Photo Flashbacks: Our favourite Angkor Ruins…

Photo Flashbacks: Our favourite Angkor Ruins…

EVERYBODY who has been to Cambodia has no doubt been to Siem Reap and taken a trip up to nearby Angkor – the ancient city that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire between AD802 to 1351. Whilst it’s most famous ruin is Angkor Wat, this was by no means our favourite. A few hours spent wandering the city will unearth some amazingly beautiful buildings which are often overlooked by visitors.

Here are our top four…

Ta Prohm

Khmer King, Jayavarman VII, arguably the greatest of the Angkorian kings, constructed Ta Prohm in dedication to his parents. Originally called Rajavihara, this ancient Buddhist monastery is still partially overgrown by jungle giving it a fantastically eerie atmostphere which makes it great fun to explore…

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Ta Keo

The temple-mountain, Ta Keo, is possibly the first to be built entirely of sandstone by Khmers. It was constructed by seventeen year old King Jayavarman V and actually remains unfinished to this day. The external walls display very little in terms of decoration, as work on the temple ceased just as the workers had begun to carve.

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Bayon

Constructed as the official state temple of King Jayavarman VII, Bayon is a striking ancient temple with its most distinctive feature being the 216 gigantic stone faces carved into its towers. Over the years following the death of King Jayavarman VII, Bayon suffered continuous alterations as the dominant religion of the region changed from Mahayana Buddhism to Hinduism to Theravada Buddhism – alterations that are still visible today…

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Phnom Bakheng

Built as a symbolic representation of Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods, this impressive temple is one of the most popular with visitors to Angkor. It is situated on top of a massive hill where, on a clear evening, you can get amazing views over Angkor Wat at sunset. Unfortunately, this also makes it one of the most threatened monuments in the region as the huge visitor numbers take their toll on the delicate stone…

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Have you been to the Angkor ruins? We’d love to know what you thought and whether you also have a favourite that isn’t Angkor Wat!

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