"If you only see two temples, Angkor Wat and Bayon should be the ones." That is the advice from this website and my friends and I did just that on the final day of our recent stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In addition, we visited the Ta Prohm temple.
Half a day is hardly enough to cover the numerous religious structures in the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is close to Siem Reap city.
Khmer domination over the Angkor Kingdom lasted about 600 years beginning from the 9th Century and during this period several hundred temples were built. Our guide told us that some 300 have been listed and restored.
I enjoyed the visit to the "palaces of gods" so much that I plan to visit Siem Reap again; this time to explore the ruins thoroughly.
Michael Freeman and Claude Jacques (Ancient Angkor, 2003) write: "To gain a proper understanding of what a Khmer temple was, it should first be recalled that it was not a meeting place of the faithful but the palace of a god, who wa…
Some travellers dismiss Siem Reap, Cambodia as touristy. Others say that temples (think Angkor Wat) are its only attraction. But I recommend Siem Reap as the perfect getaway for those with four or five stays to spare and are looking to see something of Cambodia. You will notice that some parts look like Langkawi in Malaysia. If you only concentrate on the places designed to attract a lot of tourists you are likely to be disappointed. Siem Reap will forever be in my heart because of its people. The Muslim F&B manager at Royal Angkor Resort, where I stayed, is very helpful; the young woman who helps out at a scarf stall at the Angkor Night Market is sweet ; and the tuk-tuk drivers are polite and chatty. I have not been to Phnom Penh so I cannot compare the people there with those in Siem Reap but many in Siem Reap smile easily. What a welcome! They awaken memories of people in Malaysia some 50 years ago when we too smiled a lot. The photos below remind me why Siem Reap is special.