6. Angkor Wat: Temples of Tranquility
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia, located on a site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2; 402 acres). The Guinness World Records considers it as the largest religious structure in the world.
Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire by King Suryavarman II during the 12th century, it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the century; as such, it is also described as a “Hindu-Buddhist” temple.
Angkor Wat is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia, and it is easy to see why. The temples are incredibly beautiful and impressive, and they are surrounded by lush jungle vegetation. Visitors can wander through the temples and explore their intricate carvings, or they can simply sit and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
Here are some of the most popular temples at Angkor Wat:
- Angkor Wat itself: This is the main temple complex, and it is truly awe-inspiring. The five lotus-shaped towers rise majestically above the surrounding jungle, and the walls are covered in intricate carvings.
- Bayon: This temple is known for its 54 towers, each of which is decorated with a smiling face. The faces are thought to represent the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who is known for his compassion and mercy.
- Ta Prohm: This temple is one of the most atmospheric at Angkor Wat. It has been left largely untouched by restoration efforts, and the trees have grown up around it, creating a sense of mystery and intrigue.
- Banteay Srei: This temple is known for its delicate carvings, which are some of the finest in all of Angkor Wat. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, and it is said to have been built by a woman.
No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something to love at Angkor Wat. This is a truly special place, and it is a must-visit for any traveler to Cambodia.
Here are some tips for planning your trip to Angkor Wat:
- The best time to visit is during the dry season, which is from November to April.
- The temples can get very crowded, so it is a good idea to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- You can hire a guide to help you navigate the temples and learn about their history.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.
- Respect the temples and their surroundings. Do not climb on the structures or remove any of the artifacts.
Angkor Wat is a truly magical place, and it is an experience that you will never forget. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!