Angkor in Cambodia

Travel writer extraordinaire Tom Hall uncovers the most awe-inspiring places to visit. This week he discovers that Angkor is every inch the exotic Asian setting of your dreams.

Angkor, Cambodia

Here you’ll find the world’s largest religious building, jungle-choked sacred spaces that have almost become one with the forest and hundreds more smaller, elaborately designed temples than you could ever see in one visit.

In short, Angkor is much more than the quick excursion from Thailand it is sometimes treated as. The whole area is a true wonder of the world. In April the weather is warm and dry and there are fewer crowds.

History of Angkor

The temples were constructed as the seat of the Khmer Empire which ruled the region for over 500 years from 600 to 1150AD. Their legacy is breathtaking. North and east of the fast-growing gateway town of Siem Reap lies an ancient world of temples, statues and other remnants of a great civilisation.

Planning your trip to Cambodia

Angkor is hugely and deservedly popular and the crowds at Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon can be enormous. Less-heralded sites such as Roulos and Batey Kdei have far fewer people visiting and more atmosphere.

Visitors need a week to really appreciatre Angkor, enjoy a sunset or two and get to the remoter sites. Even then, you’ll still leave feeling fuzzy-headed at the crumbling splendour of the place – and resolve to come back to see more of it.

Further information

See Tourism Cambodia for full details about visiting Angkor. The temples featured prominently in the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider film.

©2009 Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd