A guest post by Natalie Likness
A holiday in Cambodia has become extremely desirable for many a backpacker and with a country filled with a vast array of sights, it’s hard to know just where to start. However, a trip to the Angkor Wat temple is a must see for any visit to Cambodia. Built in the early 12th century for King Suryavarman, the temple is the world’s largest religious building and one that is a visual feast. Located just north of Siem Reap, a one-day ticket will cost you $20 (roughly £12) and is worth every penny. Ticket money goes to aid the preservation of the temple.
To best begin your walk around Angkor Wat, set your alarm clock early and arrive in time to watch the sunrise. There’s nothing quite like seeing the spectacular temple reflected in the water which surrounds it as the sun begins to appear. Ensure your camera is close at hand because these are images you’ll want to treasure for a lifetime.
As the crowds disperse, it’s time to begin exploring the magnificent temple in all its glory. Angkor Wat is just one of the many temples in the complex but it is by far the most stunning and for a day walk, it is perfect to stroll around. You begin by walking across on a bridge that was built at least 800 years ago leading you into the temple itself. As you arrive at the outer wall, begin to marvel at the carvings which are etched into it and look in awe at the craftsmanship that went into constructing such a spectacular building
The temple opens up inside to reveal the iconic courtyard, which features on the Cambodian flag. It is here that the scale of Angkor Wat will hit you and you’ll truly feel in the presence of something special and sacred. Angkor Wat consists of four smaller towers around the outside, with a fifth, larger and raised temple in the centre of them. Now you can see why it’s worth taking a whole day to explore. The temple is practically unrestricted and so you are able to walk around completely unhindered. That leaves you free to explore and discover at close range the intricate architecture, the vast distinctive columns that adorn Angkor Wat at almost every turn and to take in the artwork painted onto the walls.
For the pinnacle of your walk around this stunning location, take the time to climb the steep steps that lead you to the top of the temple. Whilst this will be the most arduous part of your trip to Angkor Wat, it’s easily achieved if done slowly and taken with care. The feeling of reaching the top is extremely rewarding and the views from it spectacular. The temple itself is nestled amongst the Cambodian jungle making you feel as though you are separated from the rest of the world. Maybe that’s exactly what the architects wanted to achieve when they began to design this wonder of the world.
Natalie Likness' love of travel was introduced to her from an early age due to a trip abroad before she was even born! Having close family and making friends across the world, she has continued to travel ever since.