Ankor Wat is located in Siem Reap, northwest of Cambodia, 240 kilometers away from Phnom Penh which is the capital of Cambodia. It has become a symbol of Cambodia and is a source of great national pride for Cambodians. Ankor Wat is the best preserved temple of the whole Angkor ruins and becomes world famous for its magnificence and elaborate reliefs. It is also the largest temple in the world. Ankor Wat is hailed as one of the four wonders in the east, together with the Great Green Wall in China, The Great Pyramid in Egypt and Borobudur in Indonesia. The whole Angkor ruins are composed of Small Angkor and Great Angkor. Small Angkor is also named Angkor Wat and Great Angkor is also named Angkor Thom. Nowadays, the part of Angkor ruins, which enjoys great popularity in the world, is Angkor Wat. The whole Angkor ruins were listed as World Culture Relics by the UNESCO in 1992. From then on, Angkor Wat has become a tourist attraction in Cambodia, attracting numerous tourists from all over the world every year.
Angkor used to be an integrated city, consisting of palace, temple, garden and castle. From the 9th century AD to the 15th century AD, Angkor used to be the capital city of the ancient Khmer Empire. Angkor began to be built in 802 AD and was completed in 1201 AD, lasting about 400 years. However, in 1431, Siam Army invaded the capital, bringing serious damage to the Angkor. Thus, the capital was moved to Phnom Penh. After that, Angkor was abandoned and covered in forests. Until the year 1860, a French natural historian named Henri Mouhot discovered Angkor ruins. There are more than 600 Angkor ruins distributed in the forests with the total area of about 45 square kilometers. Angkor ruins are mainly composed of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, in which there are a number of beautiful Buddhist pagodas built of huge stones with sculptures in various forms on them. The statues are several meters tall and look vivid and lifelike. Since then, Angkor has been excavated and renovated up to now.
The Highlights of Ankor Wat
1. The Art of Relief
The reliefs of Ankor Wat are delicate and realistic. The reliefs can be seen everywhere, such as in the inner walls of the winding corridors and the stone walls. The main content of the reliefs are about the legend of Vishnu that is the great god of Hinduism, wars, royal family, crafts and rural activities.
2. The characteristics of the Architecture
The architectural complex of Ankor Wat is famous for its symmetrical layout and monolithic scale.
3. Different colors in different time
In the sunshine, Ankor Wat presents different colors in the day and in the evening. The most attractive sight appears in the evening when the whole building looks resplendent and magnificent. Ankor Wat is celebrated as the paradise of photographers.
4. Watch sunrise and sunset
Near Ankor Wat, there is a Phnom Bakheng with the height of 70 meters, 1.5 kilometers northwest of Ankor Wat. It has the highest altitude in the whole Angkor ruins. Tourists can watch the beautiful sunset and sunrise on the mountain. Every day, numerous tourists flock to the top of the mountain after 17:00.
Three ways to climb up the mountain
a. It takes about 15 minutes to climb up the mountain along the steep mountain path. It is suitable for the experienced climbers and it may be a little more difficult for the tourists without climbing experience.
b. Climb up the mountain along a path in better condition. However, it is a long journey.
c. Elephant rides at the foot of the mountain are available. It takes about 15 dollars to ride an elephant to the top of the mountain.