Angkor Wat temple remains popular with tourists

27th Jun 2012

Travellers on the hunt for historic sites might want to visit the renowned Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia.

It is considered the world's most important site in south-east Asia, and is the country's number one destination for holidaymakers, enticing an estimated 1.6 million tourists each year.

The site is so popular among locals that its image is even displayed on the national flag and on Cambodia's currency, the riel. Broken down, its name Angkor means 'capital' while Wat represents 'temple'.

Around 100 other temples and remains sprawl across many square kilometres of the site, which dates back 1,000 years. It is at the heart of the old Khmer empire which governed the state between the ninth and the 13th centuries. But the Angkor temples were abandoned in the 16th century, until the 19th century when its heritage was finally acknowledged.

Today, tourists are expected to use modes of transport if they are looking to explore the temples, as the monuments are spread too far apart to be seen on foot. Some of the options include a bike, a motorcycle with a two-seat trailer called a tuk-tuk, or even an elephant.

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