If I ask you to name a person who’s traveled to Cambodia and did not make it to Angkor Wat, I bet you would call me insane.
- This is definitely the superstar of the country. In fact, Angkor Wat is the primary reason that more than 50% of international tourists visit Cambodia each year. Well, hands up if you’re one. And it was only until I checked-in to our hostel in Siem Reap when I knew that it was built as a Hindu temple but later on transformed into a Buddhist temple.
- The largest religious monument in the world. Wow. What a title to have. If I was born a Cambodian, I would’ve been so damn proud. Apparently, they were very proud of it that they really put it on the Cambodian flag in 1850.
- Really though, there is no way to describe the beauty of its temples….. And speaking of temples, did you know that the Angkor ruins stretch over more than 400 square kilometers? Given the size, one day is definitely not enough to explore all of its temples. This is why every visitor can purchase a three-day pass to explore the Angkor temples which costs $40. Otherwise, a single-day pass is available for $20, or a week-long pass can be purchased for $60.
- If you know me really well, then you’d know how much of a movie buff I am. I can literally spend one whole day just watching movies and seriously can’t be bothered. One of the reasons why I wanted to visit the Angkor Wat was because of the movie Tomb Raider. One of the temples, Ta Prohm, was used as the set for the movie.
- Having traveled to so many places, one of the best things I’ve learned was the importance of knowing the place by heart and not just going merely to visit and take photos. This famous heritage wasn’t “Angkor Wat” until the 16th century. It was known to be Pisnulok, the official title of the Khmer king Suryavarman II that built it.
Merely admiring a place for its beauty is not enough. The more you try to understand the story of a place, the more you will appreciate it. Guaranteed.
It took 35 years to build with the help of approximately 1,000 elephants in addition to the 300,000 labourers. A huge five million tons of sandstone was used to build the religious site which covers an area of 208 hectares.
How insane is that, hey? A distinctive kind of architecture was built without the aid of any machinery? Hands down! It truly deserves to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visiting Angkor Wat is truly an amazing experience. I mean there’s nothing like wandering a once great civilization. You will just have to go and see for yourself.
But for now, let these photos speak for themselves.