The ancient capital of the Khmer kingdom, Angkor is a spectacular landscape of crumbling stone reliefs, great towers, encroaching jungle roots, orange-clad monks and spectacular sunset reflections. Angkor is the most popular destination in Cambodia by far, and one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring sacred sites in the world. Its central attraction, Angkor Wat, is proudly featured on the Cambodian flag and it is a major boost to the economy of the recovering country. Stretching across some 400 sq km, including forests and jungles, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire dating from the 9th to the 15th century. Angkor Wat, is believed to be the largest religious structure in the world, and there are many other fascinating temples to explore as well. Allow more than one day to see Angkor — preferably several days to a week. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and transportation to Angkor in the nearby city of Siem Reap.
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Sacred Sites and Religious Attractions in Angkor
Banteay SreiAlthough it's out of the way, true temple buffs won't want to miss Banteay Srei, a beautiful 10th-century Hindu temple complex with intricate carvings in deep red sandstone.
Beng MeleaLocated an hour from Angkor Wat, this temple hidden in the jungle is perhaps the best place to feel like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones.
Ta ProhmOne of the most atmospheric sites at Angkor, this 12th-century Buddhist temple is fighting a losing battle with the mighty roots of the thriving jungle.
Angkor ThomAngkor Thom means "the great city" in Khmer. The 12th-century Buddhist royal city is famed for its grand Bayon Temple, but has several other sights of interest as well.
Bayon TempleIn the exact center of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple represents the intersection of heaven and earth. Built around 1190, the Buddhist temple is famed for its enigmatic faces.
Angkor WatAngkor Wat is the star of Angkor and indeed all of Cambodia. Believed to be the largest religious structure in the world, this Hindu temple is designed as a microcosm of the universe.