A look at top Cambodian temples

15th Apr 2013

Cambodia offers holidaymakers a number of ancient temples to explore, and a writer in Australia has taken a look at the most popular.

Tara Harrison writes on Australian website Travel Weekly that Angkor Wat is widely considered the most important temple in Cambodia, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

The historic sanctuary is the focal point of a complex that contains more than 1,200 temples in the Siem Reap Province of the country.

Surrounded by a moat and built for a king, Angkor Wat is testament to the once-great Khmer empire which stretched from Malaysia to Burma.

There is no accommodation and few facilities at the UNESCO World Heritage site, although it is easily accessible via tuk-tuk from the town of Siem Reap, which is just down the road.

Angkor Thom is also highlighted as an important temple by the travel expert. Faces are carved into and out of the stone, giving it the nickname of the temple of faces.

The temple marks the time when Buddhism began to take hold in this region. Some refer to the sculpture decorations collectively as the Mona Lisa of South East Asia.

Meanwhile, Ta Prohm is famous for the tree that spirals up alongside it and intertwines with the stone. Parts of it are held up by branches, while leaves have embedded into sandstone after centuries of erosion.

The iconic site may already be familiar to movie-goers after it was used in a number of films including Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones.

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