Introduction – Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Introduction – Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is an archaeologist’s dream and a nature hater’s nightmare. The massive ruins chronicle the factual and mythical histories of the ancient Khmer civilization and its religions with amazingly well-preserved carvings and stonework, but climbing these impressive temples in the unforgiving midday sun can be trying for even the most robust explorer.

Sunset at Angkor Wat
Sunset at Angkor Wat
Bring WATER (I can’t stress this enough), SUNSCREEN (this either), film and a sense of adventure when going to Angkor Wat. If you get a multi-day pass, you can pace yourself with the ruins and even give yourself enough time for lunch and a siesta. The best time to explore the ancient kingdom is in the early morning when the other tourists are busy with breakfast and late afternoon when the heat is tolerable. Also, getting a good view of the sunrise and sunset more than make up for the hassle of getting your tired, aching body out of bed twice in one day.

The immense temple complex spreads over thousands of acres (the Angkor Wat temple alone covers 500 acres) and has an overwhelming display of magnificent ruins to hold your interest and let your imagination run wild. The moment you wander into this realm, your vacation instantly transforms into an adventure. You’re suddenly inspired to wander through dark corridors and scale over heaps of rubble in search of lost treasure. You study the detailed carvings on the temple walls for clues that will reveal the secret location of powerful talismans. Whether you’re inspecting the strangely amused faces of Bayon or taking in the splendid aerial view from the top of Phnom Bakheng, Angkor Wat injects your spirit with a sense of romance and daring found only within its crumbling walls.

You can visit the Angkor Wat ruins year round, but the ideal stretch is November to March, the beginning of the dry season when the temperature isn’t too high. April and May are hot and humid and rain showers are likely in September.

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