“Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all.” – Khalil Gibran
Visiting Angkor Wat
Backpacking to Angkor Wat is so much fun. Why? We’re here for Cambodian tourism icon, Angkor Wat temple. This temple has become a symbol of Cambodia. If we see the flag of Cambodia, there is a picture of this temple in the middle. Cambodia typical building also often use Angkor Wat style as an Cambodian identity.
Near Angkor Wat temple, there are many sellers offer very cheap price of souvenirs. Starting from t-shirts to silk. At that time, we bought a few silk scarf with a very low price. Of course, we have to bargain the price. They are very friendly and open to bargaining. Some sellers might be annoying because they’re little bit aggressive on selling their products, but we could politely refuse their offer and they will not force us to buy anyway.
Angkor Wat Temples
Angkor Wat buildings made of large stones. As temples in general, the walls of Angkor Wat is also decorated with reliefs depicting the life of the past in Cambodia. Statues were also carved in great detail.
Bakan is the pinnacle of Angkor Wat temple. Bakan is very distinctive, it has conical–shaped. At the top of this temple we can see the stunning reliefs and statues of Angkor Wat temple.
Angkor Wat History
The name of Angkor Wat means “The City of Temple“. This temple was built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century in Yasodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire at the time, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Formerly, the Angkor Wat temple is named Preah Pisnulok. In the 13th century, Angkor Wat is gradually shifting from a Buddhist temple to the Hindu temple.
Angkor Wat Facts
Initially, I thought Prambanan Temple was the largest Hindu temple in the world, since the size of this temple is very large. There are many Hindu temples larger than the Prambanan temple. The world’s largest Hindu temple believed by many people is Angkor Wat. Even Angkor Wat is also touted as the “World Largest religious building”. Is this correct? I’m not sure, but i admit it that Angkor Wat is a very massive temple.
Guinness World Record stated that BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham is the largest Hindu temple in the world on November 6 , 2005. However, there are some people argued that Angkor Wat is world’s largest Hindu temple. If we trace the history, Angkor Wat temple was originally built for the Hindu, then there was a political power shifting and it became a Buddhist temple until now. This makes the largest Hindu temple status becomes ambiguous. Whether Angkor Wat can be categorized as a Hindu or Buddha temple. Nevertheless, Angkor Wat remains to be the enormous, majestic, and incredibly beautiful masterpiece.
Angkor Wat Tours
Angkor Wat tours usually provided by your hotel/hostels. You can find the tours yourself around Siem Reap or book it online. But, i didn’t want to waste my time so i booked Angkor Wat tour in advance from my hostel. Sunrise tour is a must. The sunrise creates a silhouette of majestic Angkor Wat and its reflection over a lotus pond is really jaw dropping. As the sun goes up, the silhouette gradually transformed into a colorful blue sky, green lake, red lotus flower, and not to mention, the temples of Angkor Wat temple itself. After that, you can ask your tour guide to tell about the history of Angkor Wat temple or just do self-guided tour.
Getting to Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap province, not far from the city of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Although the capital city of Cambodia is Phnom Penh, it seems Siem Reap city is more famous because of Angkor Wat temple situated here. Angkor Wat temple makes people around the world visits Siem Reap. In fact, of the total foreign tourists who travel Cambodia, nearly half came to the city of Siem Reap.
Tourists usually travel Siem Reap from Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore as the transit cities because those cities has so many direct flighte everywhere. To reach Angkor Wat, you can rent “Tuk-tuk” ( some kind of motorcycle taxis) from the hotel cost US$13/day. This tuk-tuk will carry you all day long around Angkor Wat/Angkor Thom/Ta Phrom. If you need some tour guide, just ask the hotel. Ticket price to enter the temple complex is US$20/person/day.
Angkor Wat Map
There are many hostels and hotels in Siem Reap. I stayed at Palm Garden Lodge when i was there. Generally, this hostels offer free Tuk-tuk pick up from hostel to bus terminal/airport/Old Market/Pub Street and vice versa. However, there’s is no free Tuk-tuk to Angkor Wat, Silk Farm, and other tourism objects.
Angkor Wat is located only 5,5 km or about 9 minutes drive from Siem Reap Airport. From Angkor Wat maps above and below, it is impossible to stay in the hotel that is very close to the temple. Angkor Wat temple is surrounded by a huge forrest. Riding a bike or tuk-tuk is the best transportation getting Angkor Wat.