Angkor Temple Complex

Angkor temple complex

Angkor Wat overview

Angkor Temple Complex – This section as intended as a guide for visiting the monuments at Angkor. It can be either read in advance of a visit or afterwards to reinforce the experience, or used at the sites to enable the visitor to be an active spectator. Historical quotes from early visitors to Angkor are included where appropriate to try to capture the spirit of its past glory (Angkor Temple Complex).
Legends and symbolism are also included whenever feasible to give the visitor additional background for a better appreciation of Angkor.

Angkor Temple Complex

Angkor Wat core

Angkor Temple Complex: Situated in Siem Reap province next to the provincial capital of the same name, Angkor Wat is the most famous of the Angkorian Temples and the world’s largest religious monument (Angkor Temple Complex). It is a common misconception that Angkor Wat is the whole group, which is obviously not true. Part of the magnificence of the Angkorian group is the sheer size and scale of grandeur on which many of the temples were built. So boggling a scale, in fact, that it really can’t be grasped until seen firsthand (Angkor Temple Complex).

Angkor temple complex

Angkor Thom Bayon courtesy birkett

 It’s also not uncommon to get ‘templed out’, a condition which can happen after just a couple of days of temple touring. All you want to do is sit in your hotel room with a good book because it isn’t possible to fit any more incredible carvings, bas-reliefs, amazing sunsets/sunrises or temples-the-size-of-mountains into your head (Angkor Temple Complex).


It is based on the amount of time the visitor has to spend at Angkor and take into consideration the roads, proximity of the temples, and favorable light conditions (Angkor Temple Complex).

Angkor temple complex

Bayon Temple

For some temples it is important to begin at the principal entrance to perceive the space and decoration as the builder intended, and entrances are indicated in the text (Angkor Temple Complex). The monuments are oriented according to the four points of a compass which can be used as a point of reference. the temple of Angkor Wat is covered in detail in this book because of its importance, complexity and size (Angkor Temple Complex).

Angkor provides wonderful photographic opportunities. the monuments and the surrounding jungle afford unlimited textural and lighting opportunities for composing a picture (Angkor Temple Complex).

Clouds are common and tend to diffuse the light which is somewhat flat even though it is intense. As most of the temples face east the best lighting conditions are in the morning except for Angkor Wat where the best light is in the afternoon because it faces west. the temples surrounded by jungle such as Ta Prohm and Prah Khan can be photographed with good results when the sun is directly overhead and shining through the foliage (Angkor Temple Complex). Just as one is never prepared for the enormous size and overwhelming beauty of Angkor, one is never ready to leave it (Angkor Temple Complex). With photographs and visions etched in memory, one need never say good-by to Angkor, for its magic will go with you wherever fate and the gods may take you to colour your thoughts and dreams to life’s very end. The name of the monuments at Angkor are often modern ones designated by Cambodians or early European travellers. In publications by the French the enclosures of a temple are numbered starting from the central sanctuary and progressing towards the enclosing walls. The system used in this book reverses the order for the convenience of the visitor (Angkor Temple Complex). Thus the first enclosing wall the visitor encounters when entering a temple is number one. the numbers ascend from the exterior to the interior of the monument. In many distances, though, only traces of the enclosing walls, particularly the outer one, remain (Angkor Temple Complex).

Angkor temple complex

Ta Prohm Temple


You must possess an admission pass (an ‘Angkor Pass’) to visit the temples and sites in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Passes may be purchased at the main entrance on the road to Angkor Wat. One-day tickets only can be purchased at the secondary tollgate on airport road entrance near Angkor Wat and at Banteay Srey (Angkor Temple Complex).

Passes are sold in one-day ($20), three-day ($40) and seven-day ($60) blocks that must be used on consecutive days. Photo taken on the spot with free of charge is required at time of purchase (Angkor Temple Complex).


Visiting hours are 5:00AM – 6:00PM. Angkor Wat closes at 6:00PM, Banteay Srey closes at 5:00PM and Kbal Spean at 3:00PM. Always carry your ticket. It will be checked upon each park entry and at major temples. There is a significant fine for not possessing a valid ticket inside the park (Angkor Temple Complex). A regular admission ticket is not required to visit Phnom Kulen, Koh Ker or Beng Melea, but there is a separate entrance fee of $20, $10 and $5, respectively (Angkor Temple Complex).

Angkor Temple Complex

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