Seeing the ancient temples of Angkor was the highlight of my trip to Cambodia last summer. People from half the world away go to this place to marvel at the accomplishments of early human civilization and I was very excited to also have the chance to see it myself. Angkor was a bustling metropolis built by the Khmer Empire in the 9th to the 15th centuries, it is known as the biggest pre-industrial city in history. Its immensity is comparable to settlements and grand structures built by other civilizations of the ancient world. Although most of the structures are now left in ruins, what remains is still very captivating and leaves any visitor a good grasp of Khmer history and culture.

The major parts of Angkor Archeological Park are within a few kilometers from Downtown Siem Reap. I stayed in Siem Reap for almost a week, hired to cover a corporate event. I was able to visit Angkor several times during my visit, mostly to take photos of other people enjoying a tour of the temples. I did manage to sneak in some photos for my blog of course. Before leaving Siem Reap, I made it a point to tour the temples myself even if it was only for half a day. Totally not advisable since Angkor is huge and it takes at least 3 days to fully appreciate all the details at a more leisurely pace but I had to do it given my limited time … the blisters on my feet were so worth it. I hired a motodop (single motorcycle) for US$8 to do the little circuit tour, which goes around the major temples. The admission fee for one day costs US$20 ($40 for 3 days and $60 for 1 week).

Charles de Gaule Road

Access Road from Siem Reap City Center to Angkor Archeological Park

Angkor Wat

The biggest single religious structure in the world and the main attraction among the temples of Angkor.

Prasat Cravan

Srah Srang

Banteay Kdaei

Ta Prohm

Made famous by Angelina Jolie and the movie, Tomb Raider.

Ta Keo

Spean Thma

Chau Say Tevoda

Prasat Suor Prat

Preah Pithu

Royal Fields

Buddha Shrine near Baphuon


Terrace of the Lepper King

Terrace of the Elephant King


The central temple in Angkor Thom

Phnom Bakheng

Angkor Thom South Gate

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Angkor Hot Air Baloon

Angkor Wat Laser and Lights Show

The main highlight during my visits to Angkor was witnessing a dinner gala at the grounds near the east gate of Angkor Wat. I feel so lucky since it has only been the second time that an event of similar scale was held there. The production featured a laser and lights show and performances by the 7 Sopranos, the electric strings trio Maske, and Jeremy Montierio (the Godfather of Asian Jazz). I’ll be posting more photos and some videos in upcoming posts :)

Photo by Loven Ramons