Some rise out of jungles, others sprawl over hundreds of acres, but whatever the style, Cambodian Temples have the capacity to both enchant and enthral visitors. They are a part of the country’s rich tapestry, some having been built millennia ago.

In recent years, these historic temples have won legions of new fans and a new global audience when they served as the backdrop to box office hits such as Tomb Raider. But with the country being home to thousands of beautiful temples, squeezing them all into one visit might be somewhat problematic. So, here’s just a few to get started on your travels:

Angkor Wat

No trip to Cambodia ought to go without a visit to Angkor Wat. It covers some 500 acres and as such is considered to be one of the largest religious sites in the world. It lies just north of the town of Siem Reap in the Angkor region. It was initially built in the first half of the 12th century by the then King, Suryavarman II and dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu. And experts put construction as taking over 30 years.

The complex layout includes courtyards, chambers, covered galleries and porches all linked by stairways and sandstone terraces. At the centre is a quincunx of towers, the tallest of the five rises almost 700 feet and represents the peaks of the mythical and sacred Mount Meru. The mountain is a feature of Hindu lore, considered to be the centre of the universe and the home Statues at Angkor Watof the gods. And the walls and moats surrounding it represent mountain ranges and oceans.

The scale, complexity and intricacy of Angkor Wat make it a top tourist attraction. And one which can keep visitors entranced for days, if not longer.

Angkor Wat Cambodia tour

The Bayon

Also called Prasat Bayon, The Bayon is also in Angkor region of Cambodia. Over the years, the temple’s construction date has been subject to debate. But now experts believe it was built around 100 years after Angkor Wat by King Jayavarman VII, and was a Buddhist temple.

Built over three levels, the temple is a maze of interconnected passages and galleries all similarly designed with low ceilings and narrow corridors. All of this works to give a feeling of little space in stark contrast to the majestic grounds of Angkor Wat.

The Bayon’s intricate bas reliefs have proved particularly popular with tourists over the decades. The elaborate sculptures show scenes of musicians and dancers as well as historical depictions of battles. And smiling faces of the bodhisattva feature prominently at The Bayon, and particularly within the Central Sanctuary and on the towers.

The Bayon Cambodia

Banteay Srei

Made from red sandstone, the stunning temple of Banteay Srei is 23 miles north of Angkor Wat, Banteay Sreiand about a 30-minute drive from the city of Siem Reap. Constructed in the 10th century, the modern name means citadel of women. It was originally called Tribhuvanamahesvara, which means “great lord of the threefold world” and construction is credited to one of King Rajendravarman’s counsellors.

Devatas or dancing girls feature prominently in the stonework, perhaps giving a clue to the temple’s name change. Banteay Srei consists of three enclosures, towers and libraries.Banteay Srei Cambodia holiday

Ta Prohm

The Cambodian Jungle is home to another popular tourist temple attraction: Ta Prohm. Built between the mid-12th and early 13th centuries by King Jayavaram VII, in its prime, experts believe Ta Prohm was home to over 12,500 people.Ta Prohm

Some four hundred years ago, the site was abandoned following the fall of the Khmer Empire. Now, trees grow amidst the ruins of this temple, which has been left as it was when conservation efforts began in the 21st century. The result is a breath-taking merger of nature and Cambodian history.

Cambodia's Ta Prohm



Discover Cambodia’s iconic temples

Choose from one of our popular Escorted Tours of Cambodia which include all flights, accommodation, transfers and entry fees.

Temples of Cambodia 5 days from £369pp VIEW TOUR