The ancient temple complex of Angkor is world famous for its most iconic resident, Angkor Wat. It's the biggest religious monument in the world, stunning in its magnitude but also the incredible detail carved into its stone. The Angkor complex covers over 160sq km and has over 100 incredible monuments, all built by the mighty Khmer empire, in a testimony to the empire's immense power, wealth, impressive art and architecture. The main temple area consists of Angkor Wat, less than 2km north is the south gate to the huge walled city of Angkor Thom. The most enduring and last capital of the Khmer empire, its walls are roughly 3km x 3km long, 8 metres high and its 9sq km area is believed to have sustained a population of 80-150 thousand people. Within Angkor Thom's walls are several key monuments including Bayon at its centre, the awe-inspiring temple with its many several meter high towers of stone faces. Other famous structures include the 350 metres long Terrace of Elephants, and the royal palace that includes a sandstone pyramid, the highest scalable structure in the complex. Angkor Thom is flanked by two giant man-made rectangular reservoirs (baray), on its east and west side. Just past the north wall is the walled city of Preah Khan, and 1km outside the east wall is Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider temple). Both functioned as a Buddhist monastery and university and are now famous for the giant trees growing on top of the temples, with massive roots wrapped around the stone buildings like tentacles. There are also superb temples further afield such as Banteay Seri, it has some of the finest stone carvings of anywhere on earth! To the east is the collapsed temple Beng Mealea, great fun to clamber through the jungle ravaged ruins. You can spend one to several days visiting the many monuments depending on how much time you have and want to spend there. There are many possible itineraries to do this and a few ways of how you get around. One option is to hire a tuk-tuk driver or bicycle and use the GOHOBO guide to give you the core info. Just letting your eyes feast on the visible splendour of the place. You could visit the Angkor Museum before going on your tour if you want to have a better understanding of what you will see. Another option is to go on a guided tuk-tuk or bicycle tour. We have provided information on possible itineraries for a half, one, two and three days, and also info on hiring a tuk-tuk or bicycle. We have also included information on the two classic circuits you will hear mentioned, the small and big circuit. The guides have more details on each of the temples, and we have put further detailed info in the history section. If you a history buff there's no shortage of book on sale at the shops and through vendors in the area. Angkor attracts over 2 million visitors a year and at certain times of the day, some parts of the park are descended upon by coach loads of tourists. So we have also included crowd avoidance tips in the guides.
For more information from visas to haggling, check out the country page Info section.