Mark Read

Angkor Wat

The traveller's first glimpse of Angkor Wat, the ultimate expression of Khmer genius, is matched by only a few select spots on earth. Built by Suryavarman II (r 1112–52) and surrounded by a vast moat, the temple is one of the most inspired monuments ever conceived by the human mind.

Angkor Wat is the heart and soul of Cambodia: it is the national symbol, the epicentre of Khmer civilisation and a source of fierce national pride. It was never abandoned to the elements and has been in virtually continuous use since it was built.

Simply unique, it is a stunning blend of spirituality and symmetry, an enduring example of humanity’s devotion to its gods. Relish the very first approach, as that spine-tingling moment when you emerge on the inner causeway will rarely be felt again. It is the best-preserved temple at Angkor, and repeat visits are rewarded with previously unnoticed details.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Angkor Wat.

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This country with limited Covid-19 cases never went into lockdown

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