along the axis of the earth. It was the knowledge that the Khmer people possessed at a time when the world was thought to be flat. This location is a marvelous example of how this civilization already knew that the earth was round.

Not just these, but the sophisticated geometry of the structures indicates that celestial significance was kept in mind while designing the temple. It perfectly aligned with the constellation Draco as it appeared in the sky during the spring equinox of the year 10,500 BC which is considered remarkable knowing that they had no assistance from advanced technology. In short, Angkor Wat is, arguably, the most spectacular temple you will ever see, on a scale you can’t imagine.

Time required

You can explore the temple and the surrounding area in a day. It will take around 2-3 days to explore the whole park apart from Angkor Wat at a slow pace.

Ticket details

Foreigners are required to buy an admission pass, called Angkor pass. The pass can only be purchased at the official ticket centre, located 4 kilometres away from Siem Reap town and open from 5:00 AM to 5:30 PM every day. The entrance ticket can be paid either by cash (US Dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Baht or Euro) or by credit card. The 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

Best Time to Visit

November to February is the best window to visit since it’s not too hot and there’s no rain. Angkor Wat during sunrise is spectacular and is the postcard photo you have seen a million times. The best view usually occurs between 5:30 AM to 6:00 AM, so make sure you’ve got your cameras ready by then. Also, there is going to be a lot of crowds.

Transportation cost

A day’s hire of a tuk-tuk from the town around the major temples at Angkor Wat and back should cost around USD 15-25. For a guided tour, expect to pay closer to USD 25. For trips around Siem Reap, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis should cost around USD 2 for short trips and under USD 6 from the airport into town. Bike rentals should cost under USD 5 per day.

What to wear

It is essential to remember that Angkor Wat has a dress code that must be abided by. Since it’s warm throughout the year, you should wear light clothes. It is important that your clothes cover your shoulders and knees. The sun is usually out if it’s not raining so carry a hat. A raincoat is helpful in the rainy season.

How To Reach Angkor Wat

Take a tuk-tuk early morning from Siem Reap. It’s a 30-minute journey so plan accordingly. After entering the park, head straight to Angkor Wat for the sunrise.

Angkor Wat History & Significance

Built between roughly A.D. 1113 and 1150, and encompassing an area of about 500 acres, Angkor Wat is one of the most significant religious monuments ever constructed. The temple was initially designed and built during the first half of the 12th century on the orders of the then emperor Suryavarman II. Originally a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Angkor Wat gradually shifted from a Hindu center of worship to a Buddhist one in the 14th century. The original name is still unknown since no inscription or foundation stela was found from that time.

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