Angkor Wat is arguably one of the top man-made architectural destinations in the world. Over 100 temples form the entire complex. The main temples are surrounded by an imposing square moat which completely encircles the complex. The primary entrance is raised above the moat – pictures from this entrance are of the classic Angkor Wat pagodas that grace the covers of guide books. Rich in Khmer history, it is worth some time reading about this complex prior to your visit. Angkor Wat: The History and Legacy of the World’s Largest Hindu Temple by Charles Rivers provides a detailed look at the site.
The primary temples are well worth a visit…or two…or three – as lighting differs dramatically depending on time and day. Unlike some internationally recognized ruins, at Angkor Wat, one is allowed to walk in and among the buildings and come face to face with stunning hand carvings and sculptures especially of large faces and heads.
Siem Reap is the fast growing tourist town that services Angkor Wat. It is full of international tourists and guest homes – but most of all it is a hub for those who want to see these world famous ruins. This is a safe and inexpensive town – it is not your typical Cambodian experience – as it has been built for tourists.
Siem Reap is currently undergoing a huge boom in tourism and it shows with the large number of guesthouses, the new construction and sizable numbers of tourists in town at any given time.