Angkor Wat, which today is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was the capital of the ancient Khmer Kingdom built around a Hindu temple to Vishnu. This long lost city, which for centuries existed only as a myth, was discovered in 1861 by a French naturalist, Henri Mouhot. Its enormous temples, towering spires, giant carved faces and ornate bas reliefs, swallowed by the jungle and then rescued, are an eternal tribute to a lost civilization. The "City of Kings", with some of the largest religious monuments ever constructed, is a mystic and magical place which carries a spiritual significance for many, and a once in a lifetime travel experience for others.
Angkor Archaeological Park
Angkor Wat ("Capital Temple") is a temple complex in Cambodia and one of the largest religious monuments in the world. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple Angkor Wat ("Capital Temple") is a temple complex in Cambodia and one of the largest religious monuments in the world. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum.
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat is visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking. It is a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. At the apex of Khmer political and military dominance in the region, Suryavarman II constructed Angkor Wat in the form of a massive 'temple-mountain' dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu. It served as his state temple, though the temple’s uncommon westward orientation has led some to suggest that it was constructed as Suryavarman II’s funerary temple.
If you see only two temples, Angkor Wat and Bayon should be the ones. The giant stone faces of Bayon have become one of the most recognizable images connected to classic Khmer art and architecture. There are 37 standing towers, most but not all sporting four carved faces oriented toward the cardinal points. Who the faces might represent is a matter of debate but it has been argued it may be Loksvara, Mahayana Buddhism's compassionate Bodhisattva, or perhaps a combination of Buddha and Jayavarman VII. Bayon was the Jayavarman VII's state-temple and in many ways represents the pinnacle of his massive building campaign.
Banteay Srei Temple
Banteay Srey loosely translates to ‘citadel of the women,’ but this is a modern appellation that probably refers to the delicate beauty of the carvings. This temple was discovered by French archaeologists comparatively late in their research, not until in 1914. Banteay Srey was built at a time when the Khmer Empire was gaining significant power and territory, constructed by a Brahmin counselor under a powerful king, Rajendravarman, and later under Jayavarman V. The temple displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art - the walls densely covered with some of the most beautiful, deep and intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple.
Shopping in Cambodia
Cambodia’s golden silk was once renowned throughout the world for its purity and soft feel. However, recent decades have seen the craft decline, with recent efforts aiming to restore golden silk to its former glory. Those interested in finding out more about the process, from silk worm to scarf, can take a free tour of Artisan Angkor’s silk farm on the outskirts of Siem Reap. You’ll spot the krama everywhere you go because this multi-purpose scarf is the national symbol of Cambodia and used by all. The traditional Cambodian garment is used as a scarf, bandana, to cover the face, carry children, as a hammock for youngsters...
Khmer cuisine or, more generally, Cambodian cuisine, is the traditional cuisine of the people of Cambodia. Average meals typically consists of more than one dish and ideally contrasts flavours, textures and temperatures within the meal using plenty of herbs, leaves, pickled vegetables, dipping sauces, edible flowers and other garnishes and condiments. Rice is the staple food in Cambodia, and it is part of every meal, both as an accompaniment and used as an ingredient for many dishes. Rice is eaten throughout the day in the form of street-side snacks, such as deep-fried rice cakes with chives and spinach, for breakfast...
Traditional Apsara Dance
Cambodia is a country that is steeped in history and tradition, with classical Cambodian ballet — or Apsara dancing — held in high esteem across the country. Evidence of this delicate form of dancing can be seen etched into the walls of ancient temples, as well as when watching the string of talented dancers who put on shows across the country today. Here’s the lowdown on Apsara’s origins and the best spots to watch this type of dancing. Stretching back to the 7th century, Apsara dancing stems from Cambodia’s Hindu and Buddhist mythology.