Review of Angkor Watt
in Siem Reap, Cambodia

"Angkor Watt" was last updated on Dec 28, 2013
All information below is subject to change

Hall of Angkor Watt in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Every traveler knows about the Angkor Wat - we all have seen the pictures and documentaries about it!

To get the best of the temple, you should arrive there early in the morning (preferably sunrise). Most drivers recommend this because you can see the true beauty of the temple. It's just amazing to watch the sun rise behind Angkor temple.

I've also heard from other backpackers that the sunset here is spectacular as well!

Here's a piece of Angkor's history


Angkor Watt was originally a Hindu temple, but after the fall of Angkor it became a Buddhist temple. It was built early in the 12th century by the Angkor ruler, Suryavarman the 2nd. It was constructed as a royal tomb. You'll see Buddha images, and these were placed after the fall of Angkor.

One of the first things you'll notice is the long and massive concourse leading to Angkor Wat. There are stone sculptures on both sides which take the shape of a snake, called naga. The nagas are generally regarded as guards of treasure.

When you enter the temple, you'll notice bare-breasted Apsara and goddess (devata) carvings on the walls.

Apsaras are special in Buddhism because they represent an ideal of female beauty.

What is an apsara?

If you see bare-breasted female figures with jewels who are holding flowers, it's likely Apsaras you're looking at. According to Khmer mythology, they were dancers and entertainers for the gods and a symbol of traditional Khmer dance (Apsara Dance).

There's a lot more to see!

The galleries display scenes from the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata. They also display other Hindu myths. Impressive "Heaven and Hell" scenes are waiting for you.

Devata carvings at Angkor Watt in Siem Reap

Devata Carvings in the "courtyard" at Angkor Watt

Angkor wat reflections in April 2010

You can climb to the towers to take pictures of the pond next to it, or just the view of the Angkor area.

At sunrise, watch the sky become reddish, pinkish, yellowish. You're going to be dazzled by the colors. Watch the sun rays hit the walls of Angkor.

It will make you go WoW.. It sure wow'ed me ;-)

The bad part:

You're not alone here. I've visited Angkor in the high season (December) and in the hot season (April). There were and will be large masses at the site. You'll be encountering large tourist groups everywhere. 

I got stressed out when I saw all the tourists standing on the main concourse to Angkor, waiting for the sun to come up. I took many pictures of the temple, and in every picture there was people in it (even when I thought I found a tiny area with no one standing in my way...)

Picture tip!

To get your own Angkor-water-reflections, be there at sunrise or sunset.

Recommended time: 1-2 hours

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Where can you grab food
inside Angkor park?

At the food stalls outside Angkor Watt you'll get cheap food!

How's the food? Is it safe?

We tried the food stalls near Angkor Wat, not far from the concourse. I didn't get sick by eating this food. There was lots of travelers and tourists who ate at these restaurants, so that means high turnover of food.

Food prices at local restaurants near Angkor temple:

Noodle soup: $2.50

Steamed rice with vegetables: $2.50

Steamed rice with vegetables at Angkor Watt food stall

Steamed rice with vegetables

Rice with sliced fried egg at Angkor Watt food stall

Rice with sliced fried egg

Beverages (coke, small water): $1-1,5

Small/big bottle of water: $1-2

Angkor beer, Tiger beer (can, bottle): $2-3

The price for food is pretty much the same at the other temple restaurants, for instance Ta Prohm temple, Kbal Spean and Banteay Srei.

Food vendors are also walking around the park, selling snacks and cold drinks. Cold water is a unbelievable good after you've been walking the whole day, in the scorching sun!

Further reading:

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