Prasat Kravan

24

Nov
2021

Exploring Angkor Archaeological Park

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Set among dense green forests and neat rice paddies, the massive monuments at Angkor Archaeological Park are arguably the most remarkable and striking architectural masterpieces in Southeast Asia. Located north of Siem Reap, in the heart of Angkor, the vast Angkor Wat complex, with its imposing towers, and the great city of Angkor Thom, with its impressive causeway and gigantic smiling faces of the Bayon, are breathtaking sights, especially during sunrise or sunset. Farther north are the smaller yet unique temples of Preah Khan and Prasat Neak Pean. To the east of Angkor Thom is the magical Ta Prohm, with large trees growing through the temple walls. Farther out, the pink sandstone structure of Banteay Srei lies to the northeast, while to the south east are the ruins of the Roluos Group, the oldest in Angkor.

Getting Around The temples at Angkor Archaeological Park require both time and motorized transport to visit. It is possible to visit the main sites by motorbike, but the most comfortable way to travel in this hot and dusty area is to be driven in an air-conditioned car. In colonial times, the French defined two circuits, both starting at Angkor Wat, which are still used today. The 11-mile (18-km) “small circuit” takes at least a day and covers the central temples of the complex, continuing to Ta Prohm, before returning to Angkor Wat by way of Banteay Kdei. The “great circuit,” a 17-mile (27-km) route, takes in the small circuit as well as the outer temples, going past Preah Neak Pean to Ta Som before turning south to Pre Rup. It takes at least two full days.

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