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The Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia is a remembrance of the magnificent Khmer Empire, which reigned the land from the 9th to 15th century. The civilisation and the powerful complexes depicting the cultural significance are all preserved in this park. Sprawled across an area of 400 sq. km, the park encompasses various temples, forested land and communication channels. It also houses the ruins and remains of multiple capitals and monuments that date back to the existence of the Khmer Empire and their reign. Popular sites like Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple, etc. are all located in this archaeological park.

Best Time to Visit Angkor Archaeological Park

Angkor Archaeological Park is located in the northern province of Siem Reap, which experiences a tropical weather condition.

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November to April is the peak tourist season, with an average temperature ranging from 22°C to 32°C. The skies are mostly clear with almost no chance of rainfall, making it a perfect period to explore this outdoor archaeological park. You can also consider visiting during the peak festival seasons like the Khmer New Year (usually in April) and the Bon Om Touk water festival (in November). Despite the crowds, popular sightseeing spots like the Angkor Archaeological Park come to life during these periods, making it a perfect time to visit and explore the rich culture and traditions of the place.

Must Read: Temples In Cambodia

Angkor Archaeological Park Entrance Fee And Timings

Entry into the Angkor Archaeological Park requires purchasing a pass, available for one, three, or seven consecutive days. So, there is no standalone Angkor Archaeological Park entrance fee. Instead, you’d have to buy the pass that costs:

One day – USD 37
Three days – USD 62
Seven days – USD 72

You can buy passes while you are on the road to Angkor Wat. The park is open to tourists from sunrise to sunset, with specific opening hours for some temples like Angkor Wat (5:30 AM onwards).
The park’s standard opening hours are from 05:00 AM to 07:00 PM. However, remember that most temples close by 05:30 PM except Phnom Bakheng and Pre Rup, which are open until 07:00 PM since they are popular for their sunset views.

Top Things to Do in Angkor Archaeological Park

Spread across 400 sq. km, the Angkor Archaeological Park is home to a variety of different temples, hydraulic structures and communication channels, which we will be exploring now:

1. Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is one of the best places to visit near Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre

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Angkor Wat is one of those places in Cambodia that doesn’t require an introduction. Due to its historical significance, it is the crown jewel of this archaeological park. It is the world’s largest religious monument, and the grandeur of the place doesn’t feel real until you witness it in real time. This colossal temple complex, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, boasts intricate bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, sprawling courtyards, and a towering central quincunx (five-towered) structure.

Suggested Read: Places To Visit In Cambodia

2. Bayon Temple

Up next on the list is Bayon Temple, which features enigmatic smiling faces etched and carved on its towers.

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Bayon Temple is next on the list, which features enigmatic smiling faces etched and carved on its towers. The temple dates back to the 12th century, built as a Buddhist State Temple. Besides the serene and well-maintained courtyards, the temple’s architecture and bas-reliefs are a treat to witness, especially with its scenes from everyday life during the Khmer Empire.

3. Ta Prohm Temple

The Ta Prohm Temple is a popular tourist attraction and sometimes also referred to as the “Tomb Raider Temple”

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Often referred to as the “Tomb Raider Temple” ever since it appeared in the film, Ta Prohm offers a unique experience. Ta Prohm has been left largely untouched, unlike other restored temples, which allows the jungle to reclaim its territory. One of the most alluring sights of the temple lies in witnessing the trees that entwine against the temple’s structure. The surroundings are calm and serene, perfect for visitors to unwind and relax.

Suggested Read: Hiking In Cambodia

4. Banteay Srei Temple

Banteay Srei Temple is a popular sight inside the Angkor Archaeological Park.

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Commonly known as the “Citadel of Women”, Banteay Srei Temple is another popular sight inside the Angkor Archaeological Park. Constructed from pink sandstone, the temple features intricate carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and showcasing exceptional craftsmanship. The hue of the sunrise and sunset against the pink sandstone looks mesmerising, which explains why it is often regarded as the sunset point as well.

5. Preah Khan Temple

Preah Khan Temple is one of the most beautiful yet underrated palace complexes

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Among most pit stops inside the archaeological site, the Preah Khan Temple is one of the most underrated palace complexes. Preah Khan is now partially restored and offers a glimpse into the grandeur of Khmer royal life. The highlight of this place lies in its maze-like corridors, courtyards adorned with sculptures, and towering gates adorned with intricate carvings. While you are there, don’t miss out on exploring the “Hall of Dancers.”

Suggested Read: Things To Do In Cambodia

6. Terrace Of The Elephants

Known for its terrace wall and bas reliefs depicting carvings of elephants and a procession of warriors

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Known for its terrace wall and bas reliefs depicting elephant carvings and a procession of warriors, the Terrace of the Elephants is another popular sightseeing spot inside the park. The significance of these carvings dates back to the reign of the Khmer Empire and their kingdom, which celebrated the wins of their armies with these carvings. You can climb to the top of the complex to catch panoramic views of the Angkor Thom complex.

7. Terrace Of The Leper King

The Terrace of the Leper King is another popular sight that adds to the Angkor Archaeological Park's history.

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The Terrace of the Leper King is another popular sight that adds to the Angkor Archaeological Park’s history. The monument comprises a series of statues depicting different figurines with skin diseases. The existence of these structures has not only sparked people’s interest but also caused debates. Built by King Jayavarman VII, the temple has intricate carvings inspired by Hindu and Buddhist cosmology.

Suggested Read: National Parks In Cambodia

8. Angkor Thom (Great City)

Out of all amazing temples in Thailand, Angkor Thom is considered to be one of the most significant ones.

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Out of all the amazing temple complexes and structures in the Angkor Archaeological Park, Angkor Thom has maximum significance. It is the last and reportedly the “most enduring” capital of the Khmer empire. The “city” covers an area of 9 sq. km and was constructed in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII.

9. Roluos Group

This specific monument is situated roughly 15 km from the main Angkor Complex

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This monument is roughly 15 km from the main Angkor Complex and houses three distinct temples – Preah Ko, Bakong, and Lolei. Each temple in the complex dates back to the 9th century and gives a closer look at the history of Khmer architecture. If you are tired and want to unwind, this is the perfect spot for it.

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10. Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea is a sprawling temple complex located about 60 kilometres east of Angkor Wat

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Often referred to as the “Lost City,” Beng Mealea is a sprawling temple complex located about 60 kilometres east of Angkor Wat. Largely unrestored and engulfed by the jungle, Beng Mealea offers a sense of adventure and a glimpse into the raw power of nature, reclaiming man-made structures.

Tips For Travellers Visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park

Following are a few tips you should shoulder when exploring and learning about the Angkor Archaeological Park history

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Following are a few tips you should shoulder when exploring and learning about the Angkor Archaeological Park history:

  • The majority of the park consists of temples, so it’s vital to dress respectfully and modestly. Ensure that the attire you are wearing is covering your shoulders and knees.
  • Exploring the entire archaeological park will take a lot of time and energy. So, carry refillable water bottles to ensure that you are hydrated.
  • You can hire a guide to understand the backstory of each temple inside Angkor.
  • Always remain mindful and respectful of the surroundings and avoid damaging the historic structures.
  • If you are travelling during peak season, pre-book your travel bookings to avoid last-minute hassles and risks of cancellations.

Further Read: Siem Reap Floating Villages

Angkor Archaeological Park embodies artistic brilliance and historical significance and offers an unforgettable experience for travellers fascinated by ancient civilizations and breathtaking architecture. As you plan your next trip to Cambodia , including this historical site in your itinerary will leave you with lasting memories.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Angkor Archaeological Park

What language is spoken at Angkor Wat?

Khmer is the primary language spoken in Cambodia and in Angkor Wat obviously, but English is spoken and understood in the majority of the tourist places.

What currency is used in Cambodia?

The Cambodian Riel (KR) is the official currency of Cambodia, but some places also accept USD.

What should I wear to visit Angkor Wat?

As with most temples in Cambodia, it's respectful to dress modestly when visiting Angkor Wat. Avoid wearing revealing clothes inside the temples.

How many days do I need to see Angkor Wat?

A one-day visit can cover the highlights, but a three-day pass allows for a more in-depth exploration of the park's many temples and other attractions.

How do I buy tickets for Angkor Archaeological Park?

Tickets can be purchased at the official ticket office on the road to Angkor Wat. Options include 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day passes.

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