Siem Reap: The Top Ancient Temples You Need to See Around Angkor Wat

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Siem Reap: The Top Ancient Temples You Need to See Around Angkor Wat

A short tuk-tuk ride or cycle from the city of Siem Reap and you'll end up at a sprawling complex of ancient temples built in the 12th century by the kings of the Khmer Empire. These impressive, towering stone constructions are incredibly well-preserved and are adorned with intricate details that can still be admired today. If you're planning to visit these fascinating, historic temples, then here's some sites you have to visit.

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Siem Reap: The Top Ancient Temples You Need to See Around Angkor Wat

1. Angkor Wat Main Complex

One of the grandest and best preserved of any existing ancient monuments in the world, the main complex of Angkor Wat towers over the surrounding area. Often the first destination for most people visiting Cambodia, the temple was built by King Suryavarman II to worship the Hindu god Vishnu.

2. Banteay Srei

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When in Siem Reap this site is always on the must visit list for all people. And it why not because such kind of building and architecture and the location of the temple that is simply enchanting. There are a lot of legends about it and you can easily believe all of them simply because of the statues and carvings and the precision and the divinity that surrounds you here. The exquisite decorations and cravings are worth seeing in this lifetime and admire the work of those who breathed life into the place and made it immortal!

3. Beng Mealea

This is again one of the sacred and ancient sites that you ought to visit when you are in Siem Reap. The archaeological findings state that the construction of the temple dates back to 12 century and that was presumably under the rule of King Suryavarman II. The literal meaning of Beng Mealea is the “Lotus Pond” and has been built as a sign of reverence to the Hindu God Vishnu. The carvings on the wall are like that from the pages of Hindu Mythology. A few parts of the monuments now stand collapsed.

4. Terrace of the Leper King

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There is a lot of history that adorns Siem Reap and that has been finding voice through what remains of these once majestic temples and carvings on them. The statue of the king and others that adorn the walls have been the subject of study for all many scholars from all over the world. Some stories have come descended in the form of folklore and they tell a great deal about the art and culture as it was in those times. The site that should not be missed when travelling to Siem Reap.

5. Angkor National Museum

While it's not quite in the complex of Angkor Wat, don't forget to check out the Angkor National Museum. Best visited before you explore the ancient temples north of the city, the museum is a great way to learn about the history of the Khmer Empire and their fascinating creations. You'll also find a huge number of statues and artifacts from the area being preserved there.

8. Angkor Thom

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Another magnificent reminder of the golden past of the Kingdom of Khmer. This ancient city occupies about nine kilometers of the area and is home to some of the most incredible architecture and statues of Angkor.

9. Ta Prohm

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For a true sense of adventure make sure to head to Ta Prohm, this place has been left untouched by explorers and researchers except for the path for the visitors. The ancient monument is all covered with the giant trees that cover them all in dense foliage, making you feel like you've been dropped onto the set of an Indiana Jones film. In the midst of all this you get to see the cravings and intricate designs and of course the stories about what is left of this ancient temple.

10. Bayon

This temple that stands mostly in ruins brings to light the glory of splendor of the Khmer Kingdom in whose times it was built. The fact that temple has been a witness to the turn of so many centuries is in itself so mesmerizing if you come to think of it. Other than the intricate carvings and decorations that adorn the walls of the temple, it is the face structures that look at you from all sides here. There are a total of 216 face structures adorning the walls of the temple.


Siem Reap, as a city has some of the major landmark architectures from the era gone-by and the ones that speak so highly of the wealth, prosperity and the vision of those who built them. Also they talk a lot about the Hindu Mythology and Buddhism as being the prominent religions practices in those times.