of Angkor Wat and the lost temples of Cambodia:Discover the impressive Hindu buildings of the Khmer Empire.
Maybe you remember the temples that served as the setting in the movie 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' or 'In the Mood For Love'. If you thought they were simply decorated for the occasion, well you're wrong! These are the magnificent Hindu buildings of the Khmer Empire located in the city of Siem Reap (in the homonymous province of Cambodia) specifically in the Angkor region, which houses successive capitals of the also called Angkorian Empire.
A piece of history declared a World Heritage Site that has become a tourist destination that receives millions of people a year, and without a doubt leaves more than one completely impressed. If you are thinking of a destination full of history and adventure for your next trip, we recommend you enjoy the wonders that this “lost” city offers.
But the journey begins right here!
Enter this amazing adventure with us and discover a little more about what awaits you in Angkor, Cambodia.
A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT ANGKOR, CAMBODIA
What adventurer wouldn't love to go exploring one morning and return home having discovered a lost city?
According to legend, Heri Mahout (French naturalist) came home one day having “discovered” Angkor Wat in the XNUMXth century: the main temple of the Angkor settlement in the city of Siem Reap (Cambodia), which had been covered and almost completely buried by the jungle nature.
Sounds like a movie story, and it probably is. The first visit to this temple by a western explorer is known to have been documented in 1586, when Antonio da Madalena, a Portuguese Capuchin friar, arrived in Angkor. His collections were later collected by the historian Diogo do Couto, who in turn inspired many other pioneers to visit and document the ruins.
However, Heri Mahout's visit in 1860 was truly inspiring to popularly visit Angkor with his vivid descriptions and drawings from his personal travel notebook, to be published in Paris eight years later.
Finally, the largest religious complex in the world that we know today was largely restored, preserving its original elements as much as possible, and open to the public. Today it is one of the most visited historical and tourist destinations annually, and a source of architectural inspiration that every adventurer should visit.
TRAVEL THE TEMPLES
THE ANGKOR WAT
This complex contains many impressive temples, but without a doubt the main and most important is the Angkor Wat archaeological center. It is perhaps the largest religious structure ever built, and it served the Khmer Empire in the XNUMXth century as a political and religious center.
This complex of more than 1000 temples, tombs and palaces is given by the surrender to the worship of the Hindu gods during the reign of Jayavarman II, glorifying the ancient kings of the kingdom of Cambodia.
From the first moment you step on the temples of Angkor Wat you feel the historical richness in the environment and each breath transports you to a mysterious history, to a memory of the past that was once lived there and that you now travel with the illusion of knowing plus.
Nature and humanity unite in one and merge into a new monument: sanctuaries and stone faces covered with roots and plants that reveal the force of nature to take back what is theirs, leaving the reflection of what is civilization ever went and lived.
Just 5,5 kilometers from the city of Siem Reap, you can walk the enigmatic corridors that make up and connect Angkor, which are a journey through time, all the while guarded by "the singhas" (temple guardians) and other mythological stone figurines that accompany us during the dusty and mysterious journey such as the so-called "Apsaras" or divine nymphs.
It is true, you will need several days to do the complete tour, but it is worth living the experience inside and around these wonderful ruins, worthy of admiration.
The circuit formats vary within the route of the place. You can opt for the so-called Big Tour or the Small tour, (the long circuit and the short circuit respectively) although the latter is "short" it does not have much. If your tour guide allows you, you can choose to request the tour in the opposite direction to avoid crowds of tourists.
Angkor Wat has 5 towers plus a central tower that is, according to Hindu mythology, the very center of the cosmic universe. Furthermore, they claim to be aligned with the constellation Draco, as are the pyramids of Egypt, if any, with Orion.
"... a construction in such an extraordinary way that it is not possible to describe it in writing, especially different from any other building in the world. It has towers, decoration and all the refinements that the human genius can conceive" - Diogo do Couto
LODGING AND FUN IN THE CITY
The city of Siem Reap is very adapted to tourism and has many accommodation, restaurants and entertainment shows just 20 minutes from the temples.
You will be able to find quite cheap hotel options in the city, which will leave the name of its culture high without having to leave.
We recommend looking for an accommodation close to Pub Street in the city center, which is full of activities during the day and also has excellent nightlife. This place is full of bars, food stalls, restaurants and shops to buy all kinds of souvenirs, including massage sessions. Don't worry, it will be very easy to get there by tuk-tuk if you can't find accommodation close to the site.
Angkor also stands out for its people and its friendly personality. Take this opportunity to learn more about other cultures that can enrich your own.
Both the city and the tour of the temples will make this experience an adventure to remember, and even repeat! Go ahead and live this extraordinary experience.
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