Angkor Archaeological Park Temples
UNESCO World Heritage site near Siem Reap
With the capital of the Khmer Empire being situated at Angkor for some 500 years, there are a wealth of ancient temples and other sites near Siem Reap Town. Most of these sites are in and around the Angkor Archaeological Park. The largest and most significant ruins of the Angkorian Empire are found just to the north of the municipality of Siem Reap, and thus has grown into a tourist oriented town. It is the base from which most visitors explore the temples of Angkor.
The ruins and restored sites in the Angkor Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and form part of the largest pre-industrial city in the world.
Depending on how you count them, there are some 50 Hindi and Buddhist temples and other sites near Siem Reap, with another 10 major sites further away.
Unfortunately, due to the ravages of time and conflicts, some sites are ruined and not in good condition, but even these crumbling sites are fascinating to visit, and provide a glimpse into the distant past. We have provided descriptions of some the more important sites you may wish to visit.
Angkor - Some Amazing Facts
- Built from 879-1191 AD at the zenith of the Khmer civilisation, the temples represent one of the world's most amazing and enduring architectural achievements.
- Angkor had a population of over one million, and was the spiritual centre for the Khmers until it was abandoned after being sacked by the Thais in 1431. The ruling Khmer God-kings controlled a vast territory in the twelfth century, extending south, to the Mekong delta in present-day Vietnam, north into Laos, and west over large tracts of what is now Thailand. In its heyday, 1.
- The surviving structures today are but a fraction of the whole stunning picture, which included a huge city whose wooden buildings - houses, markets, shops, palaces, and public buildings - have long since been destroyed by war and time.
- The best preserved, and most visited, are Angkor Wat, the Bayon, and Ta Prohm, which were first restored by the French, who established an Angkor Conservancy in 1908.