Angkor is one of the most famous archaeological sites of the Southeast Asia and a highlight of any Indochina Tour. Angkor Archaeological Parkwas certified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992. Located in Siem Reap – a northern province of Cambodia, it stretches over approximately 400 square kilometres that consists its countless of ancient temples in the jungles with the impression of the variety of designs, sizes and shapes. Especially, temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon, BateaySrei, Elephant Terrace and Ta Prohmare seen as the most important monuments in the huge park of Angkor. It is estimated that it takes at least 7 days to totally discover its entirety.
In the past, Angkor had been the very heart of the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th century. For hundreds of years, Angkor as well as its temples still remain its magnificence with the specific characteristics of Hindu religion. All of them were built in classical style of step-pyramids. Today, Angkor has been become the most attractive destination of Indochina travel.
Angkor Wat is not only the largest gorgeous temple of Angkor group, but also the most famous temple in Cambodia. No doubt to say that it is a masterpiece of art which is the perfect combination of composition, balance, and the brilliant sculpture of stone carving. It could be easy to understand that Angkor Wat always attracts thousands of visitors annually. A lot of travelers come to Angkor Wat in the very early morning and stand along the lotus lake which is located in front of the temple, to watch the spectacular scenery of sunrise. This place is most crowded by tourists in December and January because of its best period of the year of weather condition.
Angkor Archaeological Park is much more the Angkor Wat, obviously. There are a lot of places worth seeing in Angkor group and the Angkor Thom is not an exception. It is the most important city of Angkor which extends to 9 square kilometers and this place is famous for the Bayon – the temple in the centre of Angkor Thom. The outstanding feature that makesBayontemple different with others in Angkor park is its special architecture. On each enormous stonetower is carved four mysterious smiling faces of Buddha and each face towards each direction. There are around 200 smiling faces of Buddha in Bayon temple. Unlike the most temples of Angkor, the Ta Prohm temple – east of Angkor Thom was abandoned hundreds of years ago. Through the years, it has been shrouded in dense jungle and covered by moss and the ancient trees such as banyan, fig and kapok with their giant roots spread over stones of walls, terraces and roofs. Its ruin and isolation is the state of the beauty. The tourists will be amazed by the harmony interaction between the man-made piece of work and nature feeling like they are lost in the forgotten city and its charm is irresistible. In addition, another monument temples that should not be missed when travelling to Angkor Archaeological Park are BanteaySrei temple which was constructed by deep red sandstone with the unique paisleys carved on the stone surface or the peaceful atmosphere of PreahPalilay temple.
Needless to say that Angkor Archaeological Park is the proud and the precious treasure Cambodia and it stands for the culture, intangible value, spirit, architecture and religion of Cambodian and much more than these. Your Indochina holiday will probably be meaningless if you don’t drop in, at least once, to visit this wonderful and memorable place.