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Angkor Wat, in its beauty and
state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a
pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an
impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness
as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat is located about six kilometers
(four miles) north of Siem Reap, south of Angkor Thom. Entry and exit to Angkor Wat can only be access
from its west gate.
Angkor Wat was built in the
first half of the 12th century (113-5BC). Estimated construction time of the
temple is 30 years by King Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu (Hindu), replica
of Angkor Thom style of art.
Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor group and the best preserved, is an
architectural masterpiece. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions,
relief's and sculpture make it one of the finest monuments in the world.
the Khmer name for temple (the French spelling is "vat "), which was
probably added to "Angkor "when it became a Theravada Buddhist
monument, most likely in the sixteenth century. After 1432 when the capital
moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was cared for by Buddhist monks.
generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman
II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun
and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the
order of Hindu funereal ritual, support this function.
time to visit Angkor Wat
are three different periods that can affect your travel experiences in Siem
to March: good time to enjoy the mild and dry weather. The weather is
pleasantly cool but it is absolutely the peak tourist season from December till
February; so you may find it more crowded everywhere with higher service
March to early May: the hottest months of Siem Reap, temperature ranges from 30
40 degree Celsius; so any outdoor activities such as temple sightseeing or
cycling should start early morning and end late afternoon.
November: the rainy season occurs with daily pour for an hour or two that
tackles your trip; but you may find less tourists at temple sites and the
surrounding tropical landscape is at its full beauty of refreshment.
from the weather features, there are special occasions that you should consider
to go or not to avoid the crowd:
New Year Festival: including Chinese New Year, Vietnam Traditional New Year;
mainly in late January or mid February depending on each year. This holiday can
last for 1 – 2 weeks when a huge number of Asian tourists may travel abroad.
New Year Festival – called Choul Chnam Thmey, as known as the Songkran in Thailand,
happens in the mid April annually so this is good to enjoy the unique
atmosphere of the festival if you are interested.
National Museum – a great stop before exploring Angkor complex
may have chances to:
all about the Golden Era of the ancient Khmer Kingdom through a
state-of-the-art showpiece on the majestic history of Angkor.
the origins of Khmer art, culture, and architecture to enhance knowledge about
the customs, traditions and different beliefs of the ancient empire.
deeper understanding of the Khmer empire, optional audio guides are also
available in the museum for an additional cost.
Hours: Mondays-Sundays: 8:30am-6:00pm
National Museum is located at Charles De
Gaulle, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
tickets: US$12/person and an extra US$3 for your camera inside.
the Angkor Wat sunrise/sunset
is no doubt that watching sunrise at Angkor Wat is one of the must-do things in
expected time to show up is around 05:00 to find the best place for you and
your camera. If you are unsure where to go for the nicest photos, just book a
tour guide a night before to know exactly the timing.
Normally, the light soon started changes from 05:30, when the sky turns from
dark to pink and quickly shines up the temple of Angkor Wat making a gorgeous
view and reflection of the lake in front.
Some of guests prefer the sunset
as it does not as many people as sunrise. But you may find it worth to catch
the last sunlight of the day if standing in the centre of Angkor Thom and take
the photo of the Bayon Temple. This is famous for the gigantic smiling faces on
each of its towers. A dozen of huge faces reflected by the sun will result the
best photographs in Angkor Complex so just do not miss it.