Angkor Wat Temples Discovery – My First Cambodia Tour Trip

One of the most fascinating and scenic travel destinations I’ve visited is Cambodia. It is a country with a very rich history and culture. In case you’re planning to travel to this amazing country, make sure you book one of the Angkor Wat tours. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard of Angkor Wat. It is the most popular temple in Cambodia and is also regarded as one of the forgotten wonders of the world.

There is no direct flight from the Philippines to Cambodia so I had to travel from Manila to Kuala Lumpur, then to Siem Reap, where the temple is located. Since I’m a Philippine Passport holder, there was no need for a visa to visit Cambodia. The same applies to other foreign tourists. I believe there is a Visa on Arrival fee, though it’s very affordable. I must say that our Cambodian neighbors are really hospitable and polite people.

Angkor Complex and Its History

Constructed in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat is the biggest Hindu temple complex in the world. The king built the complex to serve as his state temple and the capital city of his empire. The Angkor Wat temple is the most well-preserved temple at the site and is renowned for its wide variety of bas-reliefs and devatas that decorate the entire complex on its walls. In addition, Angkor Wat is the only temple that still has religious significance. It was originally intended as a Hindu temple in honor of the deity Vishnu, but it was later switched to Theravada Buddhism.

Main Angkor Wat Tour Attractions

An Angkor Wat tour will give you a multitude of wonderful things to do when you are visiting the temple complex. It took me around two days to see most of the temples but the centerpiece is definitely Wat. There is a sense of mystery and wonder about the place and the emotional effect on me was simply indescribable! Another stunning temple is Angkor Thom, which is just a short ride from the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa where I stayed. The temple features a total of 216 smiling faces, at least that’s what I was told, I wasn’t able to count as I got captivated by the beauty of the place.

Cambodia Tour Tips

If it’s your first time to visit Siem Reap, it is a good idea to take one of the many guided Angkor Wat tours so you get to learn all that you can about the spectacular landscape. You’ll get to view and snap photos of all of the puzzling artifacts and discover what they mean from your tour guide. Our guide “Jorani” could not have been better as she is really knowledgeable and knew how to find the perfect spots to take stunning pictures.

There are so many interesting temples to explore in Angkor Wat but some of them are far apart so it is a great idea to plan your trip accordingly. Try to visit in the early morning or in the late afternoon as it can be a bit hot at noon. Don’t forget to bring your hat and sun glasses, especially if you are not used to being under the sun. However, make sure that you remove your hat when talking to the locals as the gesture is a sign of respect in Cambodia. As for food and dining, there’s no shortage of restaurants in the area, where you can choose one that suits your palate as well as your budget.

Finally, what I truly found special about Angkor Wat is that it has never been totally abandoned and it remains preserved over hundreds of years in spite of neglect. Some experts claim that the reason behind this is the protection afforded by the moat which keeps the forest from encroaching the temple complex. There’s just a lot to share about Angkor Wat and Cambodia in general. I enjoyed the place and I’d love to go back soon!

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